Then Job spoke again:
"I have heard all this before. What miserable comforters you are!
Won't you ever stop your flow of foolish words? What have I said that makes you speak so endlessly?
I could say the same things if you were in my place. I could spout off my criticisms against you and shake my head at you.
But that's not what I would do. I would speak in a way that helps you. I would try to take away your grief.
But as it is, my grief remains no matter how I defend myself. And it does not help if I refuse to speak.
"O God, you have ground me down and devastated my family.
You have reduced me to skin and bones -- as proof, they say, of my sins.
God hates me and tears angrily at my flesh. He gnashes his teeth at me and pierces me with his eyes.
People jeer and laugh at me. They slap my cheek in contempt. A mob gathers against me.
God has handed me over to sinners. He has tossed me into the hands of the wicked.
"I was living quietly until he broke me apart. He took me by the neck and dashed me to pieces. Then he set me up as his target.
His archers surrounded me, and his arrows pierced me without mercy. The ground is wet with my blood. a14
Again and again he smashed me, charging at me like a warrior.
Here I sit in sackcloth. I have surrendered, and I sit in the dust.
My eyes are red with weeping; darkness covers my eyes.
Yet I am innocent, and my prayer is pure.
"O earth, do not conceal my blood. Let it cry out on my behalf.
Even now my witness is in heaven. My advocate is there on high.
My friends scorn me, but I pour out my tears to God.
Oh, that someone would mediate between God and me, as a person mediates between friends.
For soon I must go down that road from which I will never return.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)