1 THEN JOB answered,
2 Oh, that my impatience and vexation might be [thoroughly] weighed and all my calamity be laid up over against them in the balances, one against the other [to see if my grief is unmanly]!
3 For now it would be heavier than the sand of the sea; therefore my words have been rash and wild,
4 [But it is] because the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison which my spirit drinks up; the terrors of God set themselves in array against me.
5 Does the wild ass bray when it has grass? Or does the ox low over its fodder?
6 Can that which has no taste to it be eaten without salt? Or is there any flavor in the white of an egg?
7 [These afflictions] my soul refuses to touch! Such things are like diseased food to me [sickening and repugnant]!
8 Oh, that I might have my request, and that God would grant me the thing that I long for!
9 I even wish that it would please God to crush me, that He would let loose His hand and cut me off!
10 Then would I still have consolation–yes, I would leap [for joy] amid unsparing pain [though I shrink from it]–that I have not concealed or denied the words of the Holy One!
11 What strength have I left, that I should wait and hope? And what is ahead of me, that I should be patient?
12 Is my strength and endurance that of stones? Or is my flesh made of bronze?
13 Is it not that I have no help in myself, and that wisdom is quite driven from me?
14 To him who is about to faint and despair, kindness is due from his friend, lest he forsake the fear of the Almighty.
15 [You] my brethren have dealt deceitfully as a brook, as the channel of brooks that pass away,
16 Which are black and turbid by reason of the ice, and in which the snows hides itself;
17 When they get warm, they shrink and disappear; when it is hot, they vanish out of their place.
18 The caravans which travel by way of them turn aside; they go into the waste places and perish. [Such is my disappointment in you, the friends I fully trusted.]
19 The caravans of Tema looked [for water], the companies of Sheba waited for them [in vain].
20 They were confounded because they had hoped [to find water]; they came there and were bitterly disappointed.
21 Now to me you are [like a dried-up brook]; you see my dismay and terror, and [believing me to be a victim of God's anger] you are afraid [to sympathize with me].
22 Did I ever say, Bring me a gift, or Pay a bribe on my account from your wealth
23 To deliver me from the adversary's hand, or Redeem me from the hand of the oppressors?
24 Teach me, and I will hold my peace; and cause me to understand wherein I have erred.
25 How forcible are words of straightforward speech! But what does your arguing argue and prove or your reproof reprove?
26 Do you imagine your words to be an argument, but the speeches of one who is desperate to be as wind?
27 Yes, you would cast lots over the fatherless and bargain away your friend.
28 Now be pleased to look upon me, that it may be evident to you if I lie [for surely I would not lie to your face].
29 Return [from your suspicion], I pray you, let there be no injustice; yes, return again [to confidence in me], my vindication is in it.
30 Is there wrong on my tongue? Cannot my taste discern what is destructive?