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13 “All this I have seen with my own eyes;
with my own ears I have heard and understood it.
Whatever you know, I know too;
I am not inferior to you.
However, it’s Shaddai I want to speak with;
I want to prove my case to God.
But you, what you do is whitewash with lies;
you are all witch doctors!
I wish you would just stay silent;
for you, that would be wisdom!

“Now listen to my reasoning,
pay attention to how I present my dispute.
Is it for God’s sake that you speak so wickedly?
for him that you talk deceitfully?
Do you need to take his side
and plead God’s case for him?
If he examines you, will all go well?
Can you deceive him, as one man deceives another?
10 If you are secretly flattering [him],
he will surely rebuke you.
11 Doesn’t God’s majesty terrify you?
Aren’t you overcome with dread of him?
12 Your maxims are garbage-proverbs;
your answers crumble like clay.

13 “So be quiet! Let me be! I’ll do the talking,
come on me what may!
14 Why am I taking my flesh in my teeth,
taking my life in my hands?
15 Look, he will kill me — I don’t expect more,
but I will still defend my ways to his face.
16 And this is what will save me —
that a hypocrite cannot appear before him.

17 “Listen closely, then, to my words;
pay attention to what I am saying.
18 Here, now, I have prepared my case;
I know I am in the right.
19 If anyone can contend with me,
I will be quiet and die!
20 “Only grant two things to me, God;
then I won’t hide myself from your face —
21 take your hand away from me,
and don’t let fear of you frighten me.
22 Then, if you call, I will answer.
Or let me speak, and you, answer me!
23 How many crimes and sins have I committed?
Make me know my transgression and sin.
24 Why do you hide your face
and think of me as your enemy?
25 Do you want to harass a wind-driven leaf?
do you want to pursue a dry straw?
26 Is this why you draw up bitter charges against me
and punish me for the faults of my youth?
27 You put my feet in the stocks,
you watch me closely wherever I go,
you trace out each footprint of mine —
28 though [my body] decays like something rotten
or like a moth-eaten garment.

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