Job 12

1Then Job answered ˻them˼: 2“I’m sure you think you are the only wise people. You think when you die, wisdom will be gone with you. 3But my mind is as good as yours. I am as smart as you are. Anyone can see this is true. 4“My friends laugh at me now. They say, 'He prayed to God, and he got his answer. ˻That is why all these bad things happened to him.˼’ “I am a good man. I am innocent. But still they laugh at me. 5People that don’t have troubles make fun of people who do have them. Those people hit a man when he is down. 6But robbers’ tents are not bothered. People who make God angry live in peace, and their own strength is their only god! 7“But ask the animals, they will teach you. Or ask the birds of the air, they will tell you. 8Or speak to the earth, it will teach you. Or let the fish in the sea tell you their wisdom. 9Everyone knows the Lord made those things. 10Every animal that lives, and every person that breathes, is under God’s power. 11But just like the tongue tastes food, the ears test the words they hear. 12˻We say,˼ 'Wisdom is to be found in old people. Long life brings understanding.’ 13But wisdom and power belong to God. Good advice and understanding are his. 14If God tears down anything, people can’t build it again. If God puts a person in prison, people can’t free the person. 15If God holds back the rain, the earth will dry up. If God lets the rain loose, it will flood the earth. 16God is strong and always wins. Winners and losers all belong to God! 17God strips advisors of their wisdom and makes leaders act like fools. 18Kings might put people in prison, but God sets those people free and makes them powerful. 19God strips priests of their power and fires the bureaucrats who feel so secure in their jobs. 20God makes the trusted advisers be silent. He takes away the wisdom of old people. 21God makes leaders not important. He takes power away from rulers. 22God knows even the darkest secrets. He sends light into places that are as dark as death. 23God makes nations big and powerful, and then he destroys them. He makes nations grow large, then he scatters their people. 24God makes leaders foolish. He makes them wander aimlessly through the desert. 25Those leaders are like a person feeling his way in the dark. They are like a drunk person who doesn’t know where he is going.”

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