Job’s Reply to Eliphaz

Then Job answered:

If only my grief could be weighed
and my devastation(A) placed with it on the scales.(B)
For then it would outweigh the sand of the seas!
That is why my words are rash.
Surely the arrows of the Almighty have pierced[a] me;
my spirit drinks their poison.
God’s terrors are arrayed against me.(C)
Does a wild donkey bray over fresh grass
or an ox low over its fodder?
Is bland food eaten without salt?
Is there flavor in an egg white?[b]
I refuse to touch them;
they are like contaminated food.(D)

If only my request would be granted
and God would provide what I hope for:
that he would decide to crush me,
to unleash his power and cut me off!
10 It would still bring me comfort,
and I would leap for joy in unrelenting pain
that I have not denied[c] the words of the Holy One.(E)

11 What strength do I have, that I should continue to hope?
What is my future, that I should be patient?
12 Is my strength that of stone,
or my flesh made of bronze?
13 Since I cannot help myself,
the hope for success has been banished from me.

14 A despairing man should receive loyalty from his friends,[d](F)
even if he abandons the fear of the Almighty.
15 My brothers are as treacherous as a wadi,
as seasonal streams that overflow
16 and become darkened[e] because of ice,
and the snow melts into them.
17 The wadis evaporate in warm weather;
they disappear from their channels in hot weather.
18 Caravans turn away from their routes,
go up into the desert, and perish.
19 The caravans of Tema look for these streams.
The traveling merchants of Sheba hope for them.
20 They are ashamed because they had been confident of finding water.
When they arrive there, they are disappointed.(G)
21 So this is what you have now become to me.[f]
When you see something dreadful, you are afraid.
22 Have I ever said: “Give me something”
or “Pay a bribe for me from your wealth”
23 or “Deliver me from the enemy’s hand”
or “Redeem me from the hand of the ruthless”?

24 Teach me, and I will be silent.
Help me understand what I did wrong.
25 How painful honest words can be!
But what does your rebuke prove?
26 Do you think that you can disprove my words
or that a despairing man’s words are mere wind?(H)
27 No doubt you would cast lots for a fatherless child
and negotiate a price to sell your friend.(I)

28 But now, please look at me;
I will not lie to your face.(J)
29 Reconsider; don’t be unjust.
Reconsider; my righteousness(K) is still the issue.
30 Is there injustice on my tongue
or can my palate not taste disaster?(L)

Isn’t each person consigned to forced labor(M) on earth?
Are not his days like those of a hired worker?
Like a slave he longs for shade;
like a hired worker he waits for his pay.
So I have been made to inherit months of futility,
and troubled nights have been assigned to me.(N)
When I lie down I think,
“When will I get up?”
But the evening drags on endlessly,
and I toss and turn until dawn.
My flesh is clothed with maggots and encrusted with dirt.[g]
My skin forms scabs[h] and then oozes.(O)

My days pass more swiftly than a weaver’s shuttle;
they come to an end without hope.(P)
Remember that my life is but a breath.
My eye will never again see anything good.(Q)
The eye of anyone who looks on me
will no longer see me.
Your eyes will look for me, but I will be gone.(R)
As a cloud fades away and vanishes,
so the one who goes down to Sheol(S) will never rise again.
10 He will never return to his house;
his hometown will no longer remember[i] him.(T)

11 Therefore I will not restrain my mouth.
I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;
I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
12 Am I the sea[j](U) or a sea monster,(V)
that you keep me under guard?
13 When I say, “My bed will comfort me,
and my couch will ease my complaint,”
14 then you frighten me with dreams,
and terrify me with visions,(W)
15 so that I prefer strangling[k]
death rather than life in this body.[l](X)
16 I give up! I will not live forever.
Leave me alone,(Y) for my days are a breath.[m]

17 What is a mere human, that you think so highly of him
and pay so much attention to him?(Z)
18 You inspect him every morning,
and put him to the test every moment.(AA)
19 Will you ever look away from me,
or leave me alone long enough to swallow?[n]
20 If I have sinned, what have I done to you,
Watcher of humanity?
Why have you made me your target,(AB)
so that I have become a burden to you?[o]
21 Why not forgive my sin
and pardon my iniquity?(AC)
For soon I will lie down in the grave.(AD)
You will eagerly seek me, but I will be gone.(AE)

Footnotes

  1. 6:4 Lit Almighty are in
  2. 6:6 Hb obscure
  3. 6:10 Lit hidden
  4. 6:14 Lit To the despairing his friend loyalty
  5. 6:16 Or turbid
  6. 6:21 Alt Hb tradition reads So you have now become nothing
  7. 7:5 Or and dirty scabs
  8. 7:5 Lit skin hardens
  9. 7:10 Lit know
  10. 7:12 Or the sea god
  11. 7:15 Or suffocation
  12. 7:15 Lit than my bones
  13. 7:16 Or are futile
  14. 7:19 Lit swallow my saliva?
  15. 7:20 Alt Hb tradition, LXX; MT, Vg read myself

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