1Job spoke next. He said: 2Doubtless, you are the voice of the people, and when you die, wisdom wil die with you! 3But I have a brain, as well as you, I am in no way inferior to you, and who, in any case, does not know al that? 4Anyone becomes a laughing-stock to his friends if he cries to God and expects an answer. Peoplelaugh at anyone who has integrity and is upright. 5'Add insult to injury,' think the prosperous, 'strike the fel ow now that he is staggering!' 6And yet the tents of brigands are left in peace: those who provoke God dwel secure and so doesanyone who makes a god of his fist! 7You have only to ask the cattle, for them to instruct you, and the birds of the sky, for them to informyou. 8The creeping things of earth wil give you lessons, and the fish of the sea provide you an explanation: 9there is not one such creature but wil know that the hand of God has arranged things like this! 10In his hand is the soul of every living thing and the breath of every human being! 11Can the ear not distinguish the value of what is said, just as the palate can tel one food fromanother? 12Wisdom is found in the old, and discretion comes with great age. 13But in him there is wisdom, and power too, and good counsel no less than discretion. 14What he destroys, no one can rebuild; whom he imprisons, no one can release. 15Is there a drought? He has withheld the waters. Do they play havoc on earth? He has let them loose. 16In him is strength, in him resourcefulness, beguiler and beguiled alike are his. 17He robs a country's counsel ors of their wits, turns judges into fools. 18He undoes the belts of kings and knots a rope round their waists. 19He makes priests walk barefoot, and overthrows the powers that are established. 20He strikes the most assured of speakers dumb and robs old people of their discretion. 21He pours contempt on the nobly born, and unbuckles the belt of the strong. 22He unveils the depths of darkness, brings shadow dark as death to the light. 23He builds nations up, then ruins them, he makes peoples expand, then suppresses them. 24He strips a country's leaders of their judgement, and leaves them to wander in a trackless waste, 25to grope about in unlit darkness, lurching to and fro as though drunk.
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