13 Look, my eyes have seen all this;
my ears(A) have heard and understood it.
Everything you know, I also know;
I am not inferior to you.(B)
Yet I prefer to speak to the Almighty
and argue my case before God.(C)
You use lies like plaster;
you are all worthless healers.(D)
If only you would shut up
and let that be your wisdom!

Hear now my argument,
and listen to my defense.[a]
Would you testify unjustly on God’s behalf
or speak deceitfully for him?
Would you show partiality(E) to him
or argue the case in his defense?
Would it go well if he examined you?
Could you deceive him as you would deceive a man?(F)
10 Surely he would rebuke you
if you secretly showed partiality.
11 Would God’s majesty not terrify you?(G)
Would his dread not fall on you?
12 Your memorable sayings are proverbs of ash;(H)
your defenses are made of clay.

13 Be quiet,[b] and I will speak.
Let whatever comes happen to me.
14 I will put[c] myself at risk[d]
and take my life in my own hands.
15 Even if he kills me, I will hope in him.[e]
I will still defend(I) my ways before him.
16 Yes, this will result in my deliverance,
for no godless person(J) can appear before him.
17 Pay close attention to my words;
let my declaration ring in your ears.
18 Now then, I have prepared my case;(K)
I know that I am right.
19 Can anyone indict me?
If so, I will be silent and die.

20 Only grant these two things to me, God,
so that I will not have to hide from your presence:
21 remove your hand from me,
and do not let your terror frighten me.(L)
22 Then call, and I will answer,(M)
or I will speak, and you can respond to me.
23 How many iniquities(N) and sins have I committed?[f]
Reveal to me my transgression and sin.
24 Why do you hide your face
and consider me your enemy?(O)
25 Will you frighten a wind-driven leaf?
Will you chase after dry straw?
26 For you record bitter accusations against me
and make me inherit the iniquities of my youth.
27 You put my feet in the stocks
and stand watch over all my paths,
setting a limit for the soles[g] of my feet.

28 A person wears out like something rotten,
like a moth-eaten garment.(P)

14 Anyone born of woman
is short of days and full of trouble.(Q)
He blossoms like a flower, then withers;(R)
he flees like a shadow and does not last.
Do you really take notice of one like this?
Will you bring me into judgment against you?[h](S)
Who can produce something pure from what is impure?
No one!
Since a person’s days are determined
and the number of his months depends on you,
and since you have set[i] limits he cannot pass,(T)
look away from him and let him rest
so that he can enjoy his day like a hired worker.(U)

There is hope for a tree:
If it is cut down, it will sprout again,
and its shoots will not die.
If its roots grow old in the ground
and its stump starts to die in the soil,
the scent of water makes it thrive
and produce twigs like a sapling.(V)
10 But a person dies and fades away;
he breathes his last—where is he?
11 As water disappears from a lake
and a river becomes parched and dry,
12 so people lie down never to rise again.
They will not wake up until the heavens are no more;(W)
they will not stir from their sleep.

13 If only you would hide me in Sheol(X)
and conceal me until your anger(Y) passes.
If only you would appoint a time for me
and then remember me.
14 When a person dies, will he come back to life?
If so, I would wait(Z) all the days of my struggle(AA)
until my relief comes.
15 You would call, and I would answer you.
You would long for the work of your hands.(AB)
16 For then you would count my steps(AC)
but would not take note(AD) of my sin.
17 My rebellion would be sealed up in a bag,
and you would cover over my iniquity.

18 But as a mountain collapses and crumbles
and a rock is dislodged from its place,
19 as water wears away stones
and torrents wash away the soil from the land,
so you destroy a man’s hope.(AE)
20 You completely overpower him, and he passes on;
you change his appearance and send him away.
21 If his sons receive honor, he does not know it;
if they become insignificant, he is unaware of it.(AF)
22 He feels only the pain of his own body
and mourns only for himself.

Footnotes

  1. 13:6 Lit to the claims of my lips
  2. 13:13 Lit quiet before me
  3. 13:14 LXX; MT reads Why do I put
  4. 13:14 Lit I take my flesh in my teeth
  5. 13:15 Some Hb mss read I will be without hope
  6. 13:23 Lit sins are to me
  7. 13:27 Lit paths. You mark a line around the roots
  8. 14:3 LXX, Syr, Vg read him
  9. 14:5 Lit set his

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