2 Indeed I know that it is so: Man cannot win a suit against Hashem.
ב אָמְנָם יָדַעְתִּי כִי־כֵן וּמַה־יִּצְדַּק אֱנוֹשׁ עִם־אֵל׃
3 If he insisted on a trial with Him, He would not answer one charge in a thousand.
ג אִם־יַחְפֹּץ לָרִיב עִמּוֹ לֹא־יַעֲנֶנּוּ אַחַת מִנִּי־אָלֶף׃
4 Wise of heart and mighty in power— Who ever challenged Him and came out whole?—
kha-KHAM lay-VAV v’-a-MEETZ KO-akh mee hik-SHAH ay-LAV va-yish-LAM
ד חֲכַם לֵבָב וְאַמִּיץ כֹּחַ מִי־הִקְשָׁה אֵלָיו וַיִּשְׁלָם׃
9:4 Wise of heart and mighty in power
The words in this verse, translated as “wise of heart,” are understood by the Sages to mean “wise about hearts,” or “wise about innermost thoughts.” This means that Hashem knows what is in people’s hearts, and judges them accordingly. While man has the capacity to judge his fellow only by what is obvious to the human eye, Hashem knows what is really in a person’s heart. Iyov’s friends understand this in a negative sense; while Iyov seems righteous externally, he must have committed sins in secret. However, the opposite is also true. Someone might seem evil on the outside, but might have good intentions in his heart. It is man’s challenge to behave as God does, and instead of making assumptions solely on the basis of external appearances, to understand that there is more in a person’s heart that might not be apparent from the outside. We are therefore called upon to judge others favorably by always giving them the benefit of the doubt.1 comment
