Job 16

Job’s response

1 Then Job answered:
2 I've heard many things like these. All of you are sorry comforters.
3 Will windy talk ever cease; what bothers you that you must argue?
4 In your situation I could speak like you; I could put words together to oppose you, shake my head over you.
5 I could heap up words, strengthen you with my speech; my trembling lips would be held in check.
6 If I speak, my pain is not eased; if I hold back, what have I lost?

The innocent are God’s targets

7 Now God has surely worn me out. You have destroyed my entire group,
8 seized me, which became grounds for an accusation. My leanness rises to bear witness against me.
9 His anger tears me and afflicts me; he slashes at me with his teeth. My enemy pierces me with his eyes.
10 They open their mouths at me and strike my cheek in a taunt; they gang up on me.
11 God delivers me to a criminal and forces me into the hands of the wicked.
12 I was at rest, but he shattered me, seized me by the back of my neck, dashed me into pieces; he raised me up for his target.
13 His archers surround me; he cuts my kidneys open without pity and doesn't care, pours my gall on the ground,
14 bursts me open over and over, runs against me like a strong man.
15 I've sewed rough cloth over my skin and buried my dignity in the dust.
16 My face is red from crying, and dark gloom hangs on my eyelids.
17 But there is no violence in my hands, and my prayer is pure.

Lingering hope

18 Earth, don't cover my blood; let my outcry never cease.
19 Surely now my witness stands in heaven; my advocate is on high;
20 my go-between, my friend. While my eyes drip tears to God,
21 let him plead with God for a human being, like a person pleads for a friend.
22 A number of years will surely pass, and then I'll walk a path that I won't return.
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