But Job answered and said,
2 Oh that my grief were throughly weighed, and my calamity laid in the balances together!
3 For now it would be heavier than the sand of the sea: therefore my words are swallowed up.
4 For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinketh up my spirit: the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me.
5 Doth the wild ass bray when he hath grass? or loweth the ox over his fodder?
6 Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt? or is there any taste in the white of an egg?
7 The things that my soul refused to touch are as my sorrowful meat.
8 Oh that I might have my request; and that God would grant me the thing that I long for!
9 Even that it would please God to destroy me; that he would let loose his hand, and cut me off!
10 Then should I yet have comfort; yea, I would harden myself in sorrow: let him not spare; for I have not concealed the words of the Holy One.
11 What is my strength, that I should hope? and what is mine end, that I should prolong my life?
12 Is my strength the strength of stones? or is my flesh of brass?
13 Is not my help in me? and is wisdom driven quite from me?
14 To him that is afflicted pity should be shewed from his friend; but he forsaketh the fear of the Almighty.
15 My brethren have dealt deceitfully as a brook, and as the stream of brooks they pass away;
16 Which are blackish by reason of the ice, and wherein the snow is hid:
17 What time they wax warm, they vanish: when it is hot, they are consumed out of their place.
18 The paths of their way are turned aside; they go to nothing, and perish.
19 The troops of Tema looked, the companies of Sheba waited for them.
20 They were confounded because they had hoped; they came thither, and were ashamed.
21 For now ye are nothing; ye see my casting down, and are afraid.
22 Did I say, Bring unto me? or, Give a reward for me of your substance?
23 Or, Deliver me from the enemy's hand? or, Redeem me from the hand of the mighty?
24 Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred.
25 How forcible are right words! but what doth your arguing reprove?
26 Do ye imagine to reprove words, and the speeches of one that is desperate, which are as wind?
27 Yea, ye overwhelm the fatherless, and ye dig a pit for your friend.
28 Now therefore be content, look upon me; for it is evident unto you if I lie.
29 Return, I pray you, let it not be iniquity; yea, return again, my righteousness is in it.
30 Is there iniquity in my tongue? cannot my taste discern perverse things?
Answering his friends, Job wishes for a fair trial. He feels that God’s arrows are against him (vv. 3,4).
Yet even in his terrible suffering, Job has a firm view of God’s ability to help him (vv. 8-9). Job never asked for possessions from friends or help against an enemy or an oppressor (vv. 22-23). But he does implore his friends to tell him how he has erred (v. 24). They thought their words were needed discipline for their wicked friend, and that his words were a typical response of one who suffers for his wickedness (v. 26). His friends do not have a good reputation (v. 27). With a smile on their faces, they finish off a friend and are pleased when he bows low (v. 28). But even though Job is in financial straights, he is determined to keep his lifestyle proper. He wants the ability to discern right from wrong in other aspects of life as well (v. 30).
Dear God, provide us also with a life of discernment and a quest for righteousness and right doing as you did for Job. Even though we understand Satan’s diabolical purpose, we are secure for You are in full control of our lives. Amen
Koot van Wyk
Kyungpook National University
Sangju, South Korea