2 “I have heard many things like these. You are all ·painful [or troublesome] comforters! 3 Will your ·long-winded speeches [L windy words] never end? What ·makes [L provokes] you keep on ·arguing [L responding]? 4 I also could speak as you do if you were in my place. I could ·make great speeches [L join words] against you and shake my head at you [C like wagging a finger at someone]. 5 But, instead, I would ·encourage you [L strengthen you with my mouth], and ·my words [L the words of my lips] would bring you ·relief [comfort].
6 “Even if I speak, my pain is not less, and if I don’t speak, it still does not go away. 7 ·God, you have [L He has] surely ·taken away my strength [worn me out] and ·destroyed [or stunned] ·my whole family [or everyone around me; L my assembly]. 8 You have ·made me thin and weak [shriveled me up; or bound me], ·and this shows I have done wrong [L as a witness against me]. 9 God ·attacks me and tears me with anger [L preys on me and hates me]; he ·grinds [gnashes] his teeth at me; my enemy ·stares at me with his angry eyes [L sharpens his eyes at me]. 10 People open their mouths ·to make fun of [L wide at] me and hit my cheeks to ·insult [or reproach] me. They ·join [congregate; assemble] together against me. 11 God has turned me over to evil people and has ·handed [thrown] me over to the wicked. 12 ·Everything was fine with me [L I was at ease], but God ·broke me into pieces [shattered me]; he ·held [grabbed; seized] me by the neck and ·crushed [mauled] me. He has ·made me [set me up as] his target; 13 his archers surround me. He ·stabs [L splits open] my kidneys without mercy; he spills my ·blood [L gall] on the ground. 14 ·Again and again God attacks me [L He breaches me, breach after breach]; he runs at me like a soldier.
15 “I have sewed ·rough cloth over my skin to show my sadness [sackcloth over my skin; C traditional mourning clothes] and have buried my ·face [L horn] in the dust [C a sign of grief; like an animal lowering its horn]. 16 My face is red from crying; I have ·dark circles [deep darkness] around my eyes. 17 Yet my hands have never done anything ·cruel [violent], and my prayer is pure.
18 “Earth, please do not cover up my blood. Don’t let my cry ever ·stop being heard [find a place of rest]! 19 Even now I have ·one who speaks for me [L a witness] in heaven; the one who ·is on my side [L testifies for me] is high above. 20 ·The one who speaks for me is my friend [or My friends scorn me]. My eyes pour out tears to God. 21 He ·begs God [negotiates/arbitrates with God] on behalf of a human as a person ·begs for [negotiates/arbitrates with] his friend. 22 “Only a few years will pass before I go on the journey of no return [C at his death].
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