1-2If my troubles and griefs were weighed on scales,
3they would weigh more than the sands of the sea,
so my wild words should not surprise you.
4Almighty God has shot me with arrows,
and their poison spreads through my body.
God has lined up his terrors against me.
5A donkey is content when eating grass,
and a cow is quiet when eating hay.
6But who can eat flat, unsalted food?
What taste is there in the white of an egg?
7I have no appetite for food like that,
and everything I eat makes me sick.
8Why won't God give me what I ask?
Why won't he answer my prayer?
9If only he would go ahead and kill me!
10If I knew he would, I would leap for joy,
no matter how great my pain.
I know that God is holy;
I have never opposed what he commands.
11What strength do I have to keep on living?
Why go on living when I have no hope?
12Am I made of stone? Is my body bronze?
13I have no strength left to save myself;
there is nowhere I can turn for help.
14In trouble like this I need loyal friends—
whether I've forsaken God or not.
15But you, my friends, you deceive me like streams
that go dry when no rain comes.
16The streams are choked with snow and ice,
17but in the heat they disappear,
and the stream beds lie bare and dry.
18Caravans get lost looking for water;
they wander and die in the desert.
19Caravans from Sheba and Tema search,
20but their hope dies beside dry streams.
21You are like those streams to me,
you see my fate and draw back in fear.
22Have I asked you to give me a gift
or to bribe someone on my behalf
23or to save me from some enemy or tyrant?
24All right, teach me; tell me my faults.
I will be quiet and listen to you.
25Honest words are convincing,
but you are talking nonsense.
26You think I am talking nothing but wind;
then why do you answer my words of despair?
27You would even roll dice for orphan slaves
and make yourselves rich off your closest friends!
28Look me in the face. I won't lie.
29You have gone far enough. Stop being unjust.
Don't condemn me. I'm in the right.
30But you think I am lying—
you think I can't tell right from wrong.