1 Then Job replied:
2 "Doubtless you are the only people who matter, ¶ 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 on God and he answered — ¶ a mere laughingstock, though righteous and blameless!
5 Those who are 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 God has in his hand. [^1]
7 "But ask the animals, and they will teach you, ¶ or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
8 or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in 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; those 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 insight; both deceived and deceiver are his.
17 He leads rulers 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 officials 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 utter darkness 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 makes them wander in a trackless waste.
25 They grope in darkness with no light; he makes them stagger like drunkards.