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Job 16 The Voice (VOICE)

16 Then Job reiterated his innocence.

Job: All the things from you sound the same.
        You are all terrible as comforters!
    Have we reached the end of your windy words,
        or are you sick with something that compels you to argue with me?
    If we were to trade places,
        I could rattle on as you do.
    I could compose eloquent speeches as you do
        and shake my head smugly at you and your problems.
    But I believe I would use my words to encourage you;
        my lips would move only to offer you relief.

    And yet, I am not you, you are not me,
        and my words are of no real use:
    When I speak, my pain is not relieved;
        if I remain silent, it does not go away.
    God has drained me utterly;
        He has made those near to me desolate—killed my family and my servants.
    You have shriveled me up;
        my withered form stands as a witness against me;
        my body, haggard and thin, testifies to my face.
    In anger He hunts me down and tears at me;
        in rancor His teeth grind on my flesh;
    His eyes are locked on me as a foe,
        eager to destroy still more of me.
10     My foes taunt me, their mouths gape in derision,
        they slap my cheek in disgust, and they conspire against me.
11     God has forsaken me to young thugs
        and flung me into the hands of evildoers who lie in wait for me.
12     I was living a good life—a quiet, peaceful life—
        when He began to beat on me;
    He throttled my neck, tore me apart,
        and then propped me up
        at the far end of the field, making me a target.
13     His archers have now gathered around me.
        In cold blood He splits my belly open and spills my bile on the earth.
14     He charged like a soldier storming a stronghold
        until my walls were breached, broken down, one after another.

Job in his despair and frustration responds as he and his friends have been taught by previous generations to display grief: by donning sackcloth and covering the head with dust to show devastation, as if everything has been lost even to the point of death.

15 Job: Well, I have sewed the sackcloth to my very skin
        and buried my mighty forehead in the dirt.
16     My face, red and hot, boils over in tears;
        the shadow of darkness lies heavy on my eyelids,
17     No matter that my hands are free of violence,
        and my prayer is pure.

18     O earth, do not conceal my blood!
        And when they seek to silence my cry, refuse a place for its burial.
19     Look! Even at this very moment, my witness is there, in heaven;
        my advocate is seated on high.
20     My only friends scoff at me; they persist in mocking me;
        even now my eyes well up in tears to God,
21     Appealing to God as a mere man,
        as a human being might for the sake of his friend.
22     Only a few years left now,
        and I will go down the path from which I cannot return.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Job 16 New International Version (NIV)


16 Then Job replied:

“I have heard many things like these;
    you are miserable comforters, all of you!
Will your long-winded speeches never end?
    What ails you that you keep on arguing?
I also could speak like you,
    if you were in my place;
I could make fine speeches against you
    and shake my head at you.
But my mouth would encourage you;
    comfort from my lips would bring you relief.

“Yet if I speak, my pain is not relieved;
    and if I refrain, it does not go away.
Surely, God, you have worn me out;
    you have devastated my entire household.
You have shriveled me up—and it has become a witness;
    my gauntness rises up and testifies against me.
God assails me and tears me in his anger
    and gnashes his teeth at me;
    my opponent fastens on me his piercing eyes.
10 People open their mouths to jeer at me;
    they strike my cheek in scorn
    and unite together against me.
11 God has turned me over to the ungodly
    and thrown me into the clutches of the wicked.
12 All was well with me, but he shattered me;
    he seized me by the neck and crushed me.
He has made me his target;
13     his archers surround me.
Without pity, he pierces my kidneys
    and spills my gall on the ground.
14 Again and again he bursts upon me;
    he rushes at me like a warrior.

15 “I have sewed sackcloth over my skin
    and buried my brow in the dust.
16 My face is red with weeping,
    dark shadows ring my eyes;
17 yet my hands have been free of violence
    and my prayer is pure.

18 “Earth, do not cover my blood;
    may my cry never be laid to rest!
19 Even now my witness is in heaven;
    my advocate is on high.
20 My intercessor is my friend[a]
    as my eyes pour out tears to God;
21 on behalf of a man he pleads with God
    as one pleads for a friend.

22 “Only a few years will pass
    before I take the path of no return.


  1. Job 16:20 Or My friends treat me with scorn
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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