2 “I have heard many things like these. You are all painful comforters! 3 Will your long, useless speeches never end? What makes you keep on arguing? 4 I also could speak as you do if you were in my place. I could make great speeches against you. And I could shake my head at you. 5 But, instead, my words would encourage you. I would speak words of comfort to bring you relief.
6 “But if I speak, my pain does not become less. And if I don’t speak, it still does not go away. 7 God, you have surely taken away my strength. You have destroyed my whole family. 8 You have made me thin and weak. And people feel that this shows I have done wrong. 9 God attacks me and tears me with anger. He grinds his teeth at me. My enemy stares at me with his angry eyes. 10 People open their mouths to make fun of me. They hit my cheeks to insult me. They join together against me. 11 God has turned me over to evil men. He has thrown me into the clutches of the wicked. 12 Everything was fine with me. But then God broke me into pieces. He held me by the neck and crushed me. He has made me his target. 13 God’s archers surround me. He stabs my kidneys and has no mercy. He spills my blood on the ground. 14 Again and again God attacks me. He runs at me like a soldier.
15 “I have sewed rough cloth over my skin to show my sadness. I have buried my face in the dust. 16 My face is red from crying. I have dark circles around my eyes. 17 And yet my hands have never done anything cruel. And my prayer is pure.
18 “Earth, please do not cover up my blood. Don’t let my cry ever stop being heard! 19 Even now I have one who speaks for me in heaven. The one who is on my side is high above. 20 The one who speaks for me is my friend. While he does this, my eyes pour out tears to God. 21 He begs God on behalf of a man as a man begs for his friend.
22 “Only a few years will pass before I go on the journey from which I cannot return.
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