¶ Wherefore hear my words (O Iob) and hearken to me all, that I will say: Behold, I will open my mouth, and my tongue shall speak out of my chaws. My heart shall order my words aright, and my lips shall talk of pure wisdom. The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the almighty hath given me my life. If thou canst, then give me answer: prepare thyself to stond before me face to face. Behold, before God am I, even as thou, for I am fashioned and made even of the same mould. Therefore, thou needest not be afraid of me, neither needest thou to fear, that my authority, shall be too heavy for thee.
¶ Now hast thou spoken in mine ears, and I have heard the voice of thy words: I am clean without any fault, I am innocent, and there is no wickedness in me. But lo, he hath picked a quarrel against me, and taketh me for his enemy: He hath put my foot in the stocks, and looketh narrowly unto all my paths. Behold, unto these unreasonable words of thine will I make answer. Should God be reproved of man? Why dost thou then strive against him? because he giveth thee no accomptes of all his doings?
¶ For when God doth once command a thing, there should no man be curious, to search whether it be right. In dreams and visions of the night season (When slumbering cometh upon men, that they fall a sleep in their beds) he roundeth them in the ears, he informeth them, and sheweth them plainly, that it is he, which withdraweth man from evil, delivereth him from pride, keepeth his soul from destruction, and his life from the sword.
¶ He chasteneth him with sickness, and bringeth him to his bed: he layeth sore punishment upon his bones, so that his life may away with no bread, and his soul abhorreth to eat any dainty meat. In so much that his body is clean consumed away, and his bones appear no more. His soul draweth on to destruction, and his life to death. Now if there be a messenger (one among a thousand) sent for to speak unto man, and to shew him the right way: then the Lord is merciful unto him, and sayeth: He shall be delivered, that he fall not down to destruction, for I am sufficiently reconciled. Then his flesh (which hath been in misery and trouble) shall be as it was in his youth. For if he submit himself unto God, he is gracious, and sheweth him his countenance joyfully, and rewardeth man for his righteousness. Such a respect hath he unto men. Therefore let a man confess (and say) I offended, but he hath chastened and reformed me: I did unrighteously nevertheless he hath not recompensed me thereafter. Yea he hath delivered my soul from destruction, and my life, that it seeth the light.
¶ Lo, thus worketh God alway with man, that he keepeth his soul from perishing, and letteth him enjoy the light of the living. Mark well (O Iob) and hear me: hold thee still until I have spoken. But if thou hast any thing to say, then answer me, and speak, for thy answer pleaseth me. If thou hast nothing, then hear me, and hold thy tongue, so shall I teach thee wisdom.