Job Reproaches His Friends
6 1 Then Job answered and said: 2 "Oh, that my grief were fully weighed, And my calamity laid with it on the scales! 3 For then it would be heavier than the sand of the sea-- Therefore my words have been rash. 4 For the arrows of the Almighty are within me; My spirit drinks in their poison; The terrors of God are arrayed against me. 5 Does the wild donkey bray when it has grass, Or does the ox low over its fodder? 6 Can flavorless food be eaten without salt? Or is there any taste in the white of an egg? 7 My soul refuses to touch them; They are as loathsome food to me.
8 "Oh, that I might have my request, That God would grant me the thing that I long for! 9 That it would please God to crush me, That He would loose His hand and cut me off! 10 Then I would still have comfort; Though in anguish, I would exult, He will not spare; For I have not concealed the words of the Holy One. 11 "What strength do I have, that I should hope? And what is my end, that I should prolong my life? 12 Is my strength the strength of stones? Or is my flesh bronze? 13 Is my help not within me? And is success driven from me?
14 "To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend, Even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty. 15 My brothers have dealt deceitfully like a brook, Like the streams of the brooks that pass away, 16 Which are dark because of the ice, And into which the snow vanishes. 17 When it is warm, they cease to flow; When it is hot, they vanish from their place. 18 The paths of their way turn aside, They go nowhere and perish. 19 The caravans of Tema look, The travelers of Sheba hope for them. 20 They are disappointed because they were confident; They come there and are confused. 21 For now you are nothing, You see terror and are afraid.
22 Did I ever say, 'Bring something to me'? Or, 'Offer a bribe for me from your wealth'? 23 Or, 'Deliver me from the enemy's hand'? Or, 'Redeem me from the hand of oppressors'? 24 "Teach me, and I will hold my tongue; Cause me to understand wherein I have erred. 25 How forceful are right words! But what does your arguing prove? 26 Do you intend to rebuke my words, And the speeches of a desperate one, which are as wind? 27 Yes, you overwhelm the fatherless, And you undermine your friend. 28 Now therefore, be pleased to look at me; For I would never lie to your face. 29 Yield now, let there be no injustice! Yes, concede, my righteousness still stands! 30 Is there injustice on my tongue? Cannot my taste discern the unsavory?
Job Remonstrates with God
7 1 "Is there not a time of hard service for man on earth? Are not his days also like the days of a hired man? 2 Like a servant who earnestly desires the shade, And like a hired man who eagerly looks for his wages, 3 So I have been allotted months of futility, And wearisome nights have been appointed to me. 4 When I lie down, I say, 'When shall I arise, And the night be ended?' For I have had my fill of tossing till dawn. 5 My flesh is caked with worms and dust, My skin is cracked and breaks out afresh. 6 "My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, And are spent without hope.
7 Oh, remember that my life is a breath! My eye will never again see good. 8 The eye of him who sees me will see me no more; While your eyes are upon me, I shall no longer be. 9 As the cloud disappears and vanishes away, So he who goes down to the grave does not come up. 10 He shall never return to his house, Nor shall his place know him anymore. 11 "Therefore I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. 12 Am I a sea, or a sea serpent, That You set a guard over me? 13 When I say, 'My bed will comfort me, My couch will ease my complaint,' 14 Then You scare me with dreams And terrify me with visions, 15 So that my soul chooses strangling And death rather than my body. 16 I loathe my life; I would not live forever. Let me alone, For my days are but a breath.
17 "What is man, that You should exalt him, That You should set Your heart on him, 18 That You should visit him every morning, And test him every moment? 19 How long? Will You not look away from me, And let me alone till I swallow my saliva? 20 Have I sinned? What have I done to You, O watcher of men? Why have You set me as Your target, So that I am a burden to myself? 21 Why then do You not pardon my transgression, And take away my iniquity? For now I will lie down in the dust, And You will seek me diligently, But I will no longer be."
