Job’s Reply to Eliphaz

16 Then Job answered:

I have heard many things like these.
You are all miserable comforters.(A)
Is there no end to your empty[a](B) words?
What provokes you that you continue testifying?
If you were in my place I could also talk like you.
I could string words together against you
and shake my head at you.
Instead, I would encourage you with my mouth,
and the consolation from my lips would bring relief.(C)

If I speak, my suffering is not relieved,
and if I hold back, does any of it leave me?
Surely he[b] has now exhausted me.
You have devastated my entire family.
You have shriveled me up[c]—it has become a witness;
my frailty rises up against me and testifies to my face.
His anger tears at me, and he harasses(D) me.
He gnashes his teeth at me.
My enemy pierces me with his eyes.
10 They open their mouths against me
and strike my cheeks with contempt;(E)
they join themselves together against me.
11 God hands me over to the unjust;[d]
he throws me to the wicked.
12 I was at ease, but he shattered me;
he seized me by the scruff of the neck
and smashed me to pieces.
He set me up as his target;(F)
13 his archers[e] surround me.
He pierces my kidneys without mercy
and pours my bile on the ground.
14 He breaks through my defenses again and again;[f]
he charges at me like a warrior.(G)

15 I have sewn sackcloth over my skin;
I have buried my strength[g] in the dust.(H)
16 My face has grown red with weeping,
and darkness(I) covers my eyes,
17 although my hands are free from violence(J)
and my prayer is pure.

18 Earth, do not cover my blood;
may my cry for help find no resting place.(K)
19 Even now my witness is in heaven,
and my advocate is in the heights!(L)
20 My friends scoff at me
as I weep before God.
21 I wish that someone might argue for a man with God(M)
just as anyone[h] would for a friend.
22 For only a few years will pass
before I go the way of no return.


  1. 16:3 Lit windy; Jb 15:2
  2. 16:7 Or it
  3. 16:8 Or have seized me; Hb obscure
  4. 16:11 LXX, Vg; MT reads to a boy
  5. 16:13 Or arrows
  6. 16:14 Lit through me, breach on breach
  7. 16:15 Lit horn
  8. 16:21 Lit a son of man


16 Then Job replied:

“I have heard many things like these;
    you are miserable comforters,(A) all of you!(B)
Will your long-winded speeches never end?(C)
    What ails you that you keep on arguing?(D)
I also could speak like you,
    if you were in my place;
I could make fine speeches against you
    and shake my head(E) at you.
But my mouth would encourage you;
    comfort(F) from my lips would bring you relief.(G)

“Yet if I speak, my pain is not relieved;
    and if I refrain, it does not go away.(H)
Surely, God, you have worn me out;(I)
    you have devastated my entire household.(J)
You have shriveled me up—and it has become a witness;
    my gauntness(K) rises up and testifies against me.(L)
God assails me and tears(M) me in his anger(N)
    and gnashes his teeth at me;(O)
    my opponent fastens on me his piercing eyes.(P)
10 People open their mouths(Q) to jeer at me;(R)
    they strike my cheek(S) in scorn
    and unite together against me.(T)
11 God has turned me over to the ungodly
    and thrown me into the clutches of the wicked.(U)
12 All was well with me, but he shattered me;
    he seized me by the neck and crushed me.(V)
He has made me his target;(W)
13     his archers surround me.(X)
Without pity, he pierces(Y) my kidneys
    and spills my gall on the ground.
14 Again and again(Z) he bursts upon me;
    he rushes at me like a warrior.(AA)

15 “I have sewed sackcloth(AB) over my skin
    and buried my brow in the dust.(AC)
16 My face is red with weeping,(AD)
    dark shadows ring my eyes;(AE)
17 yet my hands have been free of violence(AF)
    and my prayer is pure.(AG)

18 “Earth, do not cover my blood;(AH)
    may my cry(AI) never be laid to rest!(AJ)
19 Even now my witness(AK) is in heaven;(AL)
    my advocate is on high.(AM)
20 My intercessor(AN) is my friend[a](AO)
    as my eyes pour out(AP) tears(AQ) to God;
21 on behalf of a man he pleads(AR) with God
    as one pleads for a friend.

22 “Only a few years will pass
    before I take the path of no return.(AS)


  1. Job 16:20 Or My friends treat me with scorn