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Job 23Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Job Replies: My Complaint Is Bitter

23 Then Job answered:

“Today also my complaint is bitter,[a]
    his[b] hand is heavy in spite of my groaning.
Oh, that I knew where I might find him,
    that I might come even to his seat!
I would lay my case before him
    and fill my mouth with arguments.
I would learn what he would answer me,
    and understand what he would say to me.
Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power?
    No; he would give heed to me.
There an upright man could reason with him,
    and I should be acquitted for ever by my judge.

“Behold, I go forward, but he is not there;
    and backward, but I cannot perceive him;
on the left hand I seek him,[c] but I cannot behold him;
    I[d] turn to the right hand, but I cannot see him.
10 But he knows the way that I take;
    when he has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
11 My foot has held fast to his steps;
    I have kept his way and have not turned aside.
12 I have not departed from the commandment of his lips;
    I have treasured in[e] my bosom the words of his mouth.
13 But he is unchangeable and who can turn him?
    What he desires, that he does.
14 For he will complete what he appoints for me;
    and many such things are in his mind.
15 Therefore I am terrified at his presence;
    when I consider, I am in dread of him.
16 God has made my heart faint;
    the Almighty has terrified me;
17 for I am[f] hemmed in by darkness,
    and thick darkness covers my face.[g]


  1. Job 23:2 Syr Vg Tg: Heb rebellious
  2. Job 23:2 Gk Syr: Heb my
  3. Job 23:9 Compare Syr: Heb on the left hand when he works
  4. Job 23:9 Syr Vg: Heb he
  5. Job 23:12 Gk Vg: Heb from
  6. Job 23:17 With one Ms: Heb am not
  7. Job 23:17 Vg: Heb from my face
Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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