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Job’s Eighth Speech: A Response to Eliphaz

23 Then[a] Job answered and said,

“Even today my complaint is bitter;
my hand is heavy in addition to my groaning.
O that[b] I knew and that I might find him;
O that I might come to his dwelling.
I would lay my case before him,[c]
and I would fill my mouth with arguments.
I want to know the words with which he would answer me,
and I want to understand what he would say to me.
Would he contend with me in the greatness of his strength?
No, but he himself[d] would give heed to me.
There an upright person could reason with him,
and I would be acquitted forever by my judge.
“When I go forward, he is not there,[e]
or[f] backward, I cannot see him.[g]
When he works[h] on the left, I cannot perceive[i] him;
he turns to the right, but[j] I cannot see him.
10 But he knows the way that I take;[k]
he tests me—I shall come out like gold.
11 My foot has held on to his steps;
I have kept his way, and I have not turned aside.
12 From the commandment of his lips, indeed[l] I have not departed;
I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily food.
13 “But[m] he is alone,[n] and who can dissuade him?
And whatever he desires,[o] indeed,[p] he does it.
14 For he will carry out what he appoints for me,[q]
and many things like these are with him.
15 Therefore, I am horrified because of his presence;
when I consider, I tremble[r] because of him.
16 Indeed,[s] God has made my heart faint,
and Shaddai has terrified me.
17 Indeed, I have not been silenced because of darkness,[t]
and because of me he[u] conceals thick darkness.


  1. Job 23:1 Hebrew “And”
  2. Job 23:3 Literally “Who shall give”
  3. Job 23:4 Literally “to his face”
  4. Job 23:6 Emphatic personal pronoun
  5. Job 23:8 Literally “and there is not he,” or “and he is not”
  6. Job 23:8 Hebrew “and”
  7. Job 23:8 Hebrew “and I cannot see him”
  8. Job 23:9 Literally “At his working”
  9. Job 23:9 Literally “and I cannot see”
  10. Job 23:9 Hebrew “and”
  11. Job 23:10 Literally “way with me”
  12. Job 23:12 Hebrew “and”
  13. Job 23:13 Hebrew “And”
  14. Job 23:13 Literally “as one”
  15. Job 23:13 Literally “his inner self desires,” or “his soul desires”
  16. Job 23:13 Hebrew “and”
  17. Job 23:14 Literally “my portion,” or “my allotment”
  18. Job 23:15 Hebrew “and I tremble,” or “then I tremble”
  19. Job 23:16 Hebrew “And”
  20. Job 23:17 Literally “from the face of darkness”
  21. Job 23:17 Or “it”