1“My eyes have seen all this,
my ears have heard and understood it.
2What you know, I also know;
I am not inferior to you.
3But I desire to speak to the Almighty
and to argue my case with God.
4You, however, smear me with lies;
you are worthless physicians, all of you!
5If only you would be altogether silent!
For you, that would be wisdom.
6Hear now my argument;
listen to the pleas of my lips.
7Will you speak wickedly on God’s behalf?
Will you speak deceitfully for him?
8Will you show him partiality?
Will you argue the case for God?
9Would it turn out well if he examined you?
Could you deceive him as you might deceive a mortal?
10He would surely call you to account
if you secretly showed partiality.
11Would not his splendor terrify you?
Would not the dread of him fall on you?
12Your maxims are proverbs of ashes;
your defenses are defenses of clay.
13“Keep silent and let me speak;
then let come to me what may.
14Why do I put myself in jeopardy
and take my life in my hands?
15Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him;
I will surely#15 Or He will surely slay me; I have no hope— / yet I will defend my ways to his face.
16Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance,
for no godless person would dare come before him!
17Listen carefully to what I say;
let my words ring in your ears.
18Now that I have prepared my case,
I know I will be vindicated.
19Can anyone bring charges against me?
If so, I will be silent and die.
20“Only grant me these two things, God,
and then I will not hide from you:
21Withdraw your hand far from me,
and stop frightening me with your terrors.
22Then summon me and I will answer,
or let me speak, and you reply to me.
23How many wrongs and sins have I committed?
Show me my offense and my sin.
24Why do you hide your face
and consider me your enemy?
25Will you torment a windblown leaf?
Will you chase after dry chaff?
26For you write down bitter things against me
and make me reap the sins of my youth.
27You fasten my feet in shackles;
you keep close watch on all my paths
by putting marks on the soles of my feet.
28“So man wastes away like something rotten,
like a garment eaten by moths.