K4 L¹ 16:1-6. Reproof. M¹ 16:7-16. Despondency. L² 16:17-21. Reply. M² 16:22-17:1. L³ 17:2-10. Challenge. M³ 17:11-16. Despondency.
1 Then Job replied and said,
2 "I have heard many such things: wearisome comforters are you all.
3 Shall empty words have an end? or what emboldens you that you answer?
4 I also could speak as you do: if you were in my stead, I could heap up words against you, and shake my head at you.
5 But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should assuage your grief.
6 Though I speak, my grief is not assuaged: and though I forbear, what am I eased?
7 But now He has made me weary: You have made desolate all my company.
8 And You have filled me with wrinkles, which is become a witness against me: and my leanness rising up in me bears witness to my face.
9 He tears me in His wrath, Who hates me: He gnashes upon me with His teeth; my enemy sharpens His eyes upon me.
10 They have gaped upon me with their mouth; they have smitten me upon the cheek reproachfully; they have gathered themselves together against me.
11 GOD (El) has delivered me to an evil one, and turned me over into the hands of the lawless ones.
12 I was at ease, but He has broken me asunder: He has also taken me by my neck, and shaken me to pieces, and set me up for His mark.
13 His archers compass me round about, He cleaves my reins asunder, and does not spare; He pours out my gall upon the ground.
14 He breaks me with breach upon breach, He runs upon me like a mighty man.
15 I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin (put for sorrow which accompanied it), and defiled my horn in the dust.
16 My face is foul with weeping, and on my eyelids is the shadow of death; (Not a mere shade of shadow, but the deep darkness of the grave.)
17 Not for any violence in my hands: also my prayer is pure.
18 O earth, cover not you my blood (the reference is to the practice which remains to this day, based on Num. 35:33. Lev. 17:13. Job's desire is that the evidence of his sufferings may not be hidden), and let my cry have no place.
19 Also now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high.
20 My neighbors scorn me: but my eye pour out tears unto GOD.
21 O that one might plead for a strong man with GOD, as a son of man pleads for his neighbor!
22 When a few years are come, then I shall go the way from where I shall not return.