Job’s Friends Are No Help
1 Then Job answered and said,
2 “Oh, that my grief could actually be weighed
And placed in the balances together with my tragedy [to see if my grief is the grief of a coward]!
3 “For now it would be heavier than the sand of the sea;
Therefore my words have been incoherent,
4 Because the arrows of the Almighty are within me,
My spirit drinks their poison;
The terrors of God are arrayed against me.
5 “Does the wild donkey bray when he has grass?
Or does the ox low over his fodder?
6 “Can something that has no taste to it be eaten without salt?
Or is there any flavor in the white of an egg?
7 “My soul refuses to touch them;
Such things are like loathsome food to me [sickening and repugnant].
8 “Oh that my request would come to pass,
And that God would grant me the thing that I long for!
9 “I wish that it would please God to crush me,
That He would let loose His hand and cut me off.
10 “Then I would still have consolation,
And I would jump for joy amid unsparing pain,
That I have not denied or hidden the words of the Holy One.
11 “What strength do I have left, that I should wait [and hope]?
And what is ahead of me, that I should be patient and endure?
12 “Is my strength and endurance that of stones,
Or is my flesh made of bronze?
13 “Is it that I have no help within myself,
And that success and wisdom have been driven from me?
14 “For the despairing man there should be kindness from his friend;
So that he does not #Lit forsake.abandon (turn away from) the fear of the Almighty.
15 “My brothers have acted deceitfully like a brook,
Like the torrents of brooks that vanish,
16 Which are dull and dirty because of ice,
And into which the snow melts and hides itself;
17 When it is warm, they are silent and cease to flow;
When it is hot, they vanish from their place.
18 “The paths of their course wind along,
They go up into nothing and perish.
[Your counsel is as helpful to me as a dry streambed in the heat of summer.]
19 “The caravans of #Tema, tribal descendants of the ninth son of Ishmael.Tema looked [for water],
The caravans of #Tema, tribal descendants of the ninth son of Ishmael.Sheba waited for them [in vain].
20 “They were put to shame and disappointed because they had trusted [that they would find water];
They came there and were ashamed.
21 “Indeed, you have now become like a dried-up stream,
You see a terror [believing me to be a victim of the wrath of God] and are afraid [to be compassionate].
22 “Did I ever say, ‘Give me something,
Or, ‘Pay a bribe for me from your wealth,’
23 Or, ‘Rescue me from the adversary’s hand,’
Or, ‘Redeem me from the hand of the tyrants’?
24 “Teach me, and I will be silent;
And show me how I have erred.
25 “How painful are words of honesty.
But what does your argument prove?
26 “Do you intend to reprove my words [with a convincing argument],
When the words of one in despair belong to the wind [and go ignored]?
27 “You would cast lots (gamble) over the fatherless
And bargain away your friend.
28 “Now please look at me,
And see if I lie to your face [for you know that I would not].
29 “Turn away [from your suspicion], let there be no injustice;
Turn away, my righteousness and vindication is still in it.
30 “Is there injustice or malice on my tongue?
Can my palate not discern what is destructive?