1 Then Job replied [to his friends], 2 "If only my grief could be weighed, if only my misery could be laid on the scales with it, 3 then they would be heavier than the sand of the seas. I spoke carelessly 4 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. 5 "Does a wild donkey bray when it's [eating] grass, or does an ox make a sound over its hay? 6 Is tasteless food eaten without salt, or is there any flavor in the white of an egg? 7 I refuse to touch such things. They are disgusting to me. 8 "How I wish that my prayer would be answered-- that God would give me what I'm hoping for, 9 that God would [finally] be willing to crush me, that he would reach out to cut me off. 10 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. 11 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? 12 Do I have the strength of rocks? Does my body have the strength of bronze? 13 Am I not completely helpless? Haven't my skills been taken away from me? 14 "A friend should treat a troubled person kindly, even if he abandons the fear of the Almighty. 15 My brothers have been as deceptive as seasonal rivers, like the seasonal riverbeds that flood. 16 They are dark with ice. They are hidden by snow. 17 They vanish during a scorching summer. In the heat their riverbeds dry up. 18 They change their course. They go into a wasteland and disappear. 19 Caravans from Tema look for them. Travelers from Sheba search for them. 20 They are ashamed because they relied on the streams. Arriving there, they are disappointed. 21 "So you are as unreliable to me [as they are]. You see something terrifying, and you are afraid. 22 Did I ever say, 'Give me a gift,' or 'Offer me a bribe from your wealth,' 23 or 'Rescue me from an enemy,' or 'Ransom me from a tyrant'? 24 Teach me, and I'll be silent. Show me where I've been wrong. 25 How painful an honest discussion can be! In correcting me, you correct yourselves! 26 Do you think my words need correction? Do you think they're what a desperate person says to the wind? 27 Would you also throw dice for an orphan? Would you buy and sell your friend? 28 "But now, if you're willing, look at me. I won't lie to your face. 29 Please change your mind. Don't permit any injustice. Change your mind because I am still right about this! 30 Is there injustice on my tongue, or is my mouth unable to tell the difference between right and wrong?
1 "Isn't a mortal's stay on earth difficult like a hired hand's daily [work]? 2 Like a slave, he longs for shade. Like a hired hand, he eagerly looks for his pay. 3 Likewise, I have been given months that are of no use, and I have inherited nights filled with misery. 4 When I lie down, I ask, 'When will I get up?' But the evening is long, and I'm exhausted from tossing about until dawn. 5 My body is covered with maggots and scabs. My skin is crusted over with sores; then they ooze. 6 My days go swifter than a weaver's shuttle. They are spent without hope. 7 Remember, my life is only a breath, and never again will my eyes see anything good. 8 The eye that watches over me will no longer see me. Your eye will look for me, but I'll be gone. 9 As a cloud fades away and disappears, so a person goes into the grave and doesn't come back again. 10 He doesn't come back home again, and his household doesn't recognize him anymore. 11 So I won't keep my mouth shut, but I will speak from the distress that is in my spirit and complain about the bitterness in my soul. 12 "Am I the sea or a sea monster that you have set a guard over me? 13 When I say, 'My couch may give me comfort. My bed may help me bear my pain,' 14 then you frighten me with dreams and terrify me with visions. 15 My throat would rather be choked. My body would prefer death [to these dreams]. 16 I hate my life; I do not want to live forever. Leave me alone because my days are so brief. 17 "What is a mortal that you should make so much of him, that you should be concerned about him? 18 [What is he] that you should inspect him every morning and examine him every moment? 19 Why don't you stop looking at me long enough to let me swallow my spit? 20 If I sin, what can I [possibly] do to you since you insist on spying on people? Why do you make me your target? I've become a burden even to myself. 21 Why don't you forgive my disobedience and take away my sin? Soon I'll lie down in the dust. Then you will search for me, but I'll be gone!"
