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Job’s Fifth Speech

16 Then[a] Job answered and said,

“I have heard many things like these;
all of you are miserable comforters.[b]
Is there a limit to windy words?
What provokes you that you answer?
I myself[c] also could talk as you,
if you were in my place;[d]
I could join against you with words,
and I could shake at you with my head.
I could[e] encourage you with my mouth,
and the solace of my lips would[f] ease the pain.
If I speak, my pain is not relieved;
and if I cease, how much will leave me?
“Surely now he has worn me out;
you[g] have devastated all my company.
Thus[h] you shriveled me up;[i]
it became a witness.
And my leanness has risen up against me;
it testifies to my face.
His wrath has torn, and he has been hostile toward me;
he gnashed at me with his teeth.
My foe sharpens his eyes against me.
10 They gaped at me with their mouth;
they struck my cheeks with disgrace;
they have massed themselves together against me.
11 God delivers me to an evil one,
and he casts me into the hands of the wicked.
12 “I was at ease, then[j] he broke me in two,
and he seized me by my neck;
then[k] he shattered me
and set me up as a target for him.
13 His archers surround me;
he slashes open my kidneys, and he does not have compassion;
he pours out my gall on the ground.
14 He breached me breach upon breach;[l]
he rushes at me like a warrior.
15 “I have sewed sackcloth on my skin,
and I have inserted my pride[m] in the dust.
16 My face is red because of weeping,
and deep shadows are on my eyelids,
17 although[n] violence is not on my hands,
and my prayer is pure.
18 “O earth, you should not cover my blood,
and let there be no place[o] for my cry for help.
19 So now look, my witness is in the heavens,
and he who vouches for me is in the heights.
20 My friends scorn me;
my eye pours out tears to God,
21 and it argues[p] for a mortal with God,
and as a human[q] for his friend.
22 Indeed, after a few years[r] have come,
then[s] I will go the way from which I will not return.


  1. Job 16:1 Hebrew “And”
  2. Job 16:2 Literally “comforters of trouble”
  3. Job 16:4 Emphatic personal pronoun;
  4. Job 16:4 Literally “there is your soul in place of my soul”
  5. Job 16:5 Or “would”
  6. Job 16:5 Or “should”
  7. Job 16:7 Singular
  8. Job 16:8 Hebrew “And”
  9. Job 16:8 Or “you have seized me”
  10. Job 16:12 Hebrew “and”
  11. Job 16:12 Hebrew “and”
  12. Job 16:14 Literally “breach upon the faces of breach”
  13. Job 16:15 Literally “my horn”
  14. Job 16:17 Literally “upon,” or “because”
  15. Job 16:18 Or “do not let it become a place”
  16. Job 16:21 Or “but may someone argue”
  17. Job 16:21 Literally “a son of man”
  18. Job 16:22 Literally “years of number”
  19. Job 16:22 Hebrew “and”