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Job 16 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Job Speaks: My Friends Do Not Help Ease My Pain

Then Job replied to his friends,

“I have heard many things like this before.
    You are all pathetic at comforting me.
Will your long-winded speeches never end?
    What disturbs you that you keep on answering me?
I, too, could speak like you
    if we could trade places.
I could string words together against you
    and shake my head at you.
I could encourage you with my mouth,
    and my quivering lips could ease your pain.
If I speak, my pain is not eased.
If I stop talking, how much of it will go away?

    “But now, God has worn me out.
        You, God, have destroyed everyone who supports me.
        You have shriveled me up, which itself is a witness against me.
            My frail body rises up and testifies against me.

Job Describes What God Has Done to Him

“God’s anger tore me apart and attacked me.
He gritted his teeth at me.
My opponent looked sharply at me.
10     People gaped at me with wide-open mouths.
    In scorn they slapped my cheeks.
    They united against me.
11 God handed me over to unjust people
    and threw me into the hands of wicked people.
12 I was at ease, and he shattered me.
He grabbed me by the back of the neck and smashed my skull.
He set me up as his target,
13     and his archers surrounded me.
He slashes open my kidneys without mercy
    and spills my blood[a] on the ground.
14 He inflicts wound after wound on me.
He lunges at me like a warrior.

15 “I have sewn sackcloth over my skin,
    and I have thrown my strength in the dust.
16 My face is red from crying,
    and dark shadows encircle my eyes,
17         although my hands have done nothing violent,
            and my prayer is sincere.

Job Appeals His Case to Heaven

18 “Earth, don’t cover my blood.
    Don’t ever let my cry for justice be stopped.
19 Even now, look! My witness is in heaven,
    and the one who testifies for me is above,
20         the spokesman for my thoughts.[b]
My eyes drip with tears to God
22     because in a few short years I will take the path of no return.[c]
21         But my witness will plead for a human in front of God.
            The Son of Man will plead for his friend!


  1. Job 16:13 Or “bile.”
  2. Job 16:20 Or “my friends mock me.”
  3. Job 16:22 Verse 22 has been placed before verse 21 to express the complex Hebrew sentence structure more clearly in English.
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group

Job 16 New International Version (NIV)


16 Then Job replied:

“I have heard many things like these;
    you are miserable comforters, all of you!
Will your long-winded speeches never end?
    What ails you that you keep on arguing?
I also could speak like you,
    if you were in my place;
I could make fine speeches against you
    and shake my head at you.
But my mouth would encourage you;
    comfort from my lips would bring you relief.

“Yet if I speak, my pain is not relieved;
    and if I refrain, it does not go away.
Surely, God, you have worn me out;
    you have devastated my entire household.
You have shriveled me up—and it has become a witness;
    my gauntness rises up and testifies against me.
God assails me and tears me in his anger
    and gnashes his teeth at me;
    my opponent fastens on me his piercing eyes.
10 People open their mouths to jeer at me;
    they strike my cheek in scorn
    and unite together against me.
11 God has turned me over to the ungodly
    and thrown me into the clutches of the wicked.
12 All was well with me, but he shattered me;
    he seized me by the neck and crushed me.
He has made me his target;
13     his archers surround me.
Without pity, he pierces my kidneys
    and spills my gall on the ground.
14 Again 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.
16 My face is red with weeping,
    dark shadows ring my eyes;
17 yet 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!
19 Even now my witness is in heaven;
    my advocate is on high.
20 My intercessor is my friend[a]
    as my eyes pour out tears to God;
21 on 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.


  1. Job 16:20 Or My friends treat me with scorn
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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