Job Reproaches His Friends
6 1 Then Job answered: 2 "O that my vexation were weighed, and all my calamity laid in the balances! 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 in me; my spirit drinks their poison; the terrors of God are arrayed against me. 5 Does the wild ass bray when he has grass, or the ox low over his fodder? 6 Can that which is tasteless be eaten without salt, or is there any taste in the slime of the purslane? 7 My appetite refuses to touch them; they are as food that is loathsome to me.
8 "O that I might have my request, and that God would grant my desire; 9 that it would please God to crush me, that he would let loose his hand and cut me off! 10 This would be my consolation; I would even exult in pain unsparing; for I have not denied the words of the Holy One. 11 What is my strength, that I should wait? And what is my end, that I should be patient? 12 Is my strength the strength of stones, or is my flesh bronze? 13 In truth I have no help in me, and any resource is driven from me.
14 "He who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty. 15 My brethren are treacherous as a torrent-bed, as freshets that pass away, 16 which are dark with ice, and where the snow hides itself. 17 In time of heat they disappear; when it is hot, they vanish from their place. 18 The caravans turn aside from their course; they go up into the waste, and perish. 19 The caravans of Tema look, the travelers of Sheba hope. 20 They are disappointed because they were confident; they come thither and are confounded. 21 Such you have now become to me; you see my calamity, and are afraid.
22 Have I said, 'Make me a gift'? Or, 'From your wealth offer a bribe for me'? 23 Or, 'Deliver me from the adversary's hand'? Or, 'Ransom me from the hand of oppressors'? 24 "Teach me, and I will be silent; make me understand how I have erred. 25 How forceful are honest words! But what does reproof from you reprove? 26 Do you think that you can reprove words, when the speech of a despairing man is wind? 27 You would even cast lots over the fatherless, and bargain over your friend. 28 "But now, be pleased to look at me; for I will not lie to your face. 29 Turn, I pray, let no wrong be done. Turn now, my vindication is at stake. 30 Is there any wrong on my tongue? Cannot my taste discern calamity?
Job Remonstrates with God
7 1 "Has not man a hard service upon earth, and are not his days like the days of a hireling? 2 Like a slave who longs for the shadow, and like a hireling who looks for his wages, 3 so I am allotted months of emptiness, and nights of misery are apportioned to me. 4 When I lie down I say, 'When shall I arise?' But the night is long, and I am full of tossing till the dawn. 5 My flesh is clothed with worms and dirt; my skin hardens, then breaks out afresh. 6 My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, and come to their end without hope.
7 "Remember that my life is a breath; my eye will never again see good. 8 The eye of him who sees me will behold me no more; while thy eyes are upon me, I shall be gone. 9 As the cloud fades and vanishes, so he who goes down to Sheol does not come up; 10 he returns no more to his house, nor does his place know him any more. 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 the sea, or a sea monster, that thou settest a guard over me? 13 When I say, 'My bed will comfort me, my couch will ease my complaint,' 14 then thou dost scare me with dreams and terrify me with visions, 15 so that I would choose strangling and death rather than my bones. 16 I loathe my life; I would not live for ever. Let me alone, for my days are a breath.
17 What is man, that thou dost make so much of him, and that thou dost set thy mind upon him, 18 dost visit him every morning, and test him every moment? 19 How long wilt thou not look away from me, nor let me alone till I swallow my spittle? 20 If I sin, what do I do to thee, thou watcher of men? Why hast thou made me thy mark? Why have I become a burden to thee? 21 Why dost thou not pardon my transgression and take away my iniquity? For now I shall lie in the earth; thou wilt seek me, but I shall not be."
Bildad Affirms God's Justice
8 1 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered: 2 "How long will you say these things, and the words of your mouth be a great wind? 3 Does God pervert justice? Or does the Almighty pervert the right? 4 If your children have sinned against him, he has delivered them into the power of their transgression. 5 If you will seek God and make supplication to the Almighty, 6 if you are pure and upright, surely then he will rouse himself for you and reward you with a rightful habitation. 7 And though your beginning was small, your latter days will be very great.
8 "For inquire, I pray you, of bygone ages, and consider what the fathers have found; 9 for we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, for our days on earth are a shadow. 10 Will they not teach you, and tell you, and utter words out of their understanding? 11 "Can papyrus grow where there is no marsh? Can reeds flourish where there is no water? 12 While yet in flower and not cut down, they wither before any other plant. 13 Such are the paths of all who forget God; the hope of the godless man shall perish. 14 His confidence breaks in sunder, and his trust is a spider's web. 15 He leans against his house, but it does not stand; he lays hold of it, but it does not endure. 16 He thrives before the sun, and his shoots spread over his garden. 17 His roots twine about the stoneheap; he lives among the rocks. 18 If he is destroyed from his place, then it will deny him, saying, 'I have never seen you.' 19 Behold, this is the joy of his way; and out of the earth others will spring.
20 "Behold, God will not reject a blameless man, nor take the hand of evildoers. 21 He will yet fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouting. 22 Those who hate you will be clothed with shame, and the tent of the wicked will be no more."
Job's Inability to Answer God
9 1 Then Job answered: 2 "Truly I know that it is so: But how can a man be just before God? 3 If one wished to contend with him, one could not answer him once in a thousand times. 4 He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength--who has hardened himself against him, and succeeded? -- 5 he who removes mountains, and they know it not, when he overturns them in his anger; 6 who shakes the earth out of its place, and its pillars tremble; 7 who commands the sun, and it does not rise; who seals up the stars; 8 who alone stretched out the heavens, and trampled the waves of the sea; 9 who made the Bear and Orion, the Plei'ades and the chambers of the south; 10 who does great things beyond understanding, and marvelous things without number. 11 Lo, he passes by me, and I see him not; he moves on, but I do not perceive him. 12 Behold, he snatches away; who can hinder him? Who will say to him, 'What doest thou'? 13 "God will not turn back his anger; beneath him bowed the helpers of Rahab.
14 How then can I answer him, choosing my words with him? 15 Though I am innocent, I cannot answer him; I must appeal for mercy to my accuser. 16 If I summoned him 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 let me get my breath, but fills me with bitterness. 19 If it is a contest of strength, behold him! If it is a matter of justice, who can summon him? 20 Though I am innocent, my own mouth would condemn me; though I am blameless, he would prove me perverse. 21 I am blameless; I regard not myself; I loathe my life.
22 It is all one; therefore I say, he destroys both the blameless and the wicked. 23 When disaster brings sudden death, he mocks at the calamity 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 then is it?
25 "My days are swifter than a runner; they flee away, they see no good. 26 They go by like skiffs of reed, like an eagle swooping on the prey. 27 If I say, 'I will forget my complaint, I will put off my sad countenance, and be of good cheer,' 28 I become afraid of all my suffering, for I know thou wilt not hold me innocent. 29 I shall be condemned; why then do I labor in vain? 30 If I wash myself with snow, and cleanse my hands with lye, 31 yet thou wilt plunge me into a pit, and my own clothes will abhor me. 32 For he is not a man, as I am, that I might answer him, that we should come to trial together. 33 There is no umpire between us, who might lay his hand upon us both. 34 Let him take his rod away from me, and let not dread of him terrify me. 35 Then I would speak without fear of him, for I am not so in myself.