1Then Job replied:
2“Doubtless you are the only people who matter,
and wisdom will die with you!
3But I have a mind as well as you;
I am not inferior to you.
Who does not know all these things?
4“I have become a laughingstock to my friends,
though I called on God and he answered—
a mere laughingstock, though righteous and blameless!
5Those who are at ease have contempt for misfortune
as the fate of those whose feet are slipping.
6The tents of marauders are undisturbed,
and those who provoke God are secure—
those God has in his hand.a
7“But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
8or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
or let the fish in the sea inform you.
9Which of all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
10In his hand is the life of every creature
and the breath of all mankind.
11Does not the ear test words
as the tongue tastes food?
12Is not wisdom found among the aged?
Does not long life bring understanding?
13“To God belong wisdom and power;
counsel and understanding are his.
14What he tears down cannot be rebuilt;
those he imprisons cannot be released.
15If he holds back the waters, there is drought;
if he lets them loose, they devastate the land.
16To him belong strength and insight;
both deceived and deceiver are his.
17He leads rulers away stripped
and makes fools of judges.
18He takes off the shackles put on by kings
and ties a loinclothb around their waist.
19He leads priests away stripped
and overthrows officials long established.
20He silences the lips of trusted advisers
and takes away the discernment of elders.
21He pours contempt on nobles
and disarms the mighty.
22He reveals the deep things of darkness
and brings utter darkness into the light.
23He makes nations great, and destroys them;
he enlarges nations, and disperses them.
24He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason;
he makes them wander in a trackless waste.
25They grope in darkness with no light;
he makes them stagger like drunkards.