Job’s Reply to Eliphaz
1Then Job answered:
2If only my grief could be weighed
and my devastation placed with it on the scales.
3For then it would outweigh the sand of the seas!
That is why my words are rash.
4Surely the arrows of the Almighty have pierced me;
my spirit drinks their poison.
God’s terrors are arrayed against me.
5Does a wild donkey bray over fresh grass
or an ox low over its fodder?
6Is bland food eaten without salt?
Is there flavor in an egg white?
7I refuse to touch them;
they are like contaminated food.
8If only my request would be granted
and God would provide what I hope for:
9that he would decide to crush me,
to unleash his power and cut me off!
10It would still bring me comfort,
and I would leap for joy in unrelenting pain
that I have not denied the words of the Holy One.
11What strength do I have, that I should continue to hope?
What is my future, that I should be patient?
12Is my strength that of stone,
or my flesh made of bronze?
13Since I cannot help myself,
the hope for success has been banished from me.
14A despairing man should receive loyalty from his friends,
even if he abandons the fear of the Almighty.
15My brothers are as treacherous as a wadi,
as seasonal streams that overflow
16and become darkened because of ice,
and the snow melts into them.
17The wadis evaporate in warm weather;
they disappear from their channels in hot weather.
18Caravans turn away from their routes,
go up into the desert, and perish.
19The caravans of Tema look for these streams.
The traveling merchants of Sheba hope for them.
20They are ashamed because they had been confident of finding water.
When they arrive there, they are disappointed.
21So this is what you have now become to me.
When you see something dreadful, you are afraid.
22Have I ever said, “Give me something”
or “Pay a bribe for me from your wealth”
23or “Deliver me from the enemy’s hand”
or “Redeem me from the hand of the ruthless”?
24Teach me, and I will be silent.
Help me understand what I did wrong.
25How painful honest words can be!
But what does your rebuke prove?
26Do you think that you can disprove my words
or that a despairing man’s words are mere wind?
27No doubt you would cast lots for a fatherless child
and negotiate a price to sell your friend.
28But now, please look at me;
I will not lie to your face.
29Reconsider; don’t be unjust.
Reconsider; my righteousness is still the issue.
30Is there injustice on my tongue
or can my palate not taste disaster?