2“Hear what I’m saying, you wise men.
Listen to me, you who have learned so much.
3Our tongues tell us what tastes good and what doesn’t.
And our ears tell us what’s true and what isn’t.
4So let’s choose for ourselves what is right.
Let’s learn together what is good.
5“Job says, ‘I’m not guilty of doing anything wrong.
But God doesn’t treat me fairly.
6Even though I’m right,
he thinks I’m a liar.
Even though I’m not guilty,
his arrows give me wounds that can’t be healed.’
7Is there anyone like Job?
He accuses God as easily as he drinks water.
8He’s a companion of those who do evil.
He spends his time with sinful people.
9He asks, ‘What good is it
to try to please God?’
10“So listen to me, you men who have understanding.
God would never do what is evil.
The Mighty One would never do what is wrong.
11He pays back everyone for what they’ve done.
He gives them exactly what they should get.
12It isn’t possible for God to do wrong.
The Mighty One would never treat people unfairly.
13Who appointed him to rule over the earth?
Who put him in charge of the whole world?
14If he really wanted to,
he could hold back his spirit and breath.
15Then everyone would die together.
They would return to the dust.
16“Job, if you have understanding, listen to me.
Pay attention to what I’m saying.
17Can someone who hates to be fair govern?
Will you bring charges against the holy and mighty God?
18He says to kings, ‘You are worthless.’
He says to nobles, ‘You are evil.’
19He doesn’t favor princes.
He treats rich people and poor people the same.
His hands created all of them.
20They die suddenly in the middle of the night.
God strikes them down, and they pass away.
Even people who are mighty are removed, but not by human hands.
21“His eyes see how people live.
He watches every step they take.
22There is no deep shadow or total darkness
where those who do what is evil can hide.
23God doesn’t need to bring charges against anyone.
He knows they are guilty.
So he doesn’t need to have them appear in his court to be judged.
24He destroys the mighty without asking them questions in court.
Then he sets others up in their places.
25He knows what they do.
So he crushes them during the night.
26He punishes them for the sins they commit.
He does it where everyone can see them.
27That’s because they turned away from following him.
They didn’t have respect for anything he does.
28They caused poor people to cry out to him.
He heard the cries of those who were in need.
29But if he remains silent, who can judge him?
If he turns his face away, who can see him?
He rules over individual people and nations alike.
30He keeps those who are ungodly from ruling.
He keeps them from laying traps for others.
31“Someone might say to God,
‘I’m guilty of sinning,
but I won’t do it anymore.
32Show me my sins that I’m not aware of.
If I’ve done what is wrong,
I won’t do it again.’
33But you refuse to turn away from your sins.
So God won’t treat you the way you want to be treated.
You must decide, Job. I can’t do it for you.
So tell me what you know.
34“You men who have understanding have spoken.
You wise men who hear me have said to me,
35‘Job doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
The things he has said don’t make any sense.’
36I wish Job would be given the hardest test possible!
He answered like someone who is evil.
37To his sin he adds even more sin.
He claps his hands and makes fun of us.
He multiplies his words against God.”