Job Reproaches His Friends
6 1 Then Job answered, 2 “Oh that my anguish were weighed,
and all my calamity laid in the balances! 3 For now it would be heavier than the sand of the seas,
therefore have my words been rash. 4 For the arrows of the Almighty are within me.
My spirit drinks up their poison.
The terrors of God set themselves in array against me. 5 Does the wild donkey bray when he has grass?
Or does the ox low over his fodder? 6 Can that which has no flavor 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 the thing that I long for, 9 even that it would please God to crush me;
that he would let loose his hand, and cut me off! 10 Be it still my consolation,
yes, let me exult in pain that doesn’t spare,
that I have not denied the words of the Holy One. 11 What is my strength, that I should wait?
What is my end, that I should be patient? 12 Is my strength the strength of stones?
Or is my flesh of brass? 13 Isn’t it that I have no help in me,
That wisdom is driven quite from me?
14 “To him who is ready to faint, kindness should be shown from his friend;
even to him who forsakes the fear of the Almighty. 15 My brothers have dealt deceitfully as a brook,
as the channel of brooks that pass away; 16 Which are black by reason of the ice,
in which the snow hides itself. 17 In the dry season, they vanish.
When it is hot, they are consumed out of their place. 18 The caravans that travel beside them turn aside.
They go up into the waste, and perish. 19 The caravans of Tema looked.
The companies of Sheba waited for them. 20 They were distressed because they were confident.
They came there, and were confounded. 21 For now you are nothing.
You see a terror, and are afraid.
22 Did I say, ‘Give to me?’
or, ‘Offer a present for me from your substance?’ 23 or, ‘Deliver me from the adversary’s hand?’
or, ‘Redeem me from the hand of the oppressors?’ 24 “Teach me, and I will hold my peace.
Cause me to understand wherein I have erred. 25 How forcible are words of uprightness!
But your reproof, what does it reprove? 26 Do you intend to reprove words,
seeing that the speeches of one who is desperate are as wind? 27 Yes, you would even cast lots for the fatherless,
and make merchandise of your friend. 28 Now therefore be pleased to look at me,
for surely I shall not lie to your face. 29 Please return.
Let there be no injustice.
Yes, return again.
My cause is righteous. 30 Is there injustice on my tongue?
Can’t my taste discern mischievous things?
Job Remonstrates with God
7 1 “Isn’t a man forced to labor on earth?
Aren’t his days like the days of a hired hand? 2 As a servant who earnestly desires the shadow,
as a hireling who looks for his wages, 3 so am I made to possess months of misery,
wearisome nights are appointed to me. 4 When I lie down, I say,
‘When shall I arise, and the night be gone?’
I toss and turn until the dawning of the day. 5 My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust.
My skin closes up, 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 shall no more see good. 8 The eye of him who sees me shall see me no more.
Your eyes shall be on me, but I shall not be. 9 As the cloud is consumed and vanishes away,
so he who goes down to Sheol shall come up no more. 10 He shall return no more to his house,
neither shall his place know him any more. 11 “Therefore I will not keep silent.
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 monster,
that you put a guard over me? 13 When I say, ‘My bed shall comfort me.
My couch shall ease my complaint;’ 14 then you scare me with dreams,
and terrify me through visions: 15 so that my soul chooses strangling,
death rather than my bones. 16 I loathe my life.
I don’t want to live forever.
Leave me alone, for my days are but a breath.
17 What is man, that you should magnify him,
that you should set your mind 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,
nor leave me alone until I swallow down my spittle? 20 If I have sinned, what do I do to you, you watcher of men?
Why have you set me as a mark for you,
so that I am a burden to myself? 21 Why do you not pardon my disobedience, and take away my iniquity?
For now shall I lie down in the dust.
You will seek me diligently, but I shall not be.”
Bildad Affirms God's Justice
8 1 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered, 2 “How long will you speak these things?
Shall the words of your mouth be a mighty wind? 3 Does God pervert justice?
Or does the Almighty pervert righteousness? 4 If your children have sinned against him,
He has delivered them into the hand of their disobedience. 5 If you want to seek God diligently,
make your supplication to the Almighty. 6 If you were pure and upright,
surely now he would awaken for you,
and make the habitation of your righteousness prosperous. 7 Though your beginning was small,
yet your latter end would greatly increase.
8 “Please inquire of past generations.
Find out about the learning of their fathers. 9 (For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing,
because our days on earth are a shadow.) 10 Shall they not teach you, tell you,
and utter words out of their heart? 11 “Can the papyrus grow up without mire?
Can the rushes grow without water? 12 While it is yet in its greenness, not cut down,
it withers before any other reed. 13 So are the paths of all who forget God.
The hope of the godless man shall perish, 14 Whose confidence shall break apart,
Whose trust is a spider’s web. 15 He shall lean on his house, but it shall not stand.
He shall cling to it, but it shall not endure. 16 He is green before the sun.
His shoots go forth over his garden. 17 His roots are wrapped around the rock pile.
He sees the place of stones. 18 If he is destroyed from his place,
then it shall deny him, saying, ‘I have not seen you.’ 19 Behold, this is the joy of his way:
out of the earth, others shall spring.
20 “Behold, God will not cast away a blameless man,
neither will he uphold the evildoers. 21 He will still fill your mouth with laughter,
your lips with shouting. 22 Those who hate you shall be clothed with shame.
The tent of the wicked shall 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 man be just with God? 3 If he is pleased to contend with him,
he can’t answer him one time in a thousand. 4 God who is wise in heart, and mighty in strength:
who has hardened himself against him, and prospered? 5 He removes the mountains, and they don’t know it,
when he overturns them in his anger. 6 He shakes the earth out of its place.
Its pillars tremble. 7 He commands the sun, and it doesn’t rise,
and seals up the stars. 8 He alone stretches out the heavens,
and treads on the waves of the sea. 9 He makes the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades,
and the chambers of the south. 10 He does great things past finding out;
yes, marvelous things without number. 11 Behold, he goes by me, and I don’t see him.
He passes on also, but I don’t perceive him. 12 Behold, he snatches away.
Who can hinder him?
Who will ask him, ‘What are you doing?’ 13 “God will not withdraw his anger.
The helpers of Rahab stoop under him.
14 How much less shall I answer him,
And choose my words to argue with him? 15 Though I were righteous, yet I wouldn’t answer him.
I would make supplication to my judge. 16 If I had called, and he had answered me,
yet I wouldn’t believe that he listened to my voice. 17 For he breaks me with a storm,
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, behold, he is mighty!
If of justice, ‘Who,’ says he, ‘will summon me?’ 20 Though I am righteous, my own mouth shall condemn me.
Though I am blameless, it shall prove me perverse. 21 I am blameless.
I don’t respect myself.
I despise my life.
22 “It is all the same.
Therefore I say he destroys the blameless and the wicked. 23 If the scourge kills suddenly,
he will mock at the trial of the innocent. 24 The earth is given into the hand of the wicked.
He covers the faces of its judges.
If not he, then who is it?
25 “Now my days are swifter than a runner.
They flee away, they see no good, 26 They have passed away as the swift ships,
as the eagle that swoops on the prey. 27 If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint,
I will put off my sad face, and cheer up;’ 28 I am afraid of all my sorrows,
I know that you will 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 you will plunge me in the ditch.
My own clothes shall abhor me. 32 For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him,
that we should come together in judgment. 33 There is no umpire between us,
that might lay his hand on us both. 34 Let him take his rod away from me.
Let his terror not make me afraid; 35 then I would speak, and not fear him,
for I am not so in myself.