Job’s Friends Are No Help

Then Job [a]answered,

(A)Oh that my grief were actually weighed
And laid in the balances together with my calamity!
“For then it would be (B)heavier than the sand of the seas;
Therefore my words have been rash.
“For the (C)arrows of the Almighty are within me,
[b]Their (D)poison my spirit drinks;
The (E)terrors of God are arrayed against me.
“Does the (F)wild donkey bray over his grass,
Or does the ox low over his fodder?
“Can something tasteless be eaten without salt,
Or is there any taste in the [c]white of an egg?
“My soul (G)refuses to touch them;
They are like loathsome food to me.

“Oh that my request might come to pass,
And that God would grant my longing!
“Would that God were (H)willing to crush me,
That He would loose His hand and cut me off!
10 “But it is still my consolation,
And I rejoice in unsparing pain,
That I (I)have not [d]denied the words of the Holy One.
11 “What is my strength, that I should wait?
And what is my end, that I should [e](J)endure?
12 “Is my strength the strength of stones,
Or is my flesh bronze?
13 “Is it that my (K)help is not within me,
And that [f](L)deliverance is driven from me?

14 “For the (M)despairing man there should be kindness from his friend;
So that he does not (N)forsake the [g]fear of the Almighty.
15 “My brothers have acted (O)deceitfully like a [h]wadi,
Like the torrents of [i]wadis which vanish,
16 Which are turbid because of ice
And into which the snow [j]melts.
17 “When (P)they become waterless, they [k]are silent,
When it is hot, they vanish from their place.
18 “The [l]paths of their course wind along,
They go up into nothing and perish.
19 “The caravans of (Q)Tema looked,
The travelers of (R)Sheba hoped for them.
20 “They (S)were [m]disappointed for they had trusted,
They came there and were confounded.
21 “Indeed, you have now become such,
(T)You see a terror and are afraid.
22 “Have I said, ‘Give me something,’
Or, ‘Offer a bribe for me from your wealth,’
23 Or, ‘Deliver me from the hand of the adversary,’
Or, ‘Redeem me from the hand of the tyrants’?

24 “Teach me, and (U)I will be silent;
And show me how I have erred.
25 “How painful are honest words!
But what does your argument prove?
26 “Do you intend to reprove my words,
When the (V)words of one in despair belong to the wind?
27 “You would even (W)cast lots for (X)the orphans
And (Y)barter over your friend.
28 “Now please look at me,
And see if I (Z)lie to your face.
29 “Desist now, let there be no injustice;
Even desist, (AA)my righteousness is yet in it.
30 “Is there injustice on my tongue?
Cannot (AB)my palate discern [n]calamities?


  1. Job 6:1 Lit answered and said
  2. Job 6:4 Lit Whose
  3. Job 6:6 Heb hallamuth, meaning uncertain. Perhaps the juice of a plant
  4. Job 6:10 Lit hidden
  5. Job 6:11 Lit prolong my soul
  6. Job 6:13 So ancient versions
  7. Job 6:14 Or reverence
  8. Job 6:15 Or brooks
  9. Job 6:15 Or brooks
  10. Job 6:16 Lit hides itself
  11. Job 6:17 Or cease
  12. Job 6:18 Or caravans turn from their course, they go up into the waste and perish
  13. Job 6:20 Lit ashamed
  14. Job 6:30 Or words


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?


  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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