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Round Three: Job’s First Speech

23 Then Job responded:

Even today my complaint is bitter.[a]
His[b] hand weighs heavily on me despite my groaning.[c]
I wish I knew where I could find him,
so that I could come to his place for judgment.
Then I would lay out my case before him,
and I would fill my mouth with arguments.
I would know what words he would use to respond to me,
and I would consider what he would say to me.
Would he use his great power to press charges against me?
No, he will certainly give me a hearing.
There, an upright man could argue with him,
and I would be delivered from my judge forever.
But if I walk to the east, he is not there.
If I go back to the west, I find no sign of him.
When he is at work in the north, I do not detect him.
When he turns to the south, I do not see him.
10 But I am sure he knows the way I take.
When he has tested me, I will come out like gold.
11 My feet have followed his footsteps closely.
I have kept to his way, and I have not turned aside.
12 I have not departed from the command from his lips.
I have treasured the sayings from his mouth in my heart.[d]

13 He stands alone.
Who can make him change?
Whatever his soul desires, he will do.
14 He carries out his decrees against me,
and he has so many of them!
15 That is why I am in a panic in his presence.
When I think about this, I dread him.
16 God has made me lose heart.
The Almighty has terrified me.
17 Nevertheless, I am not silenced by the darkness,
by the dark cloud that covers my face.


  1. Job 23:2 The translation bitter follows the ancient versions. The Hebrew reads rebellious.
  2. Job 23:2 The translation his follows the ancient versions. The Hebrew reads my.
  3. Job 23:2 Or my hand is weighed down by my groaning
  4. Job 23:12 Or I have treasured the sayings from his mouth more than my allotted inheritance