1 So, Job, please listen to my words and attend to all I have to say.
2 Now as I open my mouth, and my tongue shapes words against my palate,
3 I shall utter words of wisdom from the heart, my lips will speak in all sincerity.
4 God's was the spirit that made me, Shaddai's the breath that gave me life.
5 Refute me, if you can. Prepare yourself, take up your position!
6 Look, I am your equal, not some god, like you I was moulded out of clay.
7 No fear of me, therefore, need affright you, my hand will not lie heavy over you.
8 How could you say in my hearing -- for the sound of your words did not escape me-
9 'I am clean, and sinless, I am pure, without fault.
10 But he keeps inventing excuses against me and regards me as his enemy.
11 He puts me in the stocks, he watches my every path'?
12 In saying so, I tell you, you are wrong: for God is greater than any human being.
13 Why then quarrel with him for not replying to you, word for word?
14 God speaks first in one way, and then in another, although we do not realise it.
15 In dreams and in night-visions, when slumber has settled on humanity and people are asleep in bed,
16 he speaks in someone's ear, frightens him with apparitions
17 to turn him from what he is doing and to put an end to his pride.
18 And thus he preserves his soul from the abyss, his life from passing down the Canal.
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19 Or again, he corrects by the sufferings of the sick-bed, when someone's bones tremble continuously
20 and the thought of food revolts him, however tasty it is,
21 and his flesh rots away while you watch it and the bones beneath begin to show,
22 and his soul is drawing nearer to the abyss and his life to the dwelling of the dead.
23 Then, if there is an Angel near him, a Mediator, one in a thousand, to remind him where his duty lies,
24 to take pity on him and to say, 'Spare him from going down to the abyss: I have found the ransom for his life,'
25 his flesh will recover its childhood freshness, he will return to the days of his youth.
26 He will pray to God who has restored him to favour, and will come into his presence with joy. He will tell others how he has received saving justice
27 and sing this hymn before his companions, 'I sinned and left the path of right, but God has not punished me as my sin deserved.
28 He has spared my soul from going down to the abyss and is making my life see the light.'
29 All this is what God keeps doing again and yet again for human beings,
30 to snatch souls back from the abyss and to make the light of the living still shine.
31 Pay attention, Job, listen to me: keep quiet, I have more to say.
32 If you have anything to say, refute me, speak out, for I would gladly accept that you are upright.
33 If not, then listen to me: keep quiet, and I will teach you wisdom.
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