1 Then Bildad from Shuah replied [to Job], 2 "How long will you say these things? How long will your words be so windy? 3 Does God distort justice, or does the Almighty distort righteousness? 4 If your children sinned against him, he allowed them to suffer the consequences of their sinfulness. 5 If you search for God and plead for mercy from the Almighty, 6 if you are moral and ethical, then he will rise up on your behalf and prove your righteousness by rebuilding your home. 7 Then what you had in the past will seem small compared with the great prosperity you'll have in the future. 8 "Ask the people of past generations. Find out what their ancestors had learned. 9 We have only been around since yesterday, and we know nothing. Our days on earth are only a fleeting shadow. 10 Won't their words teach you? Won't they share their thoughts with you? 11 "Can papyrus grow up where there is no swamp? Can rushes grow tall without water? 12 Even if they were fresh and not cut, they would wither quicker than grass. 13 The same thing happens to all who forget God. The hope of the godless dies. 14 His confidence is easily shattered. His trust is a spider's web. 15 If one leans on his house, it collapses. If one holds on to it, it will not support his weight. 16 He is like a well-watered plant in the sunshine. The shoots spread over his garden. 17 Its roots weave through a pile of stones. They cling to a stone house. 18 But when it is uprooted from its place, [the ground] denies it [and says], 'I never saw you!' 19 That is its joy in this life, and others sprout from the same ground to [take its place]. 20 "Certainly, God does not reject a person of integrity or give a helping hand to wicked people. 21 He will fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with happy shouting. 22 Those who hate you will be clothed with shame, and the tent of the wicked will cease to exist."
1 Then Job replied [to his friends], 2 "Yes, I know that this is true. But how can a mortal be declared righteous to God? 3 If he wished to debate with God, he wouldn't be able to answer one question in a thousand. 4 "God is wise in heart and mighty in power. Who could oppose him and win? 5 He moves mountains without their knowing it, and he topples them in his anger. 6 He shakes the earth from its place, and its pillars tremble. 7 He commands the sun not to rise. He doesn't let the stars come out. 8 He stretches out the heavens by himself and walks on the waves of the sea. 9 He made [the constellations] Ursa Major, Orion, and the Pleiades, and the clusters of stars in the south. 10 He does great things that are unsearchable and miracles that cannot be numbered. 11 He passes alongside of me, and I don't even see him. He goes past me, and I don't even notice him. 12 He takes something away, [but] who can stop him? Who is going to ask him, 'What are you doing?' 13 God does not hold back his anger. Even Rahab's helpers bow humbly in front of him. 14 "How can I possibly answer God? How can I find the right words [to speak] with him? 15 Even if I were right, I could not answer [him]. I would have to plead for mercy from my judge. 16 If I cried out and he answered me, I do not believe that he would listen to me. 17 He would knock me down with a storm and bruise me without a reason. 18 He would not let me catch my breath. He fills me with bitterness. 19 If it is a matter of strength, then he is the mighty one. If it is about justice, who will charge me with a crime? 20 If I am righteous, my own mouth would condemn me. It would declare that I am corrupt even if I am a man of integrity. 21 If I am a man of integrity, I have no way of knowing it. I hate my life! 22 It is all the same. That is why I say, 'He destroys [both] the man of integrity and the wicked.' 23 When a sudden disaster brings death, he makes fun of the despair of innocent people. 24 The earth is handed over to the wicked. He covers the faces of its judges. If he isn't the one [doing this], who is? 25 "My days go by more quickly than a runner. They sprint away. They don't see anything good. 26 They pass by quickly like boats made from reeds, like an eagle swooping down on its prey. 27 [Even] if I say, 'I will forget my complaining; I will change my expression and smile,' 28 I [still] dread everything I must suffer. I know that you won't declare me innocent. 29 I've already been found guilty. Why should I work so hard for nothing? 30 If I wash myself with lye soap and cleanse my hands with bleach, 31 then you would plunge me into a muddy pit, and my own clothes would find me disgusting. 32 A human like me cannot answer God, 'Let's take our case to court.' 33 There is no mediator between us to put his hand on both of us. 34 God should take his rod away from me, and he should not terrify me. 35 Then I would speak and not be afraid of him. But I know that I am not like that.