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Job - Chapter 12

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1 Job spoke next. He said:

2 Doubtless, you are the voice of the people, and when you die, wisdom will die with you!

3 But I have a brain, as well as you, I am in no way inferior to you, and who, in any case, does not know all that?

4 Anyone becomes a laughing-stock to his friends if he cries to God and expects an answer. People laugh at anyone who has integrity and is upright.

5 'Add insult to injury,' think the prosperous, 'strike the fellow now that he is staggering!'

6 And yet the tents of brigands are left in peace: those who provoke God dwell secure and so does anyone who makes a god of his fist!

7 You have only to ask the cattle, for them to instruct you, and the birds of the sky, for them to inform you.

8 The creeping things of earth will give you lessons, and the fish of the sea provide you an explanation:

9 there is not one such creature but will know that the hand of God has arranged things like this!

10 In his hand is the soul of every living thing and the breath of every human being!

11 Can the ear not distinguish the value of what is said, just as the palate can tell one food from another?

12 Wisdom is found in the old, and discretion comes with great age.

13 But in him there is wisdom, and power too, and good counsel no less than discretion.

14 What he destroys, no one can rebuild; whom he imprisons, no one can release.

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15 Is there a drought? He has withheld the waters. Do they play havoc on earth? He has let them loose.

16 In him is strength, in him resourcefulness, beguiler and beguiled alike are his.

17 He robs a country's counsellors of their wits, turns judges into fools.

18 He undoes the belts of kings and knots a rope round their waists.

19 He makes priests walk barefoot, and overthrows the powers that are established.

20 He strikes the most assured of speakers dumb and robs old people of their discretion.

21 He pours contempt on the nobly born, and unbuckles the belt of the strong.

22 He unveils the depths of darkness, brings shadow dark as death to the light.

23 He builds nations up, then ruins them, he makes peoples expand, then suppresses them.

24 He strips a country's leaders of their judgement, and leaves them to wander in a trackless waste,

25 to grope about in unlit darkness, lurching to and fro as though drunk.


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