New American Bible (Revised Edition)
Job’s Fifth Reply. 1 [a]Then Job answered and said:
2 How long will you afflict my spirit,
grind me down with words?
3 These ten times you have humiliated me,
have assailed me without shame!
4 Even if it were true that I am at fault,
my fault would remain with me;
5 If truly you exalt yourselves at my expense,
and use my shame as an argument against me,
6 Know then that it is God who has dealt unfairly with me,
and compassed me round with his net.
7 If I cry out “Violence!” I am not answered.(A)
I shout for help, but there is no justice.
8 He has barred my way and I cannot pass;
veiled my path in darkness;
9 He has stripped me of my glory,
taken the diadem from my brow.
10 He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone;
he has uprooted my hope like a tree.
11 He has kindled his wrath against me;
he counts me one of his enemies.(B)
12 His troops advance as one;
they build up their road to attack me,
encamp around my tent.
13 My family has withdrawn from me,(C)
my friends are wholly estranged.
14 My relatives and companions neglect me,
my guests have forgotten me.
15 Even my maidservants consider me a stranger;
I am a foreigner in their sight.
16 I call my servant, but he gives no answer,
though I plead aloud with him.
17 My breath is abhorrent to my wife;(D)
I am loathsome to my very children.
18 Even young children despise me;
when I appear, they speak against me.
19 All my intimate friends hold me in horror;
those whom I loved have turned against me!(E)
20 My bones cling to my skin,
and I have escaped by the skin of my teeth.[b]
21 Pity me, pity me, you my friends,
for the hand of God has struck me!
22 Why do you pursue me like God,
and prey insatiably upon me?
23 Oh, would that my words were written down!(F)
Would that they were inscribed in a record:[c]
24 That with an iron chisel and with lead
they were cut in the rock forever!
25 As for me, I know that my vindicator lives,[d]
and that he will at last stand forth upon the dust.(G)
26 This will happen when my skin has been stripped off,
and from my flesh I will see God:
27 I will see for myself,
my own eyes, not another’s, will behold him:
my inmost being is consumed with longing.
28 But you who say, “How shall we persecute him,
seeing that the root of the matter is found in him?”
29 Be afraid of the sword for yourselves,
for your anger is a crime deserving the sword;
that you may know that there is a judgment.
- 19:1 Job continues railing against his friends (vv. 2–5), and describing God’s savage attack in words reminiscent of 16:9–17.
- 19:20 Skin of my teeth: although the metaphor is not clear, this has become a proverbial expression for a narrow escape. It does not fit Job’s situation here.
- 19:23–24 What Job is about to say is so important that he wants it recorded in a permanent manner.
- 19:25–27 The meaning of this passage is obscure because the original text has been poorly preserved and the ancient versions do not agree among themselves. Job asserts three times that he shall see a future vindicator (Hebrew goel), but he leaves the time and manner of this vindication undefined. The Vulgate translation has Job indicating a belief in resurrection after death, but the Hebrew and the other ancient versions are less specific.