Job 9
New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition

Job Replies: There Is No Mediator

1Then Job answered:

2“Indeed I know that this is so;
    but how can a mortal be just before God?
3If one wished to contend with him,
    one could not answer him once in a thousand.
4He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength
—who has resisted him, and succeeded?—
5he who removes mountains, and they do not know it,
    when he overturns them in his anger;
6who shakes the earth out of its place,
    and its pillars tremble;
7who commands the sun, and it does not rise;
    who seals up the stars;
8who alone stretched out the heavens
    and trampled the waves of the Sea;[a]
9who made the Bear and Orion,
    the Pleiades and the chambers of the south;
10who does great things beyond understanding,
    and marvelous things without number.
11Look, he passes by me, and I do not see him;
    he moves on, but I do not perceive him.
12He snatches away; who can stop him?
    Who will say to him, ‘What are you doing?’

13“God will not turn back his anger;
    the helpers of Rahab bowed beneath him.
14How then can I answer him,
    choosing my words with him?
15Though I am innocent, I cannot answer him;
    I must appeal for mercy to my accuser.[b]
16If I summoned him and he answered me,
    I do not believe that he would listen to my voice.
17For he crushes me with a tempest,
    and multiplies my wounds without cause;
18he will not let me get my breath,
    but fills me with bitterness.
19If it is a contest of strength, he is the strong one!
    If it is a matter of justice, who can summon him?[c]
20Though I am innocent, my own mouth would condemn me;
    though I am blameless, he would prove me perverse.
21I am blameless; I do not know myself;
    I loathe my life.
22It is all one; therefore I say,
    he destroys both the blameless and the wicked.
23When disaster brings sudden death,
    he mocks at the calamity[d] of the innocent.
24The earth is given into the hand of the wicked;
    he covers the eyes of its judges—
    if it is not he, who then is it?

25“My days are swifter than a runner;
    they flee away, they see no good.
26They go by like skiffs of reed,
    like an eagle swooping on the prey.
27If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint;
    I will put off my sad countenance and be of good cheer,’
28I become afraid of all my suffering,
    for I know you will not hold me innocent.
29I shall be condemned;
    why then do I labor in vain?
30If I wash myself with soap
    and cleanse my hands with lye,
31yet you will plunge me into filth,
    and my own clothes will abhor me.
32For he is not a mortal, as I am, that I might answer him,
    that we should come to trial together.
33There is no umpire[e] between us,
    who might lay his hand on us both.
34If he would take his rod away from me,
    and not let dread of him terrify me,
35then I would speak without fear of him,
    for I know I am not what I am thought to be.[f]


  1. Job 9:8 Or trampled the back of the sea dragon
  2. Job 9:15 Or for my right
  3. Job 9:19 Compare Gk: Heb me
  4. Job 9:23 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  5. Job 9:33 Another reading is Would that there were an umpire
  6. Job 9:35 Cn: Heb for I am not so in myself
Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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