1Job replied,2"I wish my great pain could be weighed! I wish all of my suffering could be weighed on scales!3I'm sure they would weigh more than the grains of sand on the seashore. No wonder I've been so quick to speak!4The Mighty One has shot me with his arrows. I have to drink their poison. God's terrors are aimed at me.5Does a wild donkey cry out when it has enough grass? Does an ox call out when it has plenty of food?6Is food that doesn't have any taste eaten without salt? Is there any flavor in the white of an egg?7I refuse to touch that kind of food. It makes me sick.8"I wish I could have what I'm asking for! I wish God would give me what I'm hoping for!9I wish he would crush me! I wish his powerful hand would cut off my life!10Then I'd still have one thing to comfort me. It would be that I haven't said no to the Holy One's commands. That would give me joy in spite of my pain that never ends.11"I'm so weak that I no longer have any hope. Things have gotten so bad that I can't wait for help anymore.12Am I as strong as stone? Is my body made out of bronze?13I don't have the power to help myself. All hope of success has been taken away from me.14"A man's friends should love him when his hope is gone. They should be faithful to him even if he stops showing respect for the Mighty One.15But my friends aren't faithful to me. They are like streams that only flow for part of the year. They are like rivers that flow over their banks16when the ice begins to break up. The streams rise when the snow starts to melt.17But they stop flowing when the dry season comes. They disappear from their stream beds when the weather warms up.18Groups of traders turn away from their usual paths. They go up into the dry and empty land. And they die there.19Traders from Tema look for water. Traveling merchants from Sheba also hope to find it.20They become troubled because they had expected to find some. But when they arrive at the stream beds, they don't find any water at all.21And now, my friends, you haven't helped me either. You see the horrible condition I'm in. And that makes you afraid.22I've never said, 'Give me something to help me. Use your wealth to set me free.23Save me from the powerful hand of my enemy. Set me free from the power of mean people.'24"Teach me. Then I'll be quiet. Show me what I've done wrong.25Honest words are so painful! But your reasoning doesn't prove anything.26Are you trying to correct what I'm saying? You are treating the words of this hopeless man like nothing but wind.27You would even cast lots for those whose fathers have died. You would even trade away your closest friend.28"But now please look at me. Would I tell you a lie right here in front of you?29Stop what you are saying. Don't be so unfair. Think it over again. You are trying to take my honesty away from me.30Has my mouth spoken anything that is evil? Do my lips say things that are hateful?"
1Job continued, "Doesn't every man have to work hard on this earth? Aren't his days like the days of a hired worker?2I've been like a slave who longs for the evening shadows to come. I've been like a hired worker who can hardly wait to get paid.3I've been given several months that were useless to me. My nights have been filled with suffering.4When I lie down I think, 'How long will it be before I can get up?' The night drags on. I toss and turn until sunrise.5My body is covered with worms and sores. My skin is broken. It has boils all over it.6"My days pass by faster than a weaver can work. They come to an end. I don't have any hope.7God, remember that my life is only a breath. I'll never be happy again.8The eyes that see me now won't see me anymore. You will look for me. But I'll be gone.9When a cloud disappears, it's gone forever. And anyone who goes down to the grave never returns.10He never comes home again. Even his own family doesn't remember him.11"So I won't keep quiet. When I'm suffering greatly, I'll speak out. When my spirit is bitter, I'll tell you how unhappy I am.12Am I the ocean? Am I the sea monster? If I'm not, why do you guard me so closely?13Sometimes I think my bed will comfort me. I think my couch will keep me from being unhappy.14But even then you send me dreams that frighten me. You send me visions that terrify me.15So I would rather choke to death. That would be better than living in this body of mine.16I hate my life. I don't want to live forever. Leave me alone. My days don't mean anything to me.17"What are human beings that you think so much of them? What are they that you pay so much attention to them?18You check up on them every morning. You put them to the test every moment.19Won't you ever look away from me? Won't you leave me alone even for one second?20If I've really sinned, tell me what I've done to you. Why do you watch people so closely? Why do you shoot your arrows at me? Have I become a problem to you?21Why don't you forgive the wrong things I've done? Why don't you forgive me for my sins? I'll soon lie down in the dust of my grave. You will search for me. But I'll be gone."
