Job Answers His Friends
1 Then Job answered them:
2 “I’m sure you think you are
the only wise people left.
You think that when you die,
wisdom will be gone with you.
3 But my mind is as good as yours.
You aren’t any smarter than I am.
You haven’t said anything
that people don’t already know.
4 “My friends laugh at me now.
They say, ‘He prayed to God and got his answer.’
I am a good, innocent man,
but still they laugh at me.
5 Those who have no troubles make fun of those who do.
They hit a man when he is down.
6 But robbers’ tents are not bothered.
Those who make God angry live in peace,
even though God has them in his power.
7 “But ask the animals, and they will teach you.
Or ask the birds of the air, and they will tell you.
8 Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you.
Or let the fish in the sea tell you their wisdom.
9 Everyone knows
that the LORD made these things.
10 Every animal that lives and everyone who breathes—
they are all under God’s power.
11 But just as the tongue tastes food,
the ears test the words they hear.
12 People say, ‘Wisdom is to be found in those who are old.
Long life brings understanding.’
13 But wisdom and power belong to God.
Good advice and understanding are his.
14 Anything God tears down cannot be rebuilt.
Anyone he puts in prison cannot be set free.
15 If he holds back the rain, the earth will dry up.
If he lets the rain loose, it will flood the land.
16 God is strong and always wins.
He controls those who fool others and those who are fooled.
17 He strips advisors of their wisdom
and makes leaders act like fools.
18 He strips kings of their authority
and makes them slaves.
19 He strips priests of their power
and removes those who feel so secure in their position.
20 He makes trusted advisors be silent.
He takes away the wisdom of the older leaders.
21 He brings disgrace to important people.
He takes power away from rulers.
22 He exposes even the darkest secrets.
He sends light into places that are as dark as death.
23 God makes nations great,
and then he destroys them.
He makes nations grow large,
and then he scatters their people.
24 He makes their leaders foolish.
He makes them wander around in the desert.
25 They are like someone feeling their way in the dark.
They are like drunks who don’t know where they are going.