1Then Job replied:
2“I have heard many things like these;
you are miserable comforters, all of you!
3Will your long-winded speeches never end?
What ails you that you keep on arguing?
4I also could speak like you,
if you were in my place;
I could make fine speeches against you
and shake my head at you.
5But my mouth would encourage you;
comfort from my lips would bring you relief.
6“Yet if I speak, my pain is not relieved;
and if I refrain, it does not go away.
7Surely, God, you have worn me out;
you have devastated my entire household.
8You have shriveled me up—and it has become a witness;
my gauntness rises up and testifies against me.
9God assails me and tears me in his anger
and gnashes his teeth at me;
my opponent fastens on me his piercing eyes.
10People open their mouths to jeer at me;
they strike my cheek in scorn
and unite together against me.
11God has turned me over to the ungodly
and thrown me into the clutches of the wicked.
12All was well with me, but he shattered me;
he seized me by the neck and crushed me.
He has made me his target;
13his archers surround me.
Without pity, he pierces my kidneys
and spills my gall on the ground.
14Again and again he bursts upon me;
he rushes at me like a warrior.
15“I have sewed sackcloth over my skin
and buried my brow in the dust.
16My face is red with weeping,
dark shadows ring my eyes;
17yet my hands have been free of violence
and my prayer is pure.
18“Earth, do not cover my blood;
may my cry never be laid to rest!
19Even now my witness is in heaven;
my advocate is on high.
20My intercessor is my friend
as my eyes pour out tears to God;
21on behalf of a man he pleads with God
as one pleads for a friend.
22“Only a few years will pass
before I take the path of no return.