Job Says He Has Become a Byword
17 “My spirit is broken, my days are extinguished,
The grave is ready for me.
“Surely there are mockers and mockery with me,
And my eye gazes on their obstinacy and provocation.
“Give me a pledge (guarantee, promise) with Yourself [acknowledge my innocence before my death];
Who is there that will [a]be my guarantor and give security for me?
“But You [Lord] have closed their hearts to understanding,
Therefore You will not exalt them [by giving a verdict against me].
“He who denounces and informs against his friends for a share of the spoil,
The eyes of his children will also languish and fail.
“But He has made me a byword and mockery among the people,
And I have become one in whose face people spit.
“My eye has grown dim (unexpressive) because of grief,
And all my [body’s] members are [wasted away] like a shadow.
“The upright will be [astonished and] appalled at this,
And the innocent will stir himself up against the godless and polluted.
“Nevertheless the righteous will hold to his ways,
And he who has clean hands will grow stronger and stronger.(A)
“But as for all of you, come back again,
Even though I do not find a wise man among you.
“My days are past, my purposes and plans are frustrated and torn apart;
The wishes of my heart [are broken].
“These [thoughts try to] make the night into the day;
‘The light is near,’ they say in the presence of darkness [but they pervert the truth].
“But if I look to Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead) as my home,
If I make my bed in the darkness,
If I call out to the pit (grave), ‘You are my father’;
And to the worm [that feeds on decay], ‘You are my mother and my sister [because I will soon be closest to you],’
Where now is my hope?
And who regards or considers or is even concerned about my hope?
“Will my hope go down with me to Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead)?
Shall we go down together in the dust?”
- Job 17:3 Lit strike hands with me.