1I have seen all this with my own eyes, heard with my own ears and understood. 2Whatever you know, I know too; I am in no way inferior to you. 3But my words are intended for Shaddai; I mean to remonstrate with God. 4As for you, you are only charlatans, all worthless as doctors! 5Wil no one teach you to be quiet -- the only wisdom that becomes you! 6Kindly listen to my accusation and give your attention to the way I shall plead. 7Do you mean to defend God by prevarication and by dishonest argument, 8and, taking his side like this, appoint yourselves as his advocates? 9How would you fare, if he were to scrutinise you? Can he be duped as mortals are duped? 10He would inflict a harsh rebuke on you for your covert partiality. 11Does his majesty not affright you? Does his terror not overcome you? 12Your received ideas are maxims of ash, your retorts, retorts of clay. 13Be quiet! Kindly let me do the talking, happen to me what may. 14I am putting my flesh between my teeth, I am taking my life in my hands; 15let him kill me if he will; I have no other hope than to justify my conduct in his eyes. 16And this is what wil save me, for the wicked would not dare to appear before him. 17Listen careful y to my words, and pay attention to what I am going to say. 18You see, I shal proceed by form of law, knowing that I am upright. 19Who wants to contest my case? In advance, I agree to be silenced and to die! 20Only grant me two concessions, and then I shal not hide away from your face: 21remove your hand, which lies so heavy on me, no longer make me cower from your terror. 22Then cal me forward and I shal answer, or rather, I shall speak and you wil answer. 23How many faults and crimes have I committed? Tell me what my misdeed has been, what my sin? 24Why do you hide your face and look on me as your enemy? 25Do you want to intimidate a wind-blown leaf, do you want to pursue a dry straw? 26You who lay bitter al egations against me and tax me with the faults of my youth 27and have put my feet in the stocks; you examine my every step and measure my footprints one byone! 28For his part, he crumbles away like rotten wood, or like a moth-eaten garment,
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