Job Says There Is No Arbitrator between God and Man
1Then Job answered and said,
“Yes, I know it is true.
But how can a mortal man be right before God?
“If one should want to contend or dispute with Him,
He could not answer Him once in a thousand times.
“God is wise in heart and mighty in strength;
Who has [ever] defied or challenged Him and remained unharmed?
“It is God who removes the mountains, and they do not know it,
When He overturns them in His anger;
Who shakes the earth out of its place,
And its pillars tremble;
Who commands the sun, and it does not shine;
Who seals up the stars [from view];
Who alone stretches out the heavens
And tramples down the [a]waves of the sea;
Who made [the constellations] the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades,
And the [vast starry] spaces of the south;
Who does great things, [beyond understanding,] unfathomable,
Yes, marvelous and wondrous things without number.
“Behold, He passes by me, and I do not see Him;
He moves past me, but I do not perceive Him.
“Behold, He snatches away; who can restrain or turn Him back?
Who will say to Him, ‘What are You doing?’
“God will not turn back His anger;
The [proud] helpers of Rahab [the arrogant monster of the sea] bow under Him.
“How can I answer Him [and plead my case],
Choosing my words [to reason] with Him?
For though I were righteous, I could not answer.
I must appeal for mercy to my Opponent and Judge.
“If I called and He answered me,
I could not believe that He was listening to my voice.
“For He bruises me with a tempest
And multiplies my wounds without cause.
“He will not allow me to catch my breath,
But fills and saturates me with bitterness.
“If it is a matter of strength and power, behold, He is mighty!
And if of justice, who can summon and challenge Him?
“Though I am innocent and in the right, my own mouth would pronounce me guilty;
Though I am blameless, He would denounce me as guilty.
“[Though] I am blameless,
I do not care about myself;
I despise my life.
“It is all one; therefore I say,
‘He destroys [both] the blameless and the wicked.’
“When [His] scourge kills suddenly,
He mocks at the despair of the innocent.
“The earth is given into the hands of the wicked;
He covers the faces of its judges [so that they are blind to justice].
If it is not He, then who is it [that is responsible for all this injustice]?
“Now my days are swifter than a runner;
They vanish, they see no good.
“They pass by like the [swift] boats made of reeds,
Like an eagle that swoops down on its prey.
“If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint,
I will leave off my sad appearance, and be cheerful and brighten up,’
I am afraid of all my pains and worries [yet to come];
I know that You will not acquit me and leave me unpunished.
“I am accounted wicked and held guilty;
Why then should I labor in vain [to appear innocent]?
“If I were to wash myself with snow
And cleanse my hands with lye,
You would still plunge me into the pit,
And my own clothes would hate me [and refuse to cover my foul body].
“For God is not a [mere] man, as I am, that I may answer Him,
That we may go to court and judgment together.
“There is no arbitrator between us,
Who could lay his hand upon us both [would that there were].
“Let Him take His rod away from me,
And let not the dread and fear of Him terrify me.
“Then I would speak [my defense] and not fear Him;
But I am not like that in myself.