1Then Bildad the Shuhite replied,2"Job, how long will you talk like that? Your words don't have any meaning.3Does God ever treat people unfairly? Does the Mighty One make what is wrong appear to be right?4Your children sinned against him. So he punished them for their sin.5But look to God. Make your appeal to the Mighty One.6Be pure and honest. And he will rise up and help you now. He'll return you to the place where you belong.7In the past, things went well with you. But in days to come, things will get even better.8"Find out what your people who lived long ago taught. Discover what those who lived before them learned.9After all, we were born only yesterday. So we don't know anything. Our days on this earth are like a shadow that disappears.10Won't your people of long ago teach you and tell you? Won't the things they said help you understand?11Can grass grow tall where there isn't any swamp? Can plants grow well where there isn't any water?12While they are still growing and haven't been cut, they dry up faster than grass does.13The same thing happens to everyone who forgets God. The hope of ungodly people dies out.14What they trust in is very weak. What they depend on is like a spider's web.15A person leans on it, but it falls apart. He holds on to it, but it gives way.16He is like a plant in the sunshine that receives plenty of water. It spreads its new growth all over the garden.17It wraps its roots around a pile of rocks. It tries to find places to grow among the stones.18But when a plant is pulled up from its spot, that place says, 'I never saw you.'19The life of that plant is sure to dry up. But from the same soil other plants will grow.20"I'm sure God doesn't turn his back on anyone who is honest. And he doesn't help those who do what is evil.21He will fill your mouth with laughter. Shouts of joy will come from your lips.22Your enemies will put on shame as if it were clothes. The tents of sinful people will be gone."
1Job replied,2"I'm sure that what you have said is true. But how can human beings be right with God?3They might wish to argue with him. But they couldn't answer him even once in a thousand times.4His wisdom is deep. His power is great. No one opposes him and comes away unharmed.5He moves mountains, and they don't even know it. When he is angry, he turns them upside down.6He shakes the earth loose from its place. He makes its pillars tremble.7When he tells the sun not to shine, it doesn't. He turns off the light of the stars.8He's the only one who can spread the heavens out. He alone can walk on the waves of the ocean.9He made the Big Dipper and Orion. He created the Pleiades and the southern stars.10He does wonderful things that can't be understood. He does miracles that can't even be counted.11When he passes by me, I can't see him. When he goes past me, I can't recognize him.12If he takes something, who can stop him? Who would dare to ask him, 'What are you doing?'13God doesn't hold back his anger. Even the helpers of the sea monster Rahab bowed in fear at his feet.14"So how can I disagree with God? How can I possibly argue with him?15Even if I hadn't done anything wrong, I couldn't answer him. I could only beg my Judge to have mercy on me.16Suppose I called out to him and he answered. I don't believe he'd listen to me.17He would send a storm to crush me. He'd increase my wounds without any reason.18He wouldn't let me catch my breath. He'd make my life very bitter.19If it's a matter of strength, he is mighty! And if it's a matter of being fair, who would dare to bring charges against him?20Even if I hadn't sinned, what I said would prove me guilty. Even if I were honest, my words would show that I'm wrong.21"Even though I'm honest, I'm not concerned about myself. I hate my own life.22It all amounts to the same thing. That's why I say, 'God destroys honest people and sinful people alike.'23Suppose a plague brings sudden death. Then he laughs when those who haven't sinned lose hope.24Suppose a nation falls into the power of sinful people. Then God makes its judges blind to the truth. If he isn't the one doing it, who is?25"God, my days race by like a runner. They fly away without seeing any joy.26They speed along like papyrus boats. They are like eagles swooping down on their food.27Suppose I say, 'I'll forget about all of my problems. I'll change my frown into a smile.'28Then I'd still be afraid I'd go on suffering. That's because I know you would say I had done something wrong.29In fact, you have already said I'm guilty. So why should I struggle without any reason?30Suppose I clean myself with soap. Suppose I wash my hands with cleanser.31Even then you would throw me into a muddy pit. And even my clothes would hate me.32"God isn't a man like me. I can't answer him. We can't take each other to court.33I wish someone would settle matters between us. I wish someone would force us to work things out.34I wish someone would keep God from punishing me. Then his terror wouldn't frighten me anymore.35I would speak up without being afraid of him. But as things stand now, I can't do that.