For you will have a covenant with the stones of the field, and the wild animals will be at peace with you.
You will know that your tent is secure; you will take stock of your property and find nothing missing.
You will know that your children will be many, and your descendants like the grass of the earth.
You will come to the grave in full vigor, like sheaves gathered in season.
"We have examined this, and it is true. So hear it and apply it to yourself."
Then Job replied:
"If only my anguish could be weighed and all my misery be placed on the scales!
It would surely outweigh the sand of the seas-- no wonder my words have been impetuous.
The arrows of the Almighty are in me, my spirit drinks in their poison; God's terrors are marshaled against me.
Does a wild donkey bray when it has grass, or an ox bellow when it has fodder?
Is tasteless food eaten without salt, or is there flavor in the white of an egg ?
I refuse to touch it; such food makes me ill.
"Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant what I hope for,
that God would be willing to crush me, to let loose his hand and cut me off !
Then I would still have this consolation-- my joy in unrelenting pain-- that I had not denied the words of the Holy One.
"What strength do I have, that I should still hope? What prospects, that I should be patient?
Do I have the strength of stone? Is my flesh bronze?
Do I have any power to help myself, now that success has been driven from me?
"A despairing man should have the devotion of his friends, even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.
But my brothers are as undependable as intermittent streams, as the streams that overflow
when darkened by thawing ice and swollen with melting snow,
but that cease to flow in the dry season, and in the heat vanish from their channels.
Caravans turn aside from their routes; they go up into the wasteland and perish.
The caravans of Tema look for water, the traveling merchants of Sheba look in hope.
They are distressed, because they had been confident; they arrive there, only to be disappointed.
Now you too have proved to be of no help; you see something dreadful and are afraid.
Have I ever said, 'Give something on my behalf, pay a ransom for me from your wealth,
deliver me from the hand of the enemy, ransom me from the clutches of the ruthless'?
"Teach me, and I will be quiet; show me where I have been wrong.
How painful are honest words! But what do your arguments prove?
Do you mean to correct what I say, and treat the words of a despairing man as wind?
You would even cast lots for the fatherless and barter away your friend.
"But now be so kind as to look at me. Would I lie to your face?
Relent, do not be unjust; reconsider, for my integrity is at stake.
Is there any wickedness on my lips? Can my mouth not discern malice?
"Does not man have hard service on earth? Are not his days like those of a hired man?
Like a slave longing for the evening shadows, or a hired man waiting eagerly for his wages,
so I have been allotted months of futility, and nights of misery have been assigned to me.
When I lie down I think, 'How long before I get up?' The night drags on, and I toss till dawn.
My body is clothed with worms and scabs, my skin is broken and festering.
"My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, and they come to an end without hope.
Remember, O God, that my life is but a breath; my eyes will never see happiness again.
The eye that now sees me will see me no longer; you will look for me, but I will be no more.
As a cloud vanishes and is gone, so he who goes down to the grave does not return.
He will never come to his house again; his place will know him no more.
"Therefore I will not keep silent; I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
Am I the sea, or the monster of the deep, that you put me under guard?
When I think my bed will comfort me and my couch will ease my complaint,
even then you frighten me with dreams and terrify me with visions,
so that I prefer strangling and death, rather than this body of mine.
I despise my life; I would not live forever. Let me alone; my days have no meaning.
"What is man that you make so much of him, that you give him so much attention,
that you examine him every morning and test him every moment?
Will you never look away from me, or let me alone even for an instant?
If I have sinned, what have I done to you, O watcher of men? Why have you made me your target? Have I become a burden to you?
Why do you not pardon my offenses and forgive my sins? For I will soon lie down in the dust; you will search for me, but I will be no more."
Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:
"How long will you say such things? Your words are a blustering wind.
Does God pervert justice? Does the Almighty pervert what is right?
When your children sinned against him, he gave them over to the penalty of their sin.
But if you will look to God and plead with the Almighty,
if you are pure and upright, even now he will rouse himself on your behalf and restore you to your rightful place.
Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be.