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13 “Look, I have seen many instances such as you describe. I understand what you are saying. I know as much as you do. I’m not stupid. Oh, how I long to speak directly to the Almighty. I want to talk this over with God himself. For you are misinterpreting the whole thing. You are doctors who don’t know what they are doing. Oh, please be quiet! That would be your highest wisdom.

“Listen to me now, to my reasons for what I think and to my pleadings.

“Must you go on ‘speaking for God’ when he never once has said the things that you are putting in his mouth? Does God want your help if you are going to twist the truth for him? Be careful that he doesn’t find out what you are doing! Or do you think you can fool God as well as men? 10 No, you will be in serious trouble with him if you use lies to try to help him out. 11 Doesn’t his majesty strike terror to your heart? How can you do this thing? 12 These tremendous statements you have made have about as much value as ashes. Your defense of God is as fragile as a clay vase!

13 “Be silent now and leave me alone, that I may speak—and I am willing to face the consequences. 14 Yes, I will take my life in my hand and say what I really think. 15 God may kill me for saying this—in fact, I expect him to. Nevertheless, I am going to argue my case with him.[a] 16 This at least will be in my favor, that I am not godless, to be rejected instantly from his presence. 17 Listen closely to what I am about to say. Hear me out.

18 “This is my case: I know that I am righteous. 19 Who can argue with me over this? If you could prove me wrong, I would stop defending myself and die.

20 “O God, there are two things I beg you not to do to me; only then will I be able to face you. 21 Don’t abandon me. And don’t terrify me with your awesome presence. 22 Call to me to come—how quickly I will answer! Or let me speak to you, and you reply. 23 Tell me, what have I done wrong? Help me! Point out my sin to me. 24 Why do you turn away from me? Why hand me over to my enemy? 25 Would you blame a leaf that is blown about by the wind? Will you chase dry, useless straws?

26 “You write bitter things against me and bring up all the follies of my youth. 27-28 You send me to prison and shut me in on every side. I am like a fallen, rotten tree, like a moth-eaten coat.


  1. Job 13:15 God may kill me . . . I am going to argue my case with him, or “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him. I will argue my case before him.”

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