12 Then Job replied:
2 “Doubtless you are the only people who matter,
and wisdom will die with you!v
3 But I have a mind as well as you;
I am not inferior to you.
Who does not know all these things?w
4 “I have become a laughingstockx to my friends,y
though I called on God and he answeredz—
a mere laughingstock, though righteous and blameless!a
5 Those who are at ease have contemptb for misfortune
as the fate of those whose feet are slipping.c
6 The tents of marauders are undisturbed,d
and those who provoke God are securee—
those God has in his hand.a
7 “But ask the animals, and they will teach you,f
or the birds in the sky,g and they will tell you;h
8 or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
or let the fish in the sea inform you.
9 Which of all these does not knowi
that the hand of the Lord has done this?j
10 In his hand is the lifek of every creature
and the breath of all mankind.l
11 Does not the ear test words
as the tongue tastes food?m
12 Is not wisdom found among the aged?n
Does not long life bring understanding?o
13 “To God belong wisdomp and power;q
counsel and understanding are his.r
14 What he tears downs cannot be rebuilt;t
those he imprisons cannot be released.u
15 If he holds back the waters,v there is drought;w
if he lets them loose, they devastate the land.x
16 To him belong strength and insight;y
both deceived and deceiver are his.z
17 He leads rulers away strippeda
and makes fools of judges.b
18 He takes off the shacklesc put on by kings
and ties a loinclothb around their waist.d
19 He leads priests away strippede
and overthrows officials long established.f
20 He silences the lips of trusted advisers
and takes away the discernment of elders.g
21 He pours contempt on noblesh
and disarms the mighty.i
22 He reveals the deep things of darknessj
and brings utter darknessk into the light.l
23 He makes nations great, and destroys them;m
he enlarges nations,n and disperses them.o
24 He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason;p
he makes them wander in a trackless waste.q
25 They grope in darkness with no light;r
he makes them stagger like drunkards.s
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