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.

17 My spirit is broken.
My days are extinguished.
A graveyard(N) awaits me.
Surely mockers surround[i] me,
and my eyes must gaze at their rebellion.(O)

Accept my pledge! Put up security for me.(P)
Who else will be my sponsor?[j]
You have closed their minds to understanding,
therefore you will not honor them.
If a man denounces his friends for a price,
the eyes of his children will fail.

He has made me an object of scorn to the people;
I have become a man people spit at.[k](Q)
My eyes have grown dim from grief,
and my whole body has become but a shadow.
The upright are appalled(R) at this,
and the innocent are roused against the godless.
Yet the righteous person will hold to his way,
and the one whose hands are clean(S) will grow stronger.
10 But come back and try again, all of you.[l]
I will not find a wise man among you.

11 My days have slipped by;
my plans have been ruined,
even the things dear to my heart.
12 They turned night into day
and made light seem near in the face of darkness.(T)
13 If I await Sheol as my home,
spread out my bed in darkness,
14 and say to corruption, “You are my father,”
and to the maggot, “My mother” or “My sister,”(U)
15 where then is my hope?(V)
Who can see any hope for me?
16 Will it go down to the gates of Sheol,(W)
or will we descend together to the dust?

Footnotes

  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
  9. 17:2 Lit are with
  10. 17:3 Or Who is there that will shake hands with me?
  11. 17:6 Lit become a spitting to the faces
  12. 17:10 Some Hb mss, LXX, Vg; other Hb mss read them

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