Job Says His Friends’ Proverbs Are Ashes
1[Job continued:] “Behold, my eye has seen all this,
My ear has heard and understood it.
2What you know I also know;
I am not inferior to you.
3“But I wish to speak to the Almighty,
And I desire to argue with God.
4But you smear me with lies [you defame my character most untruthfully];
You are all worthless physicians and have no remedy to offer.
5Oh, that you would be completely silent,
And that silence would be your wisdom!
6Please hear my argument
And listen to the pleadings of my lips.
7Will you speak what is unjust for God,
And speak what is deceitful for Him?
8Will you show partiality for Him [and be unjust to me so that you may gain favor with Him]?
Will you contend and plead for God?
9Will it be well for you when He investigates you [and your tactics against me]?
Or will you deceive Him as one deceives a man?
10He will surely reprimand you
If you secretly show partiality.
11Will not His majesty terrify you,
And will not the dread of Him fall upon you?
12Your memorable sayings are [worthless, merely] proverbs of ashes;
Your defenses are defenses of [crumbling] clay.
Job Is Sure He Will Be Vindicated
13“Be silent before me so that I may speak;
And let happen to me what may.
14Why should I take my flesh in my teeth
And put my life in my hands [incurring the wrath of God]?
15Even though He kills me;
I will hope in Him.
Nevertheless, I will argue my ways to His face.
16This also will be my salvation,
For a godless man may not come before Him.
17Listen diligently to my speech,
And let my declaration fill your ears.
18Behold now, I have prepared my case;
I know that I will be vindicated.
19Who will argue and contend with me?
For then I would be silent and die.
20“Only [O Lord,] do not do two things to me,
And then I will not hide myself from Your face:
21Withdraw Your hand from me and remove this bodily suffering,
And let not the dread of You terrify me.
22Then [Lord,] call, and I will answer;
Or let me speak, and then reply to me.
23How many are my iniquities and sins [that so much sorrow should come to me]?
Make me recognize and understand my transgression and my sin.
24Why do You hide Your face [as if offended]
And consider me Your enemy?
25Will You cause a windblown leaf to tremble?
Will You pursue the chaff of the dry stubble?
26For You write bitter things against me [in Your indictment]
And make me inherit and suffer for the iniquities of my youth.
27You also put my feet in the stocks [as punishment]
And [critically] observe all my paths;
You set a circle and limit around the soles of my feet [which I must not overstep],
28While I waste away like a rotten thing,
Like a garment that is moth-eaten.