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13 1-2 Everything you say, I have heard before.
    I understand it all; I know as much as you do.
    I'm not your inferior.
But my dispute is with God, not you;
    I want to argue my case with him.
You cover up your ignorance with lies;
    you are like doctors who can't heal anyone.
Say nothing, and someone may think you are wise!

Listen while I state my case.
    Why are you lying?
    Do you think your lies will benefit God?
Are you trying to defend him?
    Are you going to argue his case in court?
If God looks at you closely, will he find anything good?
    Do you think you can fool God the way you fool others?
10 Even though your prejudice is hidden,
    he will reprimand you,
11     and his power will fill you with terror.
12 Your proverbs are as useless as ashes;
    your arguments are as weak as clay.
13 Be quiet and give me a chance to speak,
    and let the results be what they will.

14 I am[a] ready to risk my life.
15 I've lost all hope, so what if God kills me?
    I am going to state my case to him.
16 It may even be that my boldness will save me,
    since no wicked person would dare to face God.
17 Now listen to my words of explanation.
18 I am ready to state my case,
    because I know I am in the right.

19 Are you coming to accuse me, God?
    If you do, I am ready to be silent and die.
20 Let me ask for two things; agree to them,
    and I will not try to hide from you:
21     stop punishing me, and don't crush me with terror.

22 Speak first, O God, and I will answer.
    Or let me speak, and you answer me.
23 What are my sins? What wrongs have I done?
    What crimes am I charged with?

24 Why do you avoid me?
    Why do you treat me like an enemy?
25 Are you trying to frighten me? I'm nothing but a leaf;
    you are attacking a piece of dry straw.

26 You bring bitter charges against me,
    even for what I did when I was young.
27 (A)You bind chains on my feet;
    you watch every step I take,
    and even examine my footprints.
28 As a result, I crumble like rotten wood,
    like a moth-eaten coat.

Footnotes

  1. Job 13:14 One ancient translation I am; Hebrew Why am I.

13 “Look, my eye has seen all this,
    my ear has heard and understood it.
What you know, I also know;
    I am not inferior to you.
But I would speak to the Almighty,[a]
    and I desire to argue my case with God.
As for you, you whitewash with lies;
    all of you are worthless physicians.
If you would only keep silent,
    that would be your wisdom!
Hear now my reasoning,
    and listen to the pleadings of my lips.
Will you speak falsely for God,
    and speak deceitfully for him?
Will you show partiality toward him,
    will you plead the case for God?
Will it be well with you when he searches you out?
    Or can you deceive him, as one person deceives another?
10 He will surely rebuke you
    if in secret you show partiality.
11 Will not his majesty terrify you,
    and the dread of him fall upon you?
12 Your maxims are proverbs of ashes,
    your defenses are defenses of clay.

13 “Let me have silence, and I will speak,
    and let come on me what may.
14 I will take my flesh in my teeth,
    and put my life in my hand.[b]
15 See, he will kill me; I have no hope;[c]
    but I will defend my ways to his face.
16 This will be my salvation,
    that the godless shall not come before him.
17 Listen carefully to my words,
    and let my declaration be in your ears.
18 I have indeed prepared my case;
    I know that I shall be vindicated.
19 Who is there that will contend with me?
    For then I would be silent and die.

Job’s Despondent Prayer

20 Only grant two things to me,
    then I will not hide myself from your face:
21 withdraw your hand far from me,
    and do not let dread of you terrify me.
22 Then call, and I will answer;
    or let me speak, and you reply to me.
23 How many are my iniquities and my sins?
    Make me know my transgression and my sin.
24 Why do you hide your face,
    and count me as your enemy?
25 Will you frighten a windblown leaf
    and pursue dry chaff?
26 For you write bitter things against me,
    and make me reap[d] the iniquities of my youth.
27 You put my feet in the stocks,
    and watch all my paths;
    you set a bound to the soles of my feet.
28 One wastes away like a rotten thing,
    like a garment that is moth-eaten.

Footnotes

  1. Job 13:3 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  2. Job 13:14 Gk: Heb Why should I take . . . in my hand?
  3. Job 13:15 Or Though he kill me, yet I will trust in him
  4. Job 13:26 Heb inherit

13 Behold my eye hath seen all these things, and my ear hath heard them, and I have understood them all.

According to your knowledge I also know: neither am I inferior to you.

