Job 16

Job replies to Eliphaz

16:1Now Job replies to his friends. Nothing that they have said has helped him. Job understands that God punishes bad people. He still thinks that God has not been fair to punish him. But he begins to think that perhaps God will 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.

You are not making my troubles any better.

You are making them worse!

3 Please stop speaking useless words.

Why do you talk to me like that?

4 If you were suffering like I am,

I could say the same things to you.

I could speak for a long time

about the wrong things that you have done.

I could shake my head

and laugh at you.

5 But, instead, I would help you to be strong.

I would say things to comfort you.

6 But now, if I speak,

my pain does not become any better.

If I stop speaking,

my pain continues to be there.

7 God, you have made me very weak.

You have destroyed my family.

8 You have taken hold of me.

Because of my troubles,

people think that I am guilty.

Because my body is so thin,

people think that I have done bad things.

9 God attacks me and he punishes me because he is angry.

He shows his anger like a wild animal.

He has become my enemy.

10 People insult me and they laugh at me.

They hit me on my face.

They all join together to attack me.

11 God has allowed evil men to take hold of me.

He has put me under the power of wicked men.

12 I was living in peace,

but then God destroyed me.

He took hold of my neck

and he shook me to pieces.

He decided to shoot his arrows at me.

13 His arrows come from all around me.

They go deep into my body

and my blood pours out on the ground.

But God still does not feel sorry for me.

14 He attacks me again and again.

He rushes to attack me like a strong fighter.

15 I have used sackcloth to make my clothes.

16:15Sackcloth was not comfortable to wear. People wore sackcloth to show that they were very sad and upset.

I am no longer proud of my strength,

and I sit in the dust.

16 I have cried so much that my face is red.

There are dark circles around my eyes.

17 But I have not been cruel.

And when I pray, I speak honestly to God.

18 The earth should not hide my blood!

People should remember how I have suffered.

They should not forget that I asked for justice.

19 But even now, I know that I have a friend in heaven.

He knows that I am not guilty.

He speaks on my behalf.

20 My friends have turned against me.

I cry with many tears as I pray to God.

21 I need someone to speak to God on my behalf.

He should ask God not to punish me,

as someone might try to help his friends.

22 I only have a few more years to live.

I will die and I will never again return to this earth.