Job’s Reply to Eliphaz

Then Job answered:

If only my grief could be weighed

and my devastation placed with it in the scales.

For then it would outweigh the sand of the seas!

That is why my words are rash.

Surely the arrows of the Almighty have pierced[a] me;

my spirit drinks their poison.

God’s terrors are arrayed against me.

Does a wild donkey bray over fresh grass

or an ox low over its fodder?

Is bland food eaten without salt?

Is there flavor in an egg white?[b]

I refuse to touch them;

they are like contaminated food.

If only my request would be granted

and God would provide what I hope for:

that He would decide to crush me,

to unleash His power and cut me off!

10 It would still bring me comfort,

and I would leap for joy in unrelenting pain

that I have not denied[c] the words of the Holy One.

11 What strength do I have that I should continue to hope?

What is my future, that I should be patient?

12 Is my strength that of stone,

or my flesh made of bronze?

13 Since I cannot help myself,

the hope for success has been banished from me.

14 A despairing man should receive loyalty from his friends,[d]

even if he abandons the fear of the Almighty.

15 My brothers are as treacherous as a wadi,

as seasonal streams that overflow

16 and become darkened[e] because of ice,

and the snow melts into them.

17 The wadis evaporate in warm weather;

they disappear from their channels in hot weather.

18 Caravans turn away from their routes,

go up into the desert, and perish.

19 The caravans of Tema look for these streams.

The traveling merchants of Sheba hope for them.

20 They are ashamed because they had been confident of finding water.

When they arrive there, they are frustrated.

21 So this is what you have now become to me.[f]

When you see something dreadful, you are afraid.

22 Have I ever said: “Give me something”

or “Pay a bribe for me from your wealth”

23 or “Deliver me from the enemy’s power”

or “Redeem me from the grasp of the ruthless”?

24 Teach me, and I will be silent.

Help me understand what I did wrong.

25 How painful honest words can be!

But what does your rebuke prove?

26 Do you think that you can disprove my words

or that a despairing man’s words are mere wind?

27 No doubt you would cast lots for a fatherless child

and negotiate a price to sell your friend.

28 But now, please look at me;

would I lie to your face?

29 Reconsider; don’t be unjust.

Reconsider; my righteousness is still the issue.

30 Is there injustice on my tongue

or can my palate not taste disaster?


  1. Job 6:4 Lit Almighty are in
  2. Job 6:6 Hb obscure
  3. Job 6:10 Lit hidden
  4. Job 6:14 Lit To the despairing his friend loyalty
  5. Job 6:16 Or turbid
  6. Job 6:21 Alt Hb tradition reads So you have now become nothing