Job 6:1--7:21

Job Replies to Eliphaz

6:1 Then Job responded:

6:2 “Oh, if only my grief could be weighed,

and my misfortune laid on the scales too!

6:3 But because it is heavier than the sand of the sea,

that is why my words have been wild.

6:4 For the arrows of the Almighty are within me;

my spirit drinks their poison;

God’s sudden terrors are arrayed against me.

Complaints Reflect Suffering

6:5 “Does the wild donkey bray when it is near grass?

Or does the ox low near its fodder?

6:6 Can food that is tasteless be eaten without salt?

Or is there any taste in the white of an egg?

6:7 I have refused to touch such things;

they are like loathsome food to me.

A Cry for Death

6:8 “Oh that my request would be realized,

and that God would grant me what I long for!

6:9 And that God would be willing to crush me,

that he would let loose his hand

and kill me.

6:10 Then I would yet have my comfort,

then I would rejoice,

in spite of pitiless pain,

for I have not concealed the words of the Holy One.

6:11 What is my strength, that I should wait?

and what is my end,

that I should prolong my life?

6:12 Is my strength like that of stones?

or is my flesh made of bronze?

6:13 Is not my power to help myself nothing,

and has not every resource been driven from me?

Disappointing Friends

6:14 “To the one in despair, kindness should come from his friend

even if he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.

6:15 My brothers have been as treacherous as a seasonal stream,

and as the riverbeds of the intermittent streams

that flow away.

6:16 They are dark because of ice;

snow is piled up over them.

6:17 When they are scorched, they dry up,

when it is hot, they vanish from their place.

6:18 Caravans turn aside from their routes;

they go into the wasteland and perish.

6:19 The caravans of Tema looked intently for these streams;

the traveling merchants of Sheba hoped for them.

6:20 They were distressed,

because each one had been so confident;

they arrived there, but were disappointed.

6:21 For now you have become like these streams that are no help;

you see a terror, and are afraid.

Friends’ Fears

6:22 “Have I ever said, ‘Give me something,

and from your fortune make gifts in my favor’?

6:23 Or ‘Deliver me from the enemy’s power,

and from the hand of tyrants ransom me’?

No Sin Discovered

6:24 “Teach me and I, for my part, will be silent;

explain to me how I have been mistaken.

6:25 How painful are honest words!

But what does your reproof prove?

6:26 Do you intend to criticize mere words,

and treat the words of a despairing man as wind?

6:27 Yes, you would gamble for the fatherless,

and auction off your friend.

Other Explanation

6:28 “Now then, be good enough to look at me;

and I will not lie to your face!

6:29 Relent, let there be no falsehood;

reconsider, for my righteousness is intact!

6:30 Is there any falsehood on my lips?

Can my mouth not discern evil things?

The Brevity of Life

7:1 “Does not humanity have hard service on earth?

Are not their days also

like the days of a hired man?

7:2 Like a servant longing for the evening shadow,

and like a hired man looking for his wages,

7:3 thus I have been made to inherit

months of futility,

and nights of sorrow

have been appointed to me.

7:4 If I lie down, I say, ‘When will I arise?’,

and the night stretches on

and I toss and turn restlessly

until the day dawns.

7:5 My body is clothed with worms and dirty scabs;

my skin is broken and festering.

7:6 My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle

and they come to an end without hope.

7:7 Remember that my life is but a breath,

that my eyes will never again see happiness.

7:8 The eye of him who sees me now will see me no more;

your eyes will look for me, but I will be gone.

7:9 As a cloud is dispersed and then disappears,

so the one who goes down to the grave

does not come up again.

7:10 He returns no more to his house,

nor does his place of residence know him any more.

Job Remonstrates with God

7:11 “Therefore, I will not refrain my mouth;

I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;

I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.

7:12 Am I the sea, or the creature of the deep,

that you must put me under guard?

7:13 If I say, “My bed will comfort me,

my couch will ease my complaint,”

7:14 then you scare me with dreams

and terrify me with visions,

7:15 so that I would prefer strangling,

and death more than life.

7:16 I loathe it; I do not want to live forever;

leave me alone, for my days are a vapor!

Insignificance of Humans

7:17 “What is mankind that you make so much of them,

and that you pay attention to them?

7:18 And that you visit them every morning,

and try them every moment?

7:19 Will you never look away from me,

will you not let me alone

long enough to swallow my spittle?

7:20 If I have sinned – what have I done to you,

O watcher of men?

Why have you set me as your target?

Have I become a burden to you?

7:21 And why do you not pardon my transgression,

and take away my iniquity?

For now I will lie down in the dust,

and you will seek me diligently,

but I will be gone.”