12 Then Job said in reply:
2 “Surely you are the people who know,
And wisdom will die out with you!
3 But I too have understanding.
I am not inferior to you.
Who does not know these things?
4 I have become a laughingstock to my companions,+
One calling to God for an answer.+
A righteous and blameless man is a laughingstock.
5 The carefree person has contempt for calamity,
Thinking it is only for those whose feet are unsteady.
6 The tents of robbers are at peace,+
And those who provoke God are secure,+
Those who have their god in their hands.
7 However, ask, please, the animals, and they will instruct you;
Also the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you.
8 Or give consideration to the earth, and it will instruct you;
And the fish of the sea will declare it to you.
9 Who among all these does not know
That the hand of Jehovah has done this?
10 In his hand is the life of every living thing
And the spirit of every human.+
11 Does not the ear test out words
As the tongue tastes food?+
12 Is not wisdom found among the aged,+
And does not understanding come with a long life?
13 With him there are wisdom and mightiness;+
He has counsel and understanding.+
14 When he tears something down, it cannot be rebuilt;+
What he has shut, no man can open.
15 When he withholds the waters, everything dries up;+
When he sends them out, they overwhelm the earth.+
16 With him there are strength and practical wisdom;+
To him belong the one going astray and the one leading astray;
17 He makes counselors go barefoot,
And he makes fools of judges.+
18 He loosens the bonds imposed by kings,+
And he binds a belt around their waist.
19 He makes priests walk barefoot,+
And he overthrows those who are firmly established in power;+
20 He deprives trusted advisers of speech
And takes away the sensibleness of old men;
21 He pours out contempt upon nobles,+
And he makes powerful ones weak;
22 He reveals deep things from the darkness,+
And he brings deep darkness into the light;
23 He makes nations grow great in order to destroy them;
He enlarges nations, that he may lead them into exile.
24 He takes away the understanding of the leaders of the people
And makes them wander in trackless wastelands.+
25 They grope in darkness,+ where there is no light;
He makes them wander about like drunken men.+