Job Reproaches His Pitiless Friends

16 Then Job answered and said:

“I have heard many such things;
(A)Miserable[a] comforters are you all!
Shall [b]words of wind have an end?
Or what provokes you that you answer?
I also could speak as you do,
If your soul were in my soul’s place.
I could heap up words against you,
And (B)shake my head at you;
But I would strengthen you with my mouth,
And the comfort of my lips would relieve your grief.

“Though I speak, my grief is not relieved;
And if I remain silent, how am I eased?
But now He has (C)worn me out;
You (D)have made desolate all my company.
You have shriveled me up,
And it is a (E)witness against me;
My leanness rises up against me
And bears witness to my face.
(F)He tears me in His wrath, and hates me;
He gnashes at me with His teeth;
(G)My adversary sharpens His gaze on me.
10 They (H)gape at me with their mouth,
They (I)strike me reproachfully on the cheek,
They gather together against me.
11 God (J)has delivered me to the ungodly,
And turned me over to the hands of the wicked.
12 I was at ease, but He has (K)shattered me;
He also has taken me by my neck, and shaken me to pieces;
He has (L)set me up for His target,
13 His archers surround me.
He pierces my [c]heart and does not pity;
He pours out my gall on the ground.
14 He breaks me with wound upon wound;
He runs at me like a [d]warrior.

15 “I have sewn sackcloth over my skin,
And (M)laid my [e]head in the dust.
16 My face is [f]flushed from weeping,
And on my eyelids is the shadow of death;
17 Although no violence is in my hands,
And my prayer is pure.

18 “O earth, do not cover my blood,
And (N)let my cry have no resting place!
19 Surely even now (O)my witness is in heaven,
And my evidence is on high.
20 My friends scorn me;
My eyes pour out tears to God.
21 (P)Oh, that one might plead for a man with God,
As a man pleads for his [g]neighbor!
22 For when a few years are finished,
I shall (Q)go the way of no return.


  1. Job 16:2 Troublesome
  2. Job 16:3 Empty words
  3. Job 16:13 Lit. kidneys
  4. Job 16:14 Vg. giant
  5. Job 16:15 Lit. horn
  6. Job 16:16 Lit. red
  7. Job 16:21 friend

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