Job 12–14(ESV) — 1Then Job answered and said: 2“No doubt you are the people, and wisdom will die with you. 3But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you. Who does not know such things as these? 4I am a laughingstock to my friends; I, who called to God and he answered me, a just and blameless man, am a laughingstock. 5In the thought of one who is at ease there is contempt for misfortune; it is ready for those whose feet slip. 6The tents of robbers are at peace, and those who provoke God are secure, who bring their god in their hand. 7“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; 8or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you;and the fish of the sea will declare to you. 9Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lordhas done this? 10In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind. 11Does not the ear test words as the palate tastes food? 12Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days. 13“With God are wisdom and might; he has counsel and understanding. 14If he tears down, none can rebuild; if he shuts a man in, none can open. 15If he withholds the waters, they dry up; if he sends them out, they overwhelm the land. 16With him are strength and sound wisdom; the deceived and the deceiver are his. 17He leads counselors away stripped, and judges he makes fools. 18He looses the bonds of kings and binds a waistcloth on their hips. 19He leads priests away stripped and overthrows the mighty. 20He deprives of speech those who are trusted and takes away the discernment of the elders. 21He pours contempt on princes and loosens the belt of the strong. 22He uncovers the deeps out of darkness and brings deep darkness to light. 23He makes nations great, and he destroys them; he enlarges nations, and leads them away. 24He takes away understanding from the chiefs of the people of the earth and makes them wander in a trackless waste. 25They grope in the dark without light, and he makes them stagger like a drunken man. 1“Behold, my eye has seen all this, my ear has heard and understood it. 2What you know, I also know; I am not inferior to you. 3But I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to argue my case with God. 4As for you, you whitewash with lies; worthless physicians are you all. 5Oh that you would keep silent, and it would be your wisdom! 6Hear now my argument and listen to the pleadings of my lips. 7Will you speak falsely for God and speak deceitfully for him? 8Will you show partiality toward him? Will you plead the case for God? 9Will it be well with you when he searches you out? Or can you deceive him, as one deceives a man? 10He will surely rebuke you if in secret you show partiality. 11Will not his majesty terrify you, and the dread of him fall upon you? 12Your maxims are proverbs of ashes; your defenses are defenses of clay. 13“Let me have silence, and I will speak, and let come on me what may. 14Why should I take my flesh in my teeth and put my life in my hand? 15Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face. 16This will be my salvation, that the godless shall not come before him. 17Keep listening to my words, and let my declaration be in your ears. 18Behold, I have prepared my case; I know that I shall be in the right. 19Who is there who will contend with me? For then I would be silent and die. 20Only grant me two things, then I will not hide myself from your face: 21withdraw your hand far from me, and let not dread of you terrify me. 22Then call, and I will answer; or let me speak, and you reply to me. 23How many are my iniquities and my sins? Make me know my transgression and my sin. 24Why do you hide your face and count me as your enemy? 25Will you frighten a driven leaf and pursue dry chaff? 26For you write bitter things against me and make me inherit the iniquities of my youth. 27You put my feet in the stocks and watch all my paths; you set a limit for the soles of my feet. 28Man wastes away like a rotten thing, like a garment that is moth-eaten. 1“Man who is born of a woman is few of days and full of trouble. 2He comes out like a flower and withers; he flees like a shadow and continues not. 3And do you open your eyes on such a one and bring me into judgment with you? 4Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? There is not one. 5Since his days are determined, and the number of his months is with you, and you have appointed his limits that he cannot pass, 6look away from him and leave him alone, that he may enjoy, like a hired hand, his day. 7“For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease. 8Though its root grow old in the earth, and its stump die in the soil, 9yet at the scent of water it will bud and put out branches like a young plant. 10But a man dies and is laid low; man breathes his last, and where is he? 11As waters fail from a lake and a river wastes away and dries up, 12so a man lies down and rises not again; till the heavens are no more he will not awake or be roused out of his sleep. 13Oh that you would hide me in Sheol, that you would conceal me until your wrath be past, that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me! 14If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my service I would wait, till my renewal should come. 15You would call, and I would answer you; you would long for the work of your hands. 16For then you would number my steps; you would not keep watch over my sin; 17my transgression would be sealed up in a bag, and you would cover over my iniquity. 18“But the mountain falls and crumbles away, and the rock is removed from its place; 19the waters wear away the stones; the torrents wash away the soil of the earth; so you destroy the hope of man. 20You prevail forever against him, and he passes; you change his countenance, and send him away. 21His sons come to honor, and he does not know it; they are brought low, and he perceives it not. 22He feels only the pain of his own body, and he mourns only for himself.”