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Job Reproves His Friends

16 Job answered, saying:

“I have heard many things like these;
    you are miserable comforters, all of you!
Is there no end to your futile words?
    What compels you to answer?
I too could speak like you,
    if you were in my place;
I could compose words against you
    and shake my head at you.
But I would strengthen you with my mouth
and comfort from my lips would bring you relief.

“Yet, if I speak, my pain is not relieved,
and if I refrain, does it not go away from me?
Surely now He has exhausted me;
    You have devastated my entire household.
You have seized me—
    it has become a witness;
my leanness rises against me
    and testifies to my face.
His anger has torn and tormented me;
    He gnashes at me with his teeth;
my enemy looks at me with daggers in his eyes.
10 People open their mouths against me;
    they strike my cheek in contempt;
    they unite together against me.
11 God has handed me over to the ungodly,
    and tossed me into the hands of the wicked.
12 I was at ease, but He shattered me;
    He grabbed me by the neck and crushed me.
    He has made me His target;
13 His archers surround me.
    Without mercy He pierces my kidneys
    and spills my gall on the ground.
14 He breaks through against me, breach after breach.
He runs after me like a warrior.

15 “I have sewn sackcloth over my skin
    and sunk my horn in the dust;
16 my face is red from weeping,
    and on my eyelids are deep darkness;
17 yet no violence is in my hands
    and my prayer is pure.
18 “Earth, do not cover my blood,
    and let my cry find no resting place!
19 Even now my witness is in heaven,[a]
    my advocate is on high.
20 My intercessor is my friend;
    as my eyes pour out tears to God;
21 he contends with God on behalf of man
    as one pleads for a friend.

22 “For the number of years will come to pass,
and then I will go the way of no return.


  1. Job 16:19 cf. Rom. 1:9.