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Job Speaks: My Friends Do Not Help Ease My Pain

16 Then Job replied to his friends,

“I have heard many things like this before.
    You are all pathetic at comforting me.
Will your long-winded speeches never end?
    What disturbs you that you keep on answering me?
I, too, could speak like you
    if we could trade places.
    I could string words together against you
    and shake my head at you.
I could encourage you with my mouth,
    and my quivering lips could ease your pain.
If I speak, my pain is not eased.
    If I stop talking, how much of it will go away?

“But now, God has worn me out.
    You, God, have destroyed everyone who supports me.
        You have shriveled me up, which itself is a witness against me.
            My frail body rises up and testifies against me.

Job Describes What God Has Done to Him

“God’s anger tore me apart and attacked me.
    He gritted his teeth at me.
    My opponent looked sharply at me.
10 People gaped at me with wide-open mouths.
    In scorn they slapped my cheeks.
    They united against me.
11 El handed me over to unjust people
    and threw me into the hands of wicked people.
12 I was at ease, and he shattered me.
    He grabbed me by the back of the neck and smashed my skull.
    He set me up as his target,
13 and his archers surrounded me.
    He slashes open my kidneys without mercy
    and spills my blood[a] on the ground.
14 He inflicts wound after wound on me.
    He lunges at me like a warrior.

15 “I have sewn sackcloth over my skin,
    and I have thrown my strength in the dust.
16 My face is red from crying,
    and dark shadows encircle my eyes,
17 although my hands have done nothing violent,
    and my prayer is sincere.

Job Appeals His Case to Heaven

18 “Earth, don’t cover my blood.
    Don’t ever let my cry for justice be stopped.
19 Even now, look! My witness is in heaven,
    and the one who testifies for me is above,
20 the spokesman for my thoughts.[b]
    My eyes drip with tears to Eloah
22 because in a few short years I will take the path of no return.[c]
21 But my witness will plead for a human in front of Eloah.
    The Son of Man will plead for his friend!


  1. Job 16:13 Or “bile.”
  2. Job 16:20 Or “my friends mock me.”
  3. Job 16:22 Verse 22 has been placed before verse 21 to express the complex Hebrew sentence structure more clearly in English.