2Indeed, this I know for the truth: that no one can win his case against God. 3If anyone does choose to argue with him, God will not answer one question in a thousand a 9:3 If anyone … thousand: or If God is pleased to argue with him, no one can answer one question in a thousand. . 4He is wise, he is all-powerful; who has stood up to him and remained unscathed? 5It is God who moves mountains before they know it, overturning them in his wrath; 6who makes the earth start from its place so that its pillars are shaken; 7who commands the sun not to rise and shuts up the stars under his seal; 8who by himself spread out the heavens and trod on the back of the sea monster b 9:8 on … monster: or on the crests of the waves. ; 9who made Aldebaran and Orion, the Pleiades and the circle of the southern stars; 10who does great, unsearchable things, marvels beyond all reckoning.
11He goes by me, and I do not see him; he moves on his way undiscerned by me. 12If he hurries on c 9:12 hurries on: so some MSS; others seizes. , who can bring him back? Who will ask him what he is doing? 13God does not turn back his wrath; the partisans of Rahab lie prostrate at his feet. 14How much less can I answer him or find words to dispute with him? 15Though I am in the right, I get no answer, even if I plead with my accuser for mercy. 16If I summoned him to court and he responded, I do not believe that he would listen to my plea; 17for he strikes at me for a trifle d 9:17 trifle: lit. hair. and rains blows on me without cause; 18he leaves me no respite to recover my breath, but sates me with bitter thoughts. 19If the appeal is to force, see how mighty he is; if to justice, who can compel him e 9:19 him: so Gk; Heb. me. to give me a hearing? 20Though I am in the right, he condemns me out of my own mouth; though I am blameless, he makes me out to be crooked. 21Blameless, I say; of myself I reck nothing, I hold my life cheap. 22But it is all one; therefore I declare, ‘He destroys blameless and wicked alike.’ 23When a sudden flood brings death, he mocks the plight of the innocent. 24When a country is delivered into the power of the wicked, he blindfolds the eyes of its judges f 9:24 blindfolds … judges: prob. rdg; Heb. adds if not he, then who? .
25My days have passed more swiftly than a runner, they have slipped away without ever seeing prosperity; 26they have glided by like reed-built skiffs, swift as an eagle swooping on its prey. 27If I think, ‘I shall forget my complaints, I shall show a cheerful face and smile,’ 28I still dread all I must suffer; I know that you will not acquit me. 29If I am to be accounted guilty, why do I waste my labour? 30Though I were to wash myself with soap and cleanse my hands with lye, 31you would thrust me into the miry pit and my clothes would render me loathsome.
32God is not as I am, not someone I can challenge, and say, ‘Let us confront one another in court.’ 33If only there were one to arbitrate between us and impose his authority on us both, 34so that God might take his rod from my back, and terror of him might not come on me suddenly. 35I should then speak out without fear of him, for I know I am not what I am thought to be.
a 9:3 If anyone … thousand: or If God is pleased to argue with him, no one can answer one question in a thousand.
b 9:8 on … monster: or on the crests of the waves.
c 9:12 hurries on: so some MSS; others seizes.
d 9:17 trifle: lit. hair.
e 9:19 him: so Gk; Heb. me.
f 9:24 blindfolds … judges: prob. rdg; Heb. adds if not he, then who?