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