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New International Version (1984 Edition)

Job 12

Job

1 Then Job replied:

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

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