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16 In response Iyov said:

“I have heard this stuff so often!
Such sorry comforters, all of you!
Is there no end to words of wind?
What provokes you to answer this way?

“If I were in your place,
I too could speak as you do —
I could string phrases together against you
and shake my head at you.
I could ‘strengthen’ you with my mouth,
with lip service I could ‘ease your grief.’
If I speak, my own pain isn’t eased;
and if I don’t speak, it still doesn’t leave.

“But now he has worn me out;
you have desolated this whole community of mine.
Besides, you have shriveled me up;
and this serves to witness against me.
My being so thin rises up against me
and testifies to my face.
He tears me apart in his anger;
he holds a grudge against me;
he gnashes on me with his teeth.
“My enemies look daggers at me.
10 Wide-mouthed, they gape at me;
with scorn, they slap my cheeks;
they gather themselves together against me.

11 “God delivers me to the perverse,
throws me into the hands of the wicked.
12 I was at peace, and he shook me apart.
Yes, he grabbed me by the neck and dashed me to pieces.
He set me up as his target —
13 his archers surrounded me.
He slashes my innards and shows no mercy,
he pours my gall on the ground.
14 He breaks in on me again and again,
attacking me like a warrior.

15 “I sewed sackcloth together to cover my skin
and laid my pride in the dust;
16 my face is red from crying,
and on my eyelids is a death-dark shadow.
17 Yet my hands are free from violence,
and my prayer is pure.

18 “Earth, don’t cover my blood;
don’t let my cry rest [without being answered].
19 Even now, my witness is in heaven;
my advocate is there on high.
20 With friends like these as intercessors,
my eyes pour out tears to God,
21 that he would arbitrate between a man and God,
just as one does for his fellow human being.
22 For I have but few years left
before I leave on the road of no return.

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