1. Job spoke next. He said:
2. How often have I heard all this before! What sorry comforters you are!
3. 'When will these windy arguments be over?' or again, 'What sickness drives you to defend yourself?'
4. Oh yes! I too could talk as you do, if you were in my place; I could overwhelm you with speeches, shaking my head over you,
5. and speak words of encouragement, and then have no more to say.
6. When I speak, my suffering does not stop; if I say nothing, is it in any way reduced?
7. And now it is driving me to distraction; you have struck my whole acquaintanceship with horror,
8. now it rounds on me, my slanderer has now turned witness, he appears against me, accusing me face to face;
9. his anger tears and hounds me with gnashing teeth. My enemies look daggers at me,
10. and open gaping jaws. Their sneers strike like slaps in the face; and they all set on me at once.
11. Yes, God has handed me over to the godless, and cast me into the hands of the wicked.
12. I was living at peace, until he made me totter, taking me by the neck to shatter me. He has set me up as his target:
13. he shoots his arrows at me from all sides, pitilessly pierces my loins, and pours my gall out on the ground.
14. Breach after breach he drives through me, charging on me like a warrior.
15. I have sewn sackcloth over my skin, thrown my forehead in the dust.
16. My face is red with tears, and shadow dark as death covers my eyelids.
17. Nonetheless, my hands are free of violence, and my prayer is pure.
18. Cover not my blood, O earth, and let my cry mount without cease!
19. Henceforth I have a witness in heaven, my defender is there on high.
20. Interpreter of my thoughts there with God, before whom flow my tears,
21. let my anguish plead the cause of a man at grips with God, just as a man might defend his fellow.
22. For the years of my life are numbered, and I am leaving by the road of no return.