11

Zophar’s First Response to Job

1Then Zophar the Naamathite replied to Job:

2“Shouldn’t someone answer this torrent of words?

Is a person proved innocent just by a lot of talking?

3Should I remain silent while you babble on?

When you mock God, shouldn’t someone make you ashamed?

4You claim, ‘My beliefs are pure,’

and ‘I am clean in the sight of God.’

5If only God would speak;

if only he would tell you what he thinks!

6If only he would tell you the secrets of wisdom,

for true wisdom is not a simple matter.

Listen! God is doubtless punishing you

far less than you deserve!

7“Can you solve the mysteries of God?

Can you discover everything about the Almighty?

8Such knowledge is higher than the heavens—

and who are you?

It is deeper than the underworld*11:8 Hebrew than Sheol. —

what do you know?

9It is broader than the earth

and wider than the sea.

10If God comes and puts a person in prison

or calls the court to order, who can stop him?

11For he knows those who are false,

and he takes note of all their sins.

12An empty-headed person won’t become wise

any more than a wild donkey can bear a human child.*11:12 Or than a wild male donkey can bear a tame colt. 

13“If only you would prepare your heart

and lift up your hands to him in prayer!

14Get rid of your sins,

and leave all iniquity behind you.

15Then your face will brighten with innocence.

You will be strong and free of fear.

16You will forget your misery;

it will be like water flowing away.

17Your life will be brighter than the noonday.

Even darkness will be as bright as morning.

18Having hope will give you courage.

You will be protected and will rest in safety.

19You will lie down unafraid,

and many will look to you for help.

20But the wicked will be blinded.

They will have no escape.

Their only hope is death.”