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Job’s Second Speech: A Response to Eliphaz

“Does not a human being[a] have hard service[b] on earth?
And are not his[c] days like the days of a laborer?
Like a slave he longs for the shadow,
and like a laborer he waits for his wages.
So I had to inherit[d] months of worthlessness,
and nights of misery are apportioned to me.
When I lie down, I say,[e] ‘When shall I rise?’
But[f] the night is long,
and I have my fill of tossing until dawn.
My body is clothed with maggots and clods of dust;
my skin hardens, then[g] it gives way again.
“My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle,
and they come to an end without hope.[h]
Remember that my life is a breath;
my eye will not return to see good.
The eye of the one seeing me will not see me;
your eyes are upon me, but[i] I will be gone.[j]
A cloud vanishes, and it goes away,
so he who goes down to Sheol will not come up.
10 He does not return again to his house,
and his place does not recognize him again.
11 “Even[k] I will not restrain my mouth;
I will speak in my spirit’s anguish;
I will complain in my inner self’s[l] bitterness.
12 Am I the sea, or a sea monster,
that you set a guard over me?
13 When I say, ‘My bed will comfort me,
and my couch[m] will ease my complaint,’
14 then[n] you terrify me with dreams,[o]
and with visions you terrify[p] me.
15 So[q] my inner self[r] will choose[s] strangling—
death more than my existence.[t]
16 I loathe my life; I would not live forever;
depart from me, for my days are a breath.
17 “What is a human being that you make him great
and that you fix your mind on him,[u]
18 so that[v] you visit him every morning,[w]
you test him every moment?[x]
19 How long[y] will you not turn away from me?
Or not leave me alone until I swallow[z] my spit?
20 If I have sinned, what have I done to you, watcher of humanity?
Why have you made me as a target for yourself,
so that[aa] I have become a burden to myself?[ab]
21 And why do you not pardon my transgression
and take away my guilt?
For now I shall lie in the dust,
and you will seek me, but[ac] I will be no more.”[ad]


  1. Job 7:1 Or a collective singular, “human beings”
  2. Job 7:1 Literally “hard service for a human being”
  3. Job 7:1 Or a collective singular, “their”
  4. Job 7:3 Literally “I am allotted to me”
  5. Job 7:4 Hebrew “and I say”
  6. Job 7:4 Hebrew “And”
  7. Job 7:5 Hebrew “and”
  8. Job 7:6 Literally “with nothing hope”
  9. Job 7:8 Hebrew “and”
  10. Job 7:8 Literally “there is not me,” or “I am not”
  11. Job 7:11 Or “I on my part”
  12. Job 7:11 Or “soul’s”
  13. Job 7:13 Or “bed”
  14. Job 7:14 Hebrew “and”
  15. Job 7:14 Or “the dreams”
  16. Job 7:14 Or “dishearten,” or “frighten”
  17. Job 7:15 Or “And”
  18. Job 7:15 Or “soul”
  19. Job 7:15 Or “I will choose”
  20. Job 7:15 Literally “bones”
  21. Job 7:17 Literally “you set on him your heart”
  22. Job 7:18 Hebrew “and”
  23. Job 7:18 Literally “for mornings,” or “at mornings”
  24. Job 7:18 Literally “for moments,” or “at moments”
  25. Job 7:19 Literally “Like what”
  26. Job 7:19 Or “my swallowing”
  27. Job 7:20 Hebrew “and”
  28. Job 7:20 Some translations translate as “you” (e.g., ESV, NRSV, NIV, NET)
  29. Job 7:21 Hebrew “and”
  30. Job 7:21 Literally “there is not me,” or “I am not”