Job 6

Job’s Friends Are No Help

6 Then Job answered and said,

2
“Oh, that my grief could actually be weighed
And placed in the balances together with my tragedy [to see if my grief is the grief of a coward]!
3
“For now it would be heavier than the sand of the sea;
Therefore my words have been incoherent,
4
Because the arrows of the Almighty are within me,
My spirit drinks their poison;
The terrors of God are arrayed against me.
5
“Does the wild donkey bray when he has grass?
Or does the ox low over his fodder?
6
“Can something that has no taste to it be eaten without salt?
Or is there any flavor in the white of an egg?
7
“My soul refuses to touch them;
Such things are like loathsome food to me [sickening and repugnant].

8
“Oh that my request would come to pass,
And that God would grant me the thing that I long for!
9
“I wish that it would please God to crush me,
That He would let loose His hand and cut me off.
10
“Then I would still have consolation,
And I would jump for joy amid unsparing pain,
That I have not denied or hidden the words of the Holy One.
11
“What strength do I have left, that I should wait [and hope]?
And what is ahead of me, that I should be patient and endure?
12
“Is my strength and endurance that of stones,
Or is my flesh made of bronze?
13
“Is it that I have no help within myself,
And that success and wisdom have been driven from me?

14
“For the despairing man there should be kindness from his friend;
So that he does not [a]abandon (turn away from) the fear of the Almighty.
15
“My brothers have acted deceitfully like a brook,
Like the torrents of brooks that vanish,
16
Which are dull and dirty because of ice,
And into which the snow melts and hides itself;
17
When it is warm, they are silent and cease to flow;
When it is hot, they vanish from their place.
18
“The paths of their course wind along,
They go up into nothing and perish.
[Your counsel is as helpful to me as a dry streambed in the heat of summer.]
19
“The caravans of [b]Tema looked [for water],
The caravans of [c]Sheba waited for them [in vain].
20
“They were put to shame and disappointed because they had trusted [that they would find water];
They came there and were ashamed.
21
“Indeed, you have now become like a dried-up stream,
You see a terror [believing me to be a victim of the wrath of God] and are afraid [to be compassionate].
22
“Did I ever say, ‘Give me something,’
Or, ‘Pay a bribe for me from your wealth,’
23
Or, ‘Rescue me from the adversary’s hand,’
Or, ‘Redeem me from the hand of the tyrants’?

24
“Teach me, and I will be silent;
And show me how I have erred.
25
“How painful are words of honesty.
But what does your argument prove?
26
“Do you intend to reprove my words [with a convincing argument],
When the words of one in despair belong to the wind [and go ignored]?
27
“You would cast lots (gamble) over the fatherless
And bargain away your friend.
28
“Now please look at me,
And see if I lie to your face [for you know that I would not].
29
“Turn away [from your suspicion], let there be no injustice;
Turn away, my righteousness and vindication is still in it.
30
“Is there injustice or malice on my tongue?
Can my palate not discern what is destructive?

Footnotes

  1. Job 6:14 Lit forsake.
  2. Job 6:19 Tema, tribal descendants of the ninth son of Ishmael.
  3. Job 6:19 Sheba, tribal descendants of Abraham and Keturah.

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