Then Job replied [to his friends],
"If only my grief could be weighed, if only my misery could be laid on the scales with it,
then they would be heavier than the sand of the seas. I spoke carelessly
because the arrows of the Almighty [have found their target] in me, and my spirit is drinking their poison. God's terrors line up in battle against me.
"Does a wild donkey bray when it's [eating] grass, or does an ox make a sound over its hay?
Is tasteless food eaten without salt, or is there any flavor in the white of an egg?
I refuse to touch such things. They are disgusting to me.
"How I wish that my prayer would be answered-- that God would give me what I'm hoping for,
that God would [finally] be willing to crush me, that he would reach out to cut me off.
Then I would still have comfort. I would be happy despite my endless pain, because I have not rejected the words of the Holy One.
What strength do I have [left] that I can go on hoping? What goal do I have that I would want to prolong my life?
Do I have the strength of rocks? Does my body have the strength of bronze?
Am I not completely helpless? Haven't my skills been taken away from me?
"A friend should treat a troubled person kindly, even if he abandons the fear of the Almighty.
My brothers have been as deceptive as seasonal rivers, like the seasonal riverbeds that flood.
They are dark with ice. They are hidden by snow.
They vanish during a scorching summer. In the heat their riverbeds dry up.
They change their course. They go into a wasteland and disappear.
Caravans from Tema look for them. Travelers from Sheba search for them.
They are ashamed because they relied on the streams. Arriving there, they are disappointed.
"So you are as unreliable to me [as they are]. You see something terrifying, and you are afraid.
Did I ever say, 'Give me a gift,' or 'Offer me a bribe from your wealth,'
or 'Rescue me from an enemy,' or 'Ransom me from a tyrant'?
Teach me, and I'll be silent. Show me where I've been wrong.
How painful an honest discussion can be! In correcting me, you correct yourselves!
Do you think my words need correction? Do you think they're what a desperate person says to the wind?
Would you also throw dice for an orphan? Would you buy and sell your friend?
"But now, if you're willing, look at me. I won't lie to your face.
Please change your mind. Don't permit any injustice. Change your mind because I am still right about this!
Is there injustice on my tongue, or is my mouth unable to tell the difference between right and wrong?