Bildad Affirms God's Justice
8 1 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said: 2 "How long will you speak these things, And the words of your mouth be like a strong wind? 3 Does God subvert judgment? Or does the Almighty pervert justice? 4 If your sons have sinned against Him, He has cast them away for their transgression. 5 If you would earnestly seek God And make your supplication to the Almighty, 6 If you were pure and upright, Surely now He would awake for you, And prosper your rightful dwelling place. 7 Though your beginning was small, Yet your latter end would increase abundantly.
8 "For inquire, please, of the former age, And consider the things discovered by their fathers; 9 For we were born yesterday, and know nothing, Because our days on earth are a shadow. 10 Will they not teach you and tell you, And utter words from their heart? 11 "Can the papyrus grow up without a marsh? Can the reeds flourish without water? 12 While it is yet green and not cut down, It withers before any other plant. 13 So are the paths of all who forget God; And the hope of the hypocrite shall perish, 14 Whose confidence shall be cut off, And whose trust is a spider's web. 15 He leans on his house, but it does not stand. He holds it fast, but it does not endure. 16 He grows green in the sun, And his branches spread out in his garden. 17 His roots wrap around the rock heap, And look for a place in the stones. 18 If he is destroyed from his place, Then it will deny him, saying, 'I have not seen you.' 19 "Behold, this is the joy of His way, And out of the earth others will grow.
20 Behold, God will not cast away the blameless, Nor will He uphold the evildoers. 21 He will yet fill your mouth with laughing, And your lips with rejoicing. 22 Those who hate you will be clothed with shame, And the dwelling place of the wicked will come to nothing."
Job's Inability to Answer God
9 1 Then Job answered and said: 2 "Truly I know it is so, But how can a man be righteous before God? 3 If one wished to contend with Him, He could not answer Him one time out of a thousand. 4 God is wise in heart and mighty in strength. Who has hardened himself against Him and prospered? 5 He removes the mountains, and they do not know When He overturns them in His anger; 6 He shakes the earth out of its place, And its pillars tremble; 7 He commands the sun, and it does not rise; He seals off the stars; 8 He alone spreads out the heavens, And treads on the waves of the sea; 9 He made the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades, And the chambers of the south; 10 He does great things past finding out, Yes, wonders without number. 11 If He goes by me, I do not see Him; If He moves past, I do not perceive Him; 12 If He takes away, who can hinder Him? Who can say to Him, 'What are You doing?' 13 God will not withdraw His anger, The allies of the proud lie prostrate beneath Him.
14 "How then can I answer Him, And choose my words to reason with Him? 15 For though I were righteous, I could not answer Him; I would beg mercy of my Judge. 16 If I called and He answered me, I would not believe that He was listening to my voice. 17 For He crushes me with a tempest, And multiplies my wounds without cause. 18 He will not allow me to catch my breath, But fills me with bitterness. 19 If it is a matter of strength, indeed He is strong; And if of justice, who will appoint my day in court? 20 Though I were righteous, my own mouth would condemn me; Though I were blameless, it would prove me perverse. 21 "I am blameless, yet I do not know myself; I despise my life.
22 It is all one thing; Therefore I say, 'He destroys the blameless and the wicked.' 23 If the scourge slays suddenly, He laughs at the plight of the innocent. 24 The earth is given into the hand of the wicked. He covers the faces of its judges. If it is not He, who else could it be?
25 "Now my days are swifter than a runner; They flee away, they see no good. 26 They pass by like swift ships, Like an eagle swooping on its prey. 27 If I say, 'I will forget my complaint, I will put off my sad face and wear a smile,' 28 I am afraid of all my sufferings; I know that You will not hold me innocent. 29 If I am condemned, Why then do I labor in vain? 30 If I wash myself with snow water, And cleanse my hands with soap, 31 Yet You will plunge me into the pit, And my own clothes will abhor me. 32 "For He is not a man, as I am, That I may answer Him, And that we should go to court together. 33 Nor is there any mediator between us, Who may lay his hand on us both. 34 Let Him take His rod away from me, And do not let dread of Him terrify me. 35 Then I would speak and not fear Him, But it is not so with me.