1Job spoke next. He said: 2If only my misery could be weighed, and al my il s be put together on the scales! 3But they outweigh the sands of the seas: what wonder then if my words are wild? 4The arrows of Shaddai stick fast in me, my spirit absorbs their poison, God's terrors stand paradedagainst me. 5Does a wild donkey bray when it has grass, or an ox low when its fodder is within reach? 6Is not food insipid, eaten without salt, is there any taste in egg-white? 7But the very things my appetite revolts at are now my diet in sickness. 8Will no one hear my prayer, will not God himself grant my hope? 9May it please God to crush me, to give his hand free play and do away with me! 10This thought, at least, would give me comfort (a thril of joy in unrelenting pain), that I never rebel edagainst the Holy One's decrees. 11But have I the strength to go on waiting? And why be patient, when doomed to such an end? 12Is mine the strength of stone, is my flesh made of bronze? 13Can I support myself on nothing? Has not al help deserted me? 14Refuse faithful love to your neighbour and you forsake the fear of Shaddai. 15Like the torrent, my brothers have proved deceptive, as fleeting torrents they flow: 16the ice makes their waters turgid when, above them, the snow melts, 17but, come the burning summer, they run dry, they vanish in the heat of the sun. 18Caravans leave the trail to find them, go deep into wastelands, and are lost. 19The caravans of Tema look to them, and on them Sheba's convoys build their hopes. 20Their trust brings only embarrassment, they reach them only to be thwarted. 21And this is how you now treat me, terrified at the sight of me, you take fright. 22Have I said to you, 'Give me something, make some present for me at your own cost, 23snatch me from the grasp of an oppressor, ransom me from the grip of a violent man'? 24Put me right, and I shal say no more; show me where I have been at fault. 25Fair comment can be borne without resentment, but what are your strictures aimed at? 26Do you think mere words deserve censure, desperate speech that the wind blows away? 27Soon you wil be haggling over the price of an orphan, and sel ing your friend at bargain price! 28Come, I beg you, look at me: man to man, I shal not lie. 29Relent then, no harm is done; relent then, since I am upright. 30Is evil to be found on my lips? Can I not recognise misfortune when I taste it?
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