1. Then Job replied and said:
2. No doubt you are the intelligent folk, and with you wisdom shall die!
3. But I have intelligence as well as you; for who does not know such things as these?
4. I have become the sport of my neighbors: "The one whom God answers when he calls upon him, The just, the perfect man," is a laughing-stock;
5. The undisturbed esteem my downfall a disgrace such as awaits unsteady feet;
6. Yet the tents of robbers are prosperous, and those who provoke God are secure.
7. But now ask the beasts to teach you, and the birds of the air to tell you;
8. Or the reptiles on earth to instruct you, and the fish of the sea to inform you.
9. Which of all these does not know that the hand of God has done this?
10. In his hand is the soul of every living thing, and the life breath of all mankind.
11. Does not the ear judge words as the mouth tastes food?
12. So with old age is wisdom, and with length of days understanding.
13. With him are wisdom and might; his are counsel and understanding.
14. If he breaks a thing down, there is no rebuilding; if he imprisons a man, there is no release.
15. He holds back the waters and there is drought; he sends them forth and they overwhelm the land.
16. With him are strength and prudence; the misled and the misleaders are his.
17. He sends counselors away barefoot, and of judges he makes fools.
18. He loosens the bonds imposed by kings and leaves but a waistcloth to bind the king's own loins.
19. and lets their never-failing waters flow away.
20. He silences the trusted adviser, and takes discretion from the aged.
21. He breaks down the barriers of the streams
22. The recesses of the darkness he discloses, and brings the gloom forth to the light.
23. He makes nations great and he destroys them; he spreads peoples abroad and he abandons them.
24. He takes understanding from the leaders of the land,
25. till they grope in the darkness without light; he makes them stagger like drunken men.