Job 16-18 New King James Version (NKJV)
Job Reproaches His Pitiless Friends
16 Then Job answered and said:
“I have heard many such things;
Miserable comforters are you all!
Shall words of wind have an end?
Or what provokes you that you answer?
I also could speak as you do,
If your soul were in my soul’s place.
I could heap up words against you,
And shake my head at you;
But I would strengthen you with my mouth,
And the comfort of my lips would relieve your grief.
“Though I speak, my grief is not relieved;
And if I remain silent, how am I eased?
But now He has worn me out;
You have made desolate all my company.
You have shriveled me up,
And it is a witness against me;
My leanness rises up against me
And bears witness to my face.
He tears me in His wrath, and hates me;
He gnashes at me with His teeth;
My adversary sharpens His gaze on me.
They gape at me with their mouth,
They strike me reproachfully on the cheek,
They gather together against me.
God has delivered me to the ungodly,
And turned me over to the hands of the wicked.
I was at ease, but He has shattered me;
He also has taken me by my neck, and shaken me to pieces;
He has set me up for His target,
His archers surround me.
He pierces my heart and does not pity;
He pours out my gall on the ground.
He breaks me with wound upon wound;
He runs at me like a warrior.
“I have sewn sackcloth over my skin,
And laid my head in the dust.
My face is flushed from weeping,
And on my eyelids is the shadow of death;
Although no violence is in my hands,
And my prayer is pure.
“O earth, do not cover my blood,
And let my cry have no resting place!
Surely even now my witness is in heaven,
And my evidence is on high.
My friends scorn me;
My eyes pour out tears to God.
Oh, that one might plead for a man with God,
As a man pleads for his neighbor!
For when a few years are finished,
I shall go the way of no return.
Job Prays for Relief
17 “My spirit is broken,
My days are extinguished,
The grave is ready for me.
Are not mockers with me?
And does not my eye dwell on their provocation?
“Now put down a pledge for me with Yourself.
Who is he who will shake hands with me?
For You have hidden their heart from understanding;
Therefore You will not exalt them.
He who speaks flattery to his friends,
Even the eyes of his children will fail.
“But He has made me a byword of the people,
And I have become one in whose face men spit.
My eye has also grown dim because of sorrow,
And all my members are like shadows.
Upright men are astonished at this,
And the innocent stirs himself up against the hypocrite.
Yet the righteous will hold to his way,
And he who has clean hands will be stronger and stronger.
“But please, come back again, all of you,
For I shall not find one wise man among you.
My days are past,
My purposes are broken off,
Even the thoughts of my heart.
They change the night into day;
‘The light is near,’ they say, in the face of darkness.
If I wait for the grave as my house,
If I make my bed in the darkness,
If I say to corruption, ‘You are my father,’
And to the worm, ‘You are my mother and my sister,’
Where then is my hope?
As for my hope, who can see it?
Will they go down to the gates of Sheol?
Shall we have rest together in the dust?”
Bildad: The Wicked Are Punished
18 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:
“How long till you put an end to words?
Gain understanding, and afterward we will speak.
Why are we counted as beasts,
And regarded as stupid in your sight?
You who tear yourself in anger,
Shall the earth be forsaken for you?
Or shall the rock be removed from its place?
“The light of the wicked indeed goes out,
And the flame of his fire does not shine.
The light is dark in his tent,
And his lamp beside him is put out.
The steps of his strength are shortened,
And his own counsel casts him down.
For he is cast into a net by his own feet,
And he walks into a snare.
The net takes him by the heel,
And a snare lays hold of him.
A noose is hidden for him on the ground,
And a trap for him in the road.
Terrors frighten him on every side,
And drive him to his feet.
His strength is starved,
And destruction is ready at his side.
It devours patches of his skin;
The firstborn of death devours his limbs.
He is uprooted from the shelter of his tent,
And they parade him before the king of terrors.
They dwell in his tent who are none of his;
Brimstone is scattered on his dwelling.
His roots are dried out below,
And his branch withers above.
The memory of him perishes from the earth,
And he has no name among the renowned.
He is driven from light into darkness,
And chased out of the world.
He has neither son nor posterity among his people,
Nor any remaining in his dwellings.
Those in the west are astonished at his day,
As those in the east are frightened.
Surely such are the dwellings of the wicked,
And this is the place of him who does not know God.”