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1 ZOPHAR THE NAAMATHITE REPLIED:

2 »Are all these words to go unanswered? Is this talker to be vindicated?

3 »Should your idle talk reduce men to silence? Should no one rebuke you when you mock?

4 »You say to God: ‘My beliefs are flawless and I am pure in your sight.’

5 »How I wish that God would speak, that he would open his lips against you

6 and disclose to you the secrets of wisdom, for true wisdom has two sides. Know this: God has even forgotten some of your sin.

7 »Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?

8 »They are higher than the heavens. What can you do? They are deeper than the depths of the grave. What can you know?

9 »Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea.

10 »Who can oppose the one who passes by and confines you in prison and convenes a court?

11 »He recognizes deceitful men. When he sees evil, does he not take note?

12 »An empty headed man can no more become wise than a wild donkey’s colt can be born a man.

13 »Yet if you devote your heart to him and stretch out your hands to him,

14 if you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent,

15 then you will lift up your face without shame. You will stand firm without fear.

16 »You will forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by.

17 »Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning.

18 »You will be secure because there is hope. You will look about you and take your rest in safety.

19 »You will lie down and no one will make you afraid. Many will entreat your favor.

20 »But the eyes of the wicked will fail and they will not escape. Their hope will become a dying gasp.«