1Then Job replied:2“I have heard many things like these; you are miserable comforters, all of you!3Will your long-winded speeches never end? What ails you that you keep on arguing?4I also could speak like you, if you were in my place; I could make fine speeches against you and shake my head at you.5But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief.6“Yet if I speak, my pain is not relieved; and if I refrain, it does not go away.7Surely, God, you have worn me out; you have devastated my entire household.8You have shriveled me up—and it has become a witness; my gauntness rises up and testifies against me.9God assails me and tears me in his anger and gnashes his teeth at me; my opponent fastens on me his piercing eyes.10People open their mouths to jeer at me; they strike my cheek in scorn and unite together against me.11God has turned me over to the ungodly and thrown me into the clutches of the wicked.12All was well with me, but he shattered me; he seized me by the neck and crushed me. He has made me his target;13his archers surround me. Without pity, he pierces my kidneys and spills my gall on the ground.14Again and again he bursts upon me; he rushes at me like a warrior.15“I have sewed sackcloth over my skin and buried my brow in the dust.16My face is red with weeping, dark shadows ring my eyes;17yet my hands have been free of violence and my prayer is pure.18“Earth, do not cover my blood; may my cry never be laid to rest!19Even now my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high.20My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God;21on behalf of a man he pleads with God as one pleads for a friend.22“Only a few years will pass before I take the path of no return.
1My spirit is broken, my days are cut short, the grave awaits me.2Surely mockers surround me; my eyes must dwell on their hostility.3“Give me, O God, the pledge you demand. Who else will put up security for me?4You have closed their minds to understanding; therefore you will not let them triumph.5If anyone denounces their friends for reward, the eyes of their children will fail.6“God has made me a byword to everyone, a man in whose face people spit.7My eyes have grown dim with grief; my whole frame is but a shadow.8The upright are appalled at this; the innocent are aroused against the ungodly.9Nevertheless, the righteous will hold to their ways, and those with clean hands will grow stronger.10“But come on, all of you, try again! I will not find a wise man among you.11My days have passed, my plans are shattered. Yet the desires of my heart12turn night into day; in the face of the darkness light is near.13If the only home I hope for is the grave, if I spread out my bed in the realm of darkness,14if I say to corruption, ‘You are my father,’ and to the worm, ‘My mother’ or ‘My sister,’15where then is my hope— who can see any hope for me?16Will it go down to the gates of death? Will we descend together into the dust?”