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Job’s Reply to Eliphaz

It’s Impossible

Job said:

It’s impossible to weigh
    my misery and grief!
They outweigh the sand
    along the beach,
and that’s why I have spoken
    without thinking first.
The fearsome arrows
    of God All-Powerful
have filled my soul
    with their poison.
Do oxen and wild donkeys
cry out in distress
    unless they are hungry?
What is food without salt?
What is more tasteless
    than the white of an egg?[a]
That’s how my food tastes,
    and my appetite is gone.

How I wish that God
would answer my prayer
    and do away with me.
10 Then I would be comforted,
knowing that in all of my pain
    I have never disobeyed God.
11 Why should I patiently hope
    when my strength is gone?
12 I am not strong as stone
    or bronze,
13 and I have finally reached
    the end of my rope.

My Friends, I Am Desperate

14 My friends, I am desperate,
    and you should help me,
even if I no longer respect
    God All-Powerful.[b]
15 But you are treacherous
16 as streams that swell
    with melting snow,
17 then suddenly disappear
    in the summer heat.
18 I am like a caravan,
lost in the desert
    while searching for water.
19 Caravans from Tema and Sheba[c]
20     thought they would find water.
But they were disappointed,
21     just as I am with you.[d]
Only one look at my suffering,
    and you run away scared.

What Have I Done Wrong?

22 Have I ever asked any of you
    to give me a gift
23 or to purchase my freedom
    from brutal enemies?
24 What have I done wrong?
Show me,
    and I will keep quiet.
25 The truth is always painful,
but your arguments
    prove nothing.
26 Here I am desperate,
and you consider my words
    as worthless as wind.
27 Why, you would sell an orphan
    or your own neighbor!
28 Look me straight in the eye;
    I won’t lie to you.
29 Stop accusing me falsely;
    my reputation is at stake.
30 I know right from wrong,
    and I am not telling lies.

Footnotes

  1. 6.6 What is more tasteless. . . egg: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  2. 6.14 and you should help me. . . God All-Powerful: Or “and if you don’t help me, you no longer respect God All-Powerful.”
  3. 6.19 Tema and Sheba: Tema was a region in northwest Arabia, and Sheba was probably a region in southwest Arabia.
  4. 6.21 just. . . you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

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