But yet I will speak to the Almighty, and I desire to reason with God.

Having first shewn that you are forgers of lies, and maintainers of perverse opinions.

And I wish you would hold your peace, that you might be thought to be wise men.

Hear ye therefore my reproof, and attend to the judgment of my lips.

Hath God any need of your lie, that you should speak deceitfully for him?

Do you accept his person, and do you endeavour to judge for God?

Or shall it please him, from whom nothing can be concealed? or shall he be deceived as a man, with your deceitful dealings?

10 He shall reprove you, because in secret you accept his person.

11 As soon as he shall move himself, he shall trouble you: and his dread shall fall upon you.

12 Your remembrance shall be compared to ashes, and your necks shall be brought to clay.

13 Hold your peace a little while, that I may speak whatsoever my mind shall suggest to me.

14 Why do I tear my flesh with my teeth, and carry my soul in my hands?

15 Although he should kill me, I will trust in him: but yet I will reprove my ways in his sight.

16 And he shall be my saviour: for no hypocrite shall come before his presence.

17 Hear ye my speech, and receive with Sour ears hidden truths.

18 If I shall be judged, I know that I shall be found just.

19 Who is he that will plead against me? let him come: why am I consumed holding my peace?

20 Two things only do not to me, and then from thy face I shall not be hid:

21 Withdraw thy hand far from me, and let not thy dread terrify me.

22 Call me, and I will answer thee: or else I will speak, and do thou answer me.

23 How many are my iniquities and sins? make me know my crimes and offences.

24 Why hidest thou thy face, and thinkest me thy enemy?

25 Against a leaf, that is carried away with the wind, thou shewest thy power, and thou pursuest a dry straw.

26 For thou writest bitter things against me, and wilt consume me for the sins of my youth.

27 Thou hast put my feet in the stocks, and hast observed all my paths, and hast considered the steps of my feet:

28 Who am to be consumed as rottenness, and as a garment that is moth-eaten.

I’m Taking My Case to God

13 1-5 “Yes, I’ve seen all this with my own eyes,
    heard and understood it with my very own ears.
Everything you know, I know,
    so I’m not taking a backseat to any of you.
I’m taking my case straight to God Almighty;
    I’ve had it with you—I’m going directly to God.
You graffiti my life with lies.
    You’re a bunch of pompous quacks!
I wish you’d shut your mouths—
    silence is your only claim to wisdom.

6-12 “Listen now while I make my case,
    consider my side of things for a change.
Or are you going to keep on lying ‘to do God a service’?
    to make up stories ‘to get him off the hook’?
Why do you always take his side?
    Do you think he needs a lawyer to defend himself?
How would you fare if you were in the dock?
    Your lies might convince a jury—but would they
        convince God?
He’d reprimand you on the spot
    if he detected a bias in your witness.
Doesn’t his splendor put you in awe?
    Aren’t you afraid to speak cheap lies before him?
Your wise sayings are knickknack wisdom,
    good for nothing but gathering dust.

13-19 “So hold your tongue while I have my say,
    then I’ll take whatever I have coming to me.
Why do I go out on a limb like this
    and take my life in my hands?
Because even if he killed me, I’d keep on hoping.
    I’d defend my innocence to the very end.
Just wait, this is going to work out for the best—my salvation!
    If I were guilt-stricken do you think I’d be doing this—
    laying myself on the line before God?
You’d better pay attention to what I’m telling you,
    listen carefully with both ears.
Now that I’ve laid out my defense,
    I’m sure that I’ll be acquitted.
Can anyone prove charges against me?
    I’ve said my piece. I rest my case.

Why Does God Stay Hidden and Silent?

20-27 “Please, God, I have two requests;
    grant them so I’ll know I count with you:
First, lay off the afflictions;
    the terror is too much for me.
Second, address me directly so I can answer you,
    or let me speak and then you answer me.
How many sins have been charged against me?
    Show me the list—how bad is it?
Why do you stay hidden and silent?
    Why treat me like I’m your enemy?
Why kick me around like an old tin can?
    Why beat a dead horse?
You compile a long list of mean things about me,
    even hold me accountable for the sins of my youth.
You hobble me so I can’t move about.
    You watch every move I make,
    and brand me as a dangerous character.

28 “Like something rotten, human life fast decomposes,
    like a moth-eaten shirt or a mildewed blouse.”

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