1. Then Job answered:
2. No doubt you are the people's voice; when you die, wisdom dies with you!
3. But I have a mind as well as you, I know all that you have said.
4. To my friends I am a laughingstock when I call on God who does not answer; the just and blameless man is made fun of.
5. "Contempt for the unfortunate," so think the prosperous, "a blow for those who are staggering."
6. Yet the robbers' tents are undisturbed, those who provoke God are in peace, those who make a god of their strength.
7. But ask the beasts to teach you, the birds of the air to tell you,
8. the plants of the earth to instruct you, the fish of the sea to inform you.
9. Who among them does not understand that behind all this is God's hand?
10. He holds the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.
11. The ear surely can test the words as the tongue tastes food;
12. wisdom is found in the old, and understanding in great age;
13. in God however is wisdom and power; his are counsel and understanding.
14. What he tears down, none can rebuild; the one he imprisons, none can release.
15. If he withholds water, there is drought; if he lets it loose, there is flood.
16. In him are strength and perception; deceived and deceiver are in his power.
17. He leads counselors away stripped and makes fools of judges.
18. He loosens the belt of kings and ties a loincloth about their waist.
19. He leads priests away, barefoot, and overthrows those in power.
20. He compels advisers to keep silent, and strips elders of their discernment.
21. He puts princes to shame; he unties the girdle of the strong.
22. (He uncovers the gloomy recesses and brings the deep darkness to light.)
23. He makes a nation rise and fall, a people to grow and to dwindle.
24. He deprives leaders of their judgment, leaving them to roam in a trackless waste.
25. Without light, they grope in the dark and stagger like drunkards.