Job Replies to Eliphaz
God Has Dumped the Works on Me
“If my misery could be weighed,
if you could pile the whole bitter load on the scales,
It would be heavier than all the sand of the sea!
Is it any wonder that I’m screaming like a caged cat?
The arrows of God Almighty are in me,
poison arrows—and I’m poisoned all through!
God has dumped the whole works on me.
Donkeys bray and cows moo when they run out of pasture—
so don’t expect me to keep quiet in this.
Do you see what God has dished out for me?
It’s enough to turn anyone’s stomach!
Everything in me is repulsed by it—
it makes me sick.
Pressed Past the Limits
8-13“All I want is an answer to one prayer,
a last request to be honored:
Let God step on me—squash me like a bug,
and be done with me for good.
I’d at least have the satisfaction
of not having blasphemed the Holy God,
before being pressed past the limits.
Where’s the strength to keep my hopes up?
What future do I have to keep me going?
Do you think I have nerves of steel?
Do you think I’m made of iron?
Do you think I can pull myself up by my bootstraps?
Why, I don’t even have any boots!
My So-Called Friends
14-23“When desperate people give up on God Almighty,
their friends, at least, should stick with them.
But my brothers are fickle as a gulch in the desert—
one day they’re gushing with water
From melting ice and snow
cascading out of the mountains,
But by midsummer they’re dry,
gullies baked dry in the sun.
Travelers who spot them and go out of their way for a drink
end up in a waterless gulch and die of thirst.
Merchant caravans from Tema see them and expect water,
tourists from Sheba hope for a cool drink.
They arrive so confident—but what a disappointment!
They get there, and their faces fall!
And you, my so-called friends, are no better—
there’s nothing to you!
One look at a hard scene and you shrink in fear.
It’s not as though I asked you for anything—
I didn’t ask you for one red cent—
Nor did I beg you to go out on a limb for me.
So why all this dodging and shuffling?
24-27“Confront me with the truth and I’ll shut up,
show me where I’ve gone off the track.
Honest words never hurt anyone,
but what’s the point of all this pious bluster?
You pretend to tell me what’s wrong with my life,
but treat my words of anguish as so much hot air.
Are people mere things to you?
Are friends just items of profit and loss?
28-30“Look me in the eyes!
Do you think I’d lie to your face?
Think it over—no double-talk!
Think carefully—my integrity is on the line!
Can you detect anything false in what I say?
Don’t you trust me to discern good from evil?”