Job 16

Job replies to Eliphaz

16:1Now Job replies to his friends. Nothing that they have said has helped him. They have not been able to make him happy again. Job understands that God punishes bad people. But he does not understand why bad things have happened to him. He still thinks that God has not been fair. But he begins to think that perhaps God will, in the end, help him. (See Job 16:19; 17:3.)

1 Then Job replied. This is what he said.

2 ‘I have heard all these things before. When you speak to me, you do not help me.

Nor do you make me any happier.

3 I want you to stop speaking words that do not help me.

You have no reason to answer me.

4 If your troubles were like my troubles, I could say the same things to you.

I could speak about the wrong things that you have done.

5 But, instead, I would try to help you.

I would say things that made you happier.

6 But even if I speak, my pain does not go away.

And if I stop speaking, my pain is still there.

7 God, you have been very cruel to me.

You have killed my whole family.

8 You and I are enemies.

And you do not let me move.

I am so thin that people can see my bones.

People think that you made me like this because of the wrong things in my life.

9 God attacks me because he is angry. I look at his face. I look at his eyes.

And I can see how angry he is.

10 Crowds of people say things about me that are not kind.

They are not afraid of me and they even slap my face.

11 It was God who let these bad people take me away.

He let them do these things to me.

12 I was enjoying my life.

Then he held me and everything changed.

He held my neck and he hurt me.

He has shot his arrows at me.

13 Soldiers with bows seem to be all round me.

He tears my body and my blood falls on the ground. Still he does not feel sorry for me.

14 He attacks me again and again.

He rushes at me like a soldier.

15 My clothes show how sad I am.

I sit among ashes to show that he has beaten me.

16 I have cried so much that my eyes are red.

I am so tired that there are shadows under my eyes.

17 But I have never done anything that was cruel or wrong.

And when I pray, I speak honestly to God.

18 I ask the earth not to hide my blood. I do not want people to forget me.

I want them always to hear my cry for help.

19 Even now there is someone in heaven, who can speak on my behalf.

I have a friend in that high place who knows about God's rules.

20 My friends do not help me, so I cry to God.

My tears fall to the ground.

21 Sometimes another person can help friends when they have a quarrel.

I want someone to speak to God on my behalf.

22 Soon my life will end.

And I will never again return to this earth.’