2Wait a little and I will instruct you,
for there are still words to be said for God.
3I will assemble arguments from afar,
and for my maker I will establish what is right.
4For indeed, my words are not a lie;
one perfect in knowledge is before you.
5Look, God is great, not disdainful;
his strength of purpose is great.
He does not preserve the life of the wicked.
6He establishes the right of the poor;a
he does not divert his eyes from the just
7But he seats them upon thrones
with kings, exalted forever.b
8If they are bound with fetters,
held fast by bonds of affliction,
9He lets them know what they have done,
and how arrogant are their sins.
10He opens their ears to correction
and tells them to turn back from evil.
11If they listen and serve him,
they spend their days in prosperity,
their years in happiness.
12But if they do not listen, they pass to the grave,
they perish for lack of knowledge.
13The impious in heart lay up anger;
they do not cry for help when he binds them;
14They will die young—
their life* among the reprobate.
15But he saves the afflicted through their affliction,
and opens their ears through oppression.
16* He entices you from distress,
to a broad place without constraint;
what rests on your table is rich food.
17Though you are full of the judgment of the wicked,
judgment and justice will be maintained.
18Let not anger at abundance entice you,
nor great bribery lead you astray.
19Will your wealth equip you against distress,
or all your exertions of strength?
20Do not long for the night,
when peoples vanish in their place.
21Be careful; do not turn to evil;
for this you have preferred to affliction.
22* Look, God is exalted in his power.
What teacher is there like him?
23Who prescribes for him his way?
Who says, “You have done wrong”?c
24Remember, you should extol his work,
which people have praised in song.
25All humankind beholds it;
everyone views it from afar.
26See, God is great beyond our knowledge,
the number of his years past searching out.
27He holds in check the waterdrops
that filter in rain from his flood,
28Till the clouds flow with them
and they rain down on all humankind.
29* Can anyone understand the spreading clouds,
the thunderings from his tent?
30Look, he spreads his light over it,
it covers the roots of the sea.
31For by these he judges the nations,
and gives food in abundance.
32In his hands he holds the lightning,
and he commands it to strike the mark.
33His thunder announces him
and incites the fury of the storm.
* [36:14] Life: a miserable life before death or a shadowy existence in Sheol. Reprobate: cf. Dt 23:18–19.
* [36:16–20] The Hebrew text here is obscure. Although each verse makes some sense, they do not constitute a logical sequence.
* [36:22–25] These verses serve as an introduction to the hymn about the divine marvels, 36:26–37:24, which in some respects anticipates the tone and content of the Lord’s speeches in chaps. 38–41.
* [36:29–31] The translation of these verses is uncertain.