Job 9

Job Replies: There Is No Arbiter

1 Then Job answered and said:

2 "Truly I know that it is so:
But how can a man be z in the right before God?
3 If one wished to a contend with him,
one could not answer him once in a thousand times.
4 He is b wise in heart and mighty in strength
- who has c hardened himself against him, and succeeded? -
5 he who removes mountains, and they know it not,
when he overturns them in his anger,
6 who d shakes the earth out of its place,
and e its pillars tremble;
7 who commands the sun, and it does not rise;
who seals up the stars;
8 who alone f stretched out the heavens
and trampled the waves of the sea;
9 who g made h the Bear and i Orion,
the Pleiades j and the chambers of the south;
10 who does k great things beyond searching out,
and marvelous things beyond number.
11 Behold, he passes by me, and I l see him not;
he moves on, but I do not perceive him.
12 Behold, he snatches away; m who can turn him back?
n Who will say to him, 'What are you doing?'

13 "God will not turn back his anger;
beneath him bowed the helpers of o Rahab.
14 p How then can I q answer him,
choosing my words with him?
15 r Though I am in the right, I cannot answer him;
I must s appeal for mercy to my accuser. 1
16 If I summoned him and he answered me,
I would not believe that he was listening to my voice.
17 For he crushes me with a tempest
and multiplies my wounds t without cause;
18 he will not let me get my breath,
but fills me with bitterness.
19 If it is a contest of u strength, behold, he is mighty!
If it is a matter of justice, who can v summon him? 2
20 Though I am in the right, w my own mouth would condemn me;
though I am blameless, he would prove me perverse.
21 I am x blameless; I regard not myself;
I y loathe my life.
22 It is all one; therefore I say,
He z destroys both the blameless and the wicked.
23 When a disaster brings sudden death,
he mocks at the calamity 3 of the innocent.
24 b The earth is given into the hand of the wicked;
he c covers the faces of its judges -
d if it is not he, who then is it?

25 "My e days are swifter than f a runner;
they flee away; they see no good.
26 They go by like g skiffs of reed,
like h an eagle swooping on the prey.
27 If I say, i 'I will forget my complaint,
I will put off my sad face, and j be of good cheer,'
28 I become k afraid of all my suffering,
for I know you will not l hold me innocent.
29 I shall be m condemned;
why then do I labor in vain?
30 If I wash myself with snow
and n cleanse my hands with lye,
31 yet you will plunge me into a pit,
and my own clothes will o abhor me.
32 For he is not a man, as I am, that I might answer him,
that we should p come to trial together.
33 q There is no 4 arbiter between us,
who might lay his hand on us both.
34 r Let him take his s rod away from me,
and let t not dread of him terrify me.
35 Then I would speak without fear of him,
for I am not so in myself.

