Job’s Reply to Eliphaz

Then Job answered:

If only my grief could be weighed
and my devastation(A) placed with it in 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 frustrated.(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 power”
or “Redeem me from the grasp 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;
would I 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)

Footnotes

  1. Job 6:4 Lit Almighty are in
  2. Job 6:6 Hb obscure
  3. Job 6:10 Lit hidden
  4. Job 6:14 Lit To the despairing his friend loyalty
  5. Job 6:16 Or turbid
  6. Job 6:21 Alt Hb tradition reads So you have now become nothing

Job

Then Job replied:

“If only my anguish could be weighed
    and all my misery be placed on the scales!(A)
It would surely outweigh the sand(B) of the seas—
    no wonder my words have been impetuous.(C)
The arrows(D) of the Almighty(E) are in me,(F)
    my spirit drinks(G) in their poison;(H)
    God’s terrors(I) are marshaled against me.(J)
Does a wild donkey(K) bray(L) when it has grass,
    or an ox bellow when it has fodder?(M)
Is tasteless food eaten without salt,
    or is there flavor in the sap of the mallow[a]?(N)
I refuse to touch it;
    such food makes me ill.(O)

“Oh, that I might have my request,
    that God would grant what I hope for,(P)
that God would be willing to crush(Q) me,
    to let loose his hand and cut off my life!(R)
10 Then I would still have this consolation(S)
    my joy in unrelenting pain(T)
    that I had not denied the words(U) of the Holy One.(V)

11 “What strength do I have, that I should still hope?
    What prospects, that I should be patient?(W)
12 Do I have the strength of stone?
    Is my flesh bronze?(X)
13 Do I have any power to help myself,(Y)
    now that success has been driven from me?

14 “Anyone who withholds kindness from a friend(Z)
    forsakes the fear of the Almighty.(AA)
15 But my brothers are as undependable as intermittent streams,(AB)
    as the streams that overflow
16 when darkened by thawing ice
    and swollen with melting snow,(AC)
17 but that stop flowing in the dry season,
    and in the heat(AD) vanish from their channels.
18 Caravans turn aside from their routes;
    they go off into the wasteland and perish.
19 The caravans of Tema(AE) look for water,
    the traveling merchants of Sheba(AF) look in hope.
20 They are distressed, because they had been confident;
    they arrive there, only to be disappointed.(AG)
21 Now you too have proved to be of no help;
    you see something dreadful and are afraid.(AH)
22 Have I ever said, ‘Give something on my behalf,
    pay a ransom(AI) for me from your wealth,(AJ)
23 deliver me from the hand of the enemy,
    rescue me from the clutches of the ruthless’?(AK)

24 “Teach me, and I will be quiet;(AL)
    show me where I have been wrong.(AM)
25 How painful are honest words!(AN)
    But what do your arguments prove?
26 Do you mean to correct what I say,
    and treat my desperate words as wind?(AO)
27 You would even cast lots(AP) for the fatherless(AQ)
    and barter away your friend.

28 “But now be so kind as to look at me.
    Would I lie to your face?(AR)
29 Relent, do not be unjust;(AS)
    reconsider, for my integrity(AT) is at stake.[b](AU)
30 Is there any wickedness on my lips?(AV)
    Can my mouth not discern(AW) malice?

Footnotes

  1. Job 6:6 The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
  2. Job 6:29 Or my righteousness still stands

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