Then Job answered:
‘No doubt you are the people,
and wisdom will die with you.
But I have understanding as well as you;
I am not inferior to you.
Who does not know such things as these?
I am a laughing-stock to my friends;
I, who called upon God and he answered me,
a just and blameless man, I am a laughing-stock.
‘With God are wisdom and strength;
he has counsel and understanding.
If he tears down, no one can rebuild;
if he shuts someone in, no one can open up.
If he withholds the waters, they dry up;
if he sends them out, they overwhelm the land.
With him are strength and wisdom;
the deceived and the deceiver are his.
He leads counsellors away stripped,
and makes fools of judges.
He looses the sash of kings,
and binds a waistcloth on their loins.
He leads priests away stripped,
and overthrows the mighty.
He deprives of speech those who are trusted,
and takes away the discernment of the elders.
He pours contempt on princes,
and looses the belt of the strong.
He uncovers the deeps out of darkness,
and brings deep darkness to light.
He makes nations great, then destroys them;
he enlarges nations, then leads them away.
He strips understanding from the leaders of the earth,
and makes them wander in a pathless waste.
They grope in the dark without light;
he makes them stagger like a drunkard.
‘Let me have silence, and I will speak,
and let come on me what may.
I will take my flesh in my teeth,
and put my life in my hand.
See, he will kill me; I have no hope;
but I will defend my ways to his face.
This will be my salvation,
that the godless shall not come before him.
Listen carefully to my words,
and let my declaration be in your ears.
I have indeed prepared my case;
I know that I shall be vindicated.
Who is there that will contend with me?
For then I would be silent and die.