16 Then Job answered,
2 I have heard many such things; wearisome and miserable comforters are you all!
3 Will your futile words of wind have no end? Or what makes you so bold to answer [me like this]?
4 I also could speak as you do, if you were in my stead; I could join words together against you and shake my head at you.
5 [But] I would strengthen and encourage you with [the words of] my mouth, and the consolation of my lips would soothe your suffering.
6 If I speak [to you miserable comforters], my sorrow is not soothed or lessened; and if I refrain [from speaking], in what way am I eased? [I hardly know whether to answer you or be silent.]
7 But now [God] has taken away my strength. You [O Lord] have made desolate all my family and associates.
8 You have laid firm hold on me and have shriveled me up, which is a witness against me; and my leanness [and wretched state of body] are further evidence [against me]; [they] testify to my face.
9 [[a]My adversary Satan] has torn [me] in his wrath and hated and persecuted me; he has gnashed upon me with his teeth; my adversary sharpens his eyes against me.
10 [The forces of evil] have gaped at me with their mouths; they have struck me upon the cheek insolently; they massed themselves together and conspired unanimously against me.(A)
11 God has delivered me to the ungodly (to the evil one) and cast me [headlong] into the hands of the wicked (Satan’s host).
12 I was living at ease, but [Satan] crushed me and broke me apart; yes, he seized me by the neck and dashed me in pieces; then he set me up for his target.
13 [Satan’s] arrows whiz around me. He slashes open my vitals and does not spare; he pours out my gall on the ground.
14 [Satan] stabs me, making breach after breach and attacking again and again; he runs at me like a giant and irresistible warrior.
15 I have sewed sackcloth over my skin [as a sign of mourning] and have defiled my horn (my insignia of strength) in the dust.
16 My face is red and swollen with weeping, and on my eyelids is the shadow of death [my eyes are dimmed],
17 Although there is no guilt or violence in my hands and my prayer is pure.
18 O earth, cover not my blood, and let my cry have no resting-place [where it will cease being heard].
19 Even now, behold, my Witness is in heaven, and He who vouches for me is on high.(B)
20 My friends scorn me, but my eye pours out tears to God.
21 Oh, that there might be one who would plead for a man with God and that he would maintain his right with Him, as a son of man pleads with or for his neighbor!(C)
22 For when a few years are come, I shall go the way from which I shall not return.
- Job 16:9 The next six verses leave the casual reader at a loss to know of whom Job is speaking—of God, of Eliphaz, or of Satan, each of whom has been the choice of various translators and commentators. But careful study of the text itself, particularly the eleventh verse, seems to leave no question that while Job is blaming God for abandoning him to Satanic forces, nevertheless the monstrous, appalling, and disgusting behavior which Job describes is by him being attributed to Satan himself. Verse eleven in any translation seems to reveal what the reader has known all along but which Job only now sees. He still does not understand God’s motive, but he is facing the facts as they are: he is at the mercy of Satan! But God’s thrilling and rewarding motive is still unknown to him.