  1. Cross References
    Job 4:17
    Can mortal man be in the right before God? Can a man be pure before his Maker?
  2. Cross References
    Job 10:2
    I will say to God, Do not condemn me; let me know why you contend against me.
    Psalms 143:2
    Enter not into judgment with your servant, for no one living is righteous before you.
    Romans 3:20
    For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
  3. Cross References
    Job 12:13
    With God are wisdom and might; he has counsel and understanding.
    Job 36:5
    Behold, God is mighty, and does not despise any; he is mighty in strength of understanding.
  4. Cross References
    Exodus 7:13
    Still Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said.
    Exodus 32:9
    And the Lord said to Moses, "I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people.
  5. Cross References
    Isaiah 2:19
    And people shall enter the caves of the rocks a...
    Isaiah 2:21
    To enter the caverns of the rocks and the cleft...
    Isaiah 13:13
    Therefore I will make the heavens tremble, and ...
    Haggai 2:6
    For thus says the Lord of hosts: Yet once more,...
    Haggai 2:21
    Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying,...
    Hebrews 12:26
    At that time his voice shook the earth, but now...
  6. Cross References
    Job 26:11
    The pillars of heaven tremble and are astounded at his rebuke.
    Psalms 75:3
    When the earth totters, and all its inhabitants, it is I who keep steady its pillars. Selah
  7. Cross References
    Job 26:7
    He stretches out the north over the void and hangs the earth on nothing.
    Psalms 104:2
    Covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent.
    Jeremiah 10:12
    It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens.
    Jeremiah 51:15
    It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens.
    Zechariah 12:1
    The burden of the word of the Lord concerning Israel: Thus declares the Lord, who stretched out the heavens and founded the earth and formed the spirit of man within him:
  8. Cross References
    Genesis 1:16
    And God made the two great lights - the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night - and the stars.
  9. Cross References
    Job 38:32
    Can you lead forth the Mazzaroth in their season, or can you guide the Bear with its children?
  10. Cross References
    Job 38:31
    Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades or loose the cords of Orion?
    Amos 5:8
    He who made the Pleiades and Orion, and turns deep darkness into the morning and darkens the day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out on the surface of the earth, the Lord is his name.
  11. Cross References
    Job 37:9
    From its chamber comes the whirlwind, and cold from the scattering winds.
  12. Cross References
    Job 5:9
    Who does great things and unsearchable, marvelous things without number:
  13. Cross References
    Job 23:8 - 9
    Behold, I go forward, but he is not there, and backward, but I do not perceive him.
  14. Cross References
    Job 11:10
    If he passes through and imprisons and summons the court, who can turn him back?
    Job 23:13
    But he is unchangeable, and who can turn him back? What he desires, that he does.
  15. Cross References
    Isaiah 45:9
    Woe to him who strives with him who formed him, a pot among earthen pots! Does the clay say to him who forms it, 'What are you making?' or 'Your work has no handles'?
    Jeremiah 18:6
    O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.
    Romans 9:20
    But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?
  16. Cross References
    Job 26:12
    By his power he stilled the sea; by his underst...
    Psalms 40:4
    Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust...
    Psalms 82:4
    Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them fro...
    Psalms 89:10
    You crushed Rahab like a carcass; you scattered...
    Isaiah 30:7
    Egypt's help is worthless and empty; therefore ...
    Isaiah 51:9
    Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lor...
  17. Cross References
    Job 15:16
    How much less one who is abominable and corrupt, a man who drinks injustice like water!
  18. Cross References
    Job 9:3
    If one wished to contend with him, one could not answer him once in a thousand times.
  19. Cross References
    Job 10:15
    If I am guilty, woe to me! If I am in the right, I cannot lift up my head, for I am filled with disgrace and look on my affliction.
  20. Cross References
    Job 8:5
    If you will seek God and plead with the Almighty for mercy.
  21. Cross References
    Job 2:3
    And the Lord said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.
    Job 34:6
    In spite of my right I am counted a liar; my wound is incurable, though I am without transgression.
  22. Cross References
    Job 9:4
    He is wise in heart and mighty in strength - who has hardened himself against him, and succeeded? -
  23. Cross References
    Jeremiah 49:19
    Behold, like a lion coming up from the jungle of the Jordan against a perennial pasture, I will suddenly make him run away from her. And I will appoint over her whomever I choose. For who is like me? Who will summon me? What shepherd can stand before me?
    Jeremiah 50:44
    Behold, like a lion coming up from the thicket of the Jordan against a perennial pasture, I will suddenly make them run away from her, and I will appoint over her whomever I choose. For who is like me? Who will summon me? What shepherd can stand before me?
  24. Cross References