5 Him who moves mountains without their knowing it, Who overturns them in His anger;
ה הַמַּעְתִּיק הָרִים וְלֹא יָדָעוּ אֲשֶׁר הֲפָכָם בְּאַפּוֹ׃
6 Who shakes the earth from its place, Till its pillars quake;
ו הַמַּרְגִּיז אֶרֶץ מִמְּקוֹמָהּ וְעַמּוּדֶיהָ יִתְפַלָּצוּן׃
7 Who commands the sun not to shine; Who seals up the stars;
ז הָאֹמֵר לַחֶרֶס וְלֹא יִזְרָח וּבְעַד כּוֹכָבִים יַחְתֹּם׃
8 Who by Himself spread out the heavens, And trod on the back of the sea;
ח נֹטֶה שָׁמַיִם לְבַדּוֹ וְדוֹרֵךְ עַל־בָּמֳתֵי יָם׃
9 Who made the Bear and Orion, Pleiades, and the chambers of the south wind;
ט עֹשֶׂה־עָשׁ כְּסִיל וְכִימָה וְחַדְרֵי תֵמָן׃
10 Who performs great deeds which cannot be fathomed, And wondrous things without number.
י עֹשֶׂה גְדֹלוֹת עַד־אֵין חֵקֶר וְנִפְלָאוֹת עַד־אֵין מִסְפָּר׃
11 He passes me by—I do not see Him; He goes by me, but I do not perceive Him.
יא הֵן יַעֲבֹר עָלַי וְלֹא אֶרְאֶה וְיַחֲלֹף וְלֹא־אָבִין לוֹ׃
12 He snatches away—who can stop Him? Who can say to Him, “What are You doing?”
יב הֵן יַחְתֹּף מִי יְשִׁיבֶנּוּ מִי־יֹאמַר אֵלָיו מַה־תַּעֲשֶׂה׃
13 Hashem does not restrain His anger; Under Him Rahab’s helpers sink down.
יג אֱלוֹהַּ לֹא־יָשִׁיב אַפּוֹ תחתו [תַּחְתָּיו] שָׁחֲחוּ עֹזְרֵי רָהַב׃
14 How then can I answer Him, Or choose my arguments against Him?
יד אַף כִּי־אָנֹכִי אֶעֱנֶנּוּ אֶבְחֲרָה דְבָרַי עִמּוֹ׃
15 Though I were in the right, I could not speak out, But I would plead for mercy with my judge.
טו אֲשֶׁר אִם־צָדַקְתִּי לֹא אֶעֱנֶה לִמְשֹׁפְטִי אֶתְחַנָּן׃
16 If I summoned Him and He responded, I do not believe He would lend me His ear.
טז אִם־קָרָאתִי וַיַּעֲנֵנִי לֹא־אַאֲמִין כִּי־יַאֲזִין קוֹלִי׃
17 For He crushes me for a hair; He wounds me much for no cause.
18 He does not let me catch my breath, But sates me with bitterness.
יח לֹא־יִתְּנֵנִי הָשֵׁב רוּחִי כִּי יַשְׂבִּעַנִי מַמְּרֹרִים׃
19 If a trial of strength—He is the strong one; If a trial in court—who will summon Him for me?
יט אִם־לְכֹחַ אַמִּיץ הִנֵּה וְאִם־לְמִשְׁפָּט מִי יוֹעִידֵנִי׃
20 Though I were innocent, My mouth would condemn me; Though I were blameless, He would prove me crooked.
כ אִם־אֶצְדָּק פִּי יַרְשִׁיעֵנִי תָּם־אָנִי וַיַּעְקְשֵׁנִי׃
21 I am blameless—I am distraught; I am sick of life.
כא תָּם־אָנִי לֹא־אֵדַע נַפְשִׁי אֶמְאַס חַיָּי׃
22 It is all one; therefore I say, “He destroys the blameless and the guilty.”
כב אַחַת הִיא עַל־כֵּן אָמַרְתִּי תָּם וְרָשָׁע הוּא מְכַלֶּה׃
23 When suddenly a scourge brings death, He mocks as the innocent fail.
כג אִם־שׁוֹט יָמִית פִּתְאֹם לְמַסַּת נְקִיִּם יִלְעָג׃
24 The earth is handed over to the wicked one; He covers the eyes of its judges. If it is not He, then who?
כד אֶרֶץ נִתְּנָה בְיַד־רָשָׁע פְּנֵי־שֹׁפְטֶיהָ יְכַסֶּה אִם־לֹא אֵפוֹא מִי־הוּא׃
25 My days fly swifter than a runner; They flee without seeing happiness;
כה וְיָמַי קַלּוּ מִנִּי־רָץ בָּרְחוּ לֹא־רָאוּ טוֹבָה׃
26 They pass like reed-boats, Like an eagle swooping onto its prey.
כו חָלְפוּ עִם־אֳנִיּוֹת אֵבֶה כְּנֶשֶׁר יָטוּשׂ עֲלֵי־אֹכֶל׃
27 If I say, “I will forget my complaint; Abandon my sorrow and be diverted,”
כז אִם־אָמְרִי אֶשְׁכְּחָה שִׂיחִי אֶעֶזְבָה פָנַי וְאַבְלִיגָה׃
28 I remain in dread of all my suffering; I know that You will not acquit me.
כח יָגֹרְתִּי כָל־עַצְּבֹתָי יָדַעְתִּי כִּי־לֹא תְנַקֵּנִי׃
29 It will be I who am in the wrong; Why then should I waste effort?
כט אָנֹכִי אֶרְשָׁע לָמָּה־זֶּה הֶבֶל אִיגָע׃
30 If I washed with soap, Cleansed my hands with lye,
ל אִם־הִתְרָחַצְתִּי במו־[בְמֵי־] שָׁלֶג וַהֲזִכּוֹתִי בְּבֹר כַּפָּי׃
31 You would dip me in muck Till my clothes would abhor me.
לא אָז בַּשַּׁחַת תִּטְבְּלֵנִי וְתִעֲבוּנִי שַׂלְמוֹתָי׃
32 He is not a man, like me, that I can answer Him, That we can go to law together.
לב כִּי־לֹא־אִישׁ כָּמֹנִי אֶעֱנֶנּוּ נָבוֹא יַחְדָּו בַּמִּשְׁפָּט׃
33 No arbiter is between us To lay his hand on us both.
לג לֹא יֵשׁ־בֵּינֵינוּ מוֹכִיחַ יָשֵׁת יָדוֹ עַל־שְׁנֵינוּ׃
34 If He would only take His rod away from me And not let His terror frighten me,
לד יָסֵר מֵעָלַי שִׁבְטוֹ וְאֵמָתוֹ אַל־תְּבַעֲתַנִּי׃
35 Then I would speak out without fear of Him; For I know myself not to be so.
לה אַדַבְּרָה וְלֹא אִירָאֶנּוּ כִּי לֹא־כֵן אָנֹכִי עִמָּדִי׃