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.+