2 “I’ve heard many things like this. What miserable comforters you all are! 3 Will windy words like yours never end? What is upsetting you that you keep on arguing?
4 “I could also talk like you if only you were in my place! Then I would put together an argument[a] against you. I would shake my head at you 5 and encourage you with what I have to say;[b] my words of comfort would lessen your pain.
6 “But if I speak, my pain isn’t assuaged; if I refrain from speaking, what do I have to lose?”
Job Claims of God’s Mistreatment
7 “God[c] has certainly worn me out; you devastated my entire world.[d] 8 You’ve arrested me, making me testify against myself! My leanness rises up to attack me, accusing[e] me to my face. 9 His anger tears me in his persistent resentment against me; he gnashes his teeth at me. My adversary glares[f] at me. 10 People gaped at me with mouths wide open; they slap me in their scorn and gather together against me. 11 God has delivered me over to the ungodly, throwing me into the control of the wicked.
12 “He tore me apart when I was at ease; grabbing me by my neck, he shook me to pieces— then he really made me his target. 13 His archers surround me, slashing open my kidneys without pity; he pours out my gall on the ground. 14 Attack follows attack as he breaks through my defenses! He runs over me like a mighty warrior.
15 “I’ve even sewn sackcloth directly to my skin; I’ve buried my strength[g] in the dust. 16 My face is red from my tears, and dark shadows encircle my eyelids, 17 even though violence is not my intention, and my prayer is pure.”
Job Appeals to Witnesses
18 “Listen, earth! Don’t cover my blood, for my outcry has no place to rest. 19 Even now, behold! I have a witness in heaven, my Advocate is on high. 20 My friends mock me, while my eyes overflow with tears to God, 21 crying for him to arbitrate between this[h] man and God; as a human being does with his fellow neighbor. 22 For when only a few years have elapsed, I’ll start down a path from which I’ll never return.”
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