13

Job Wants to Argue His Case with God

1“Look, I have seen all this with my own eyes

and heard it with my own ears, and now I understand.

2I know as much as you do.

You are no better than I am.

3As for me, I would speak directly to the Almighty.

I want to argue my case with God himself.

4As for you, you smear me with lies.

As physicians, you are worthless quacks.

5If only you could be silent!

That’s the wisest thing you could do.

6Listen to my charge;

pay attention to my arguments.

7“Are you defending God with lies?

Do you make your dishonest arguments for his sake?

8Will you slant your testimony in his favor?

Will you argue God’s case for him?

9What will happen when he finds out what you are doing?

Can you fool him as easily as you fool people?

10No, you will be in trouble with him

if you secretly slant your testimony in his favor.

11Doesn’t his majesty terrify you?

Doesn’t your fear of him overwhelm you?

12Your platitudes are as valuable as ashes.

Your defense is as fragile as a clay pot.

13“Be silent now and leave me alone.

Let me speak, and I will face the consequences.

14Why should I put myself in mortal danger*13:14 Hebrew Why should I take my flesh in my teeth. 

and take my life in my own hands?

15God might kill me, but I have no other hope.*13:15 An alternate reading in the Masoretic Text reads God might kill me, but I hope in him. 

I am going to argue my case with him.

16But this is what will save me—I am not godless.

If I were, I could not stand before him.

17“Listen closely to what I am about to say.

Hear me out.

18I have prepared my case;

I will be proved innocent.

19Who can argue with me over this?

And if you prove me wrong, I will remain silent and die.

Job Asks How He Has Sinned

20“O God, grant me these two things,

and then I will be able to face you.

21Remove your heavy hand from me,

and don’t terrify me with your awesome presence.

22Now summon me, and I will answer!

Or let me speak to you, and you reply.

23Tell me, what have I done wrong?

Show me my rebellion and my sin.

24Why do you turn away from me?

Why do you treat me as your enemy?

25Would you terrify a leaf blown by the wind?

Would you chase dry straw?

26“You write bitter accusations against me

and bring up all the sins of my youth.

27You put my feet in stocks.

You examine all my paths.

You trace all my footprints.

28I waste away like rotting wood,

like a moth-eaten coat.