    Job 15:6
    Your own mouth condemns you, and not I; your own lips testify against you.
  25. Cross References
    Job 1:1
    There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.
  26. Cross References
    Job 7:16
    I loathe my life; I would not live forever. Leave me alone, for my days are a breath.
    Job 10:1
    I loathe my life; I will give free utterance to my complaint; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
  27. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 9:2 - 3
    It is the same for all, since the same event happens to the righteous and the wicked, to the good and the evil, to the clean and the unclean, to him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice. As the good one is, so is the sinner, and he who swears is as he who shuns an oath.
    Ezekiel 21:3
    And say to the land of Israel, Thus says the Lord : Behold, I am against you and will draw my sword from its sheath and will cut off from you both righteous and wicked.
  28. Cross References
    Isaiah 10:26
    And the Lord of hosts will wield against them a whip, as when he struck Midian at the rock of Oreb. And his staff will be over the sea, and he will lift it as he did in Egypt.
  29. Cross References
    Job 10:3
    Does it seem good to you to oppress, to despise the work of your hands and favor the designs of the wicked?
  30. Cross References
    Job 12:17
    He leads counselors away stripped, and judges he makes fools.
  31. Cross References
    Job 24:25
    If it is not so, who will prove me a liar and show that there is nothing in what I say?
  32. Cross References
    Job 7:6
    My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle and come to their end without hope.
  33. Cross References
    2 Chronicles 30:6
    So couriers went throughout all Israel and Judah with letters from the king and his princes, as the king had commanded, saying, "O people of Israel, return to the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, that he may turn again to the remnant of you who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria.
    Jeremiah 51:31
    One runner runs to meet another, and one messenger to meet another, to tell the king of Babylon that his city is taken on every side.
  34. Cross References
    Isaiah 18:2
    Which sends ambassadors by the sea, in vessels of papyrus on the waters! Go, you swift messengers, to a nation, tall and smooth, to a people feared near and far, a nation mighty and conquering, whose land the rivers divide.
  35. Cross References
    Habakkuk 1:8
    Their horses are swifter than leopards, more fierce than the evening wolves; their horsemen press proudly on. Their horsemen come from afar; they fly like an eagle swift to devour.
  36. Cross References
    Job 7:13
    When I say, 'My bed will comfort me, my couch will ease my complaint.
  37. Cross References
    Psalms 39:13
    Look away from me, that I may smile again, before I depart and am no more!
  38. Cross References
    Psalms 119:120
    My flesh trembles for fear of you, and I am afraid of your judgments.
  39. Cross References
    Job 10:14
    If I sin, you watch me and do not acquit me of my iniquity.
  40. Cross References
    Job 10:2
    I will say to God, Do not condemn me; let me know why you contend against me.
  41. Cross References
    Isaiah 1:25
    I will turn my hand against you and will smelt away your dross as with lye and remove all your alloy.
    Jeremiah 2:22
    Though you wash yourself with lye and use much soap, the stain of your guilt is still before me, declares the Lord God.
    Job 22:30
    He delivers even the one who is not innocent, who will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.
  42. Cross References
    Job 19:19
    All my intimate friends abhor me, and those whom I loved have turned against me.
    Job 30:10
    They abhor me; they keep aloof from me; they do not hesitate to spit at the sight of me.
  43. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 6:10
    Whatever has come to be has already been named, and it is known what man is, and that he is not able to dispute with one stronger than he.
    Romans 9:20
    But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?
  44. Cross References
    Job 9:19
    If it is a contest of strength, behold, he is mighty! If it is a matter of justice, who can summon him?
    1 Samuel 2:25
    If someone sins against a man, God will mediate for him, but if someone sins against the Lord, who can intercede for him?" But they would not listen to the voice of their father, for it was the will of the Lord to put them to death.
    Job 16:21
    That he would argue the case of a man with God, as a son of man does with his neighbor.
  45. Cross References
    Psalms 39:10
    Remove your stroke from me; I am spent by the hostility of your hand.
  46. Cross References
    Job 21:9
    Their houses are safe from fear, and no rod of God is upon them.
    Psalms 89:32
    Then I will punish their transgression with the rod and their iniquity with stripes.
    Isaiah 10:24
    Therefore thus says the Lord God of hosts: "O my people, who dwell in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrians when they strike with the rod and lift up their staff against you as the Egyptians did.
  47. Cross References
    Job 13:21
    Withdraw your hand far from me, and let not dread of you terrify me.
    Job 33:7
    Behold, no fear of me need terrify you; my pressure will not be heavy upon you.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
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