"If only my anguish could be weighed and all my misery be placed on the scales!1
It would surely outweigh the sand2 of the seas-- no wonder my words have been impetuous.3
The arrows4 of the Almighty5 are in me,6 my spirit drinks7 in their poison;8 God's terrors9 are marshaled against me.10
Does a wild donkey11 bray12 when it has grass, or an ox bellow when it has fodder?13
Is tasteless food eaten without salt, or is there flavor in the sap of the mallow ?14
I refuse to touch it; such food makes me ill.15
"Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant what I hope for,16
that God would be willing to crush17 me, to let loose his hand and cut off my life!18
Then I would still have this consolation19-- my joy in unrelenting pain20-- that I had not denied the words21 of the Holy One.22
"What strength do I have, that I should still hope? What prospects, that I should be patient?23
Do I have the strength of stone? Is my flesh bronze?24
Do I have any power to help myself,25 now that success has been driven from me?
"Anyone who withholds kindness from a friend26 forsakes the fear of the Almighty.27
But my brothers are as undependable as intermittent streams,28 as the streams that overflow
when darkened by thawing ice and swollen with melting snow,29
but that cease to flow in the dry season, and in the heat30 vanish from their channels.
Caravans turn aside from their routes; they go off into the wasteland and perish.
The caravans of Tema31 look for water, the traveling merchants of Sheba32 look in hope.
They are distressed, because they had been confident; they arrive there, only to be disappointed.33
Now you too have proved to be of no help; you see something dreadful and are afraid.34
Have I ever said, 'Give something on my behalf, pay a ransom35 for me from your wealth,36
deliver me from the hand of the enemy, rescue me from the clutches of the ruthless'?37
"Teach me, and I will be quiet;38 show me where I have been wrong.39
How painful are honest words!40 But what do your arguments prove?
Do you mean to correct what I say, and treat my desperate words as wind?41
You would even cast lots42 for the fatherless43 and barter away your friend.
"But now be so kind as to look at me. Would I lie to your face?44
Relent, do not be unjust;45 reconsider, for my integrity46 is at stake.47
Is there any wickedness on my lips?48 Can my mouth not discern49 malice?