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Job 23 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Job’s Reply to Eliphaz

Today I Complain Bitterly

23 Job said:

Today I complain bitterly,
because God has been cruel
    and made me suffer.
If I knew where to find God,
I would go there
    and argue my case.
Then I would discover
    what he wanted to say.
Would he overwhelm me
    with his greatness?
No! He would listen
    because I am innocent,
and he would say,
    “I now set you free!”

I cannot find God anywhere—
in front or back of me,
    to my left or my right.
God is always at work,
    though I never see him.
10 But he knows what I am doing,
and when he tests me,
    I will be pure as gold.
11 I have never refused to follow
    any of his commands,
12 and I have always treasured
    his teachings.[a]
13 But he alone is God,
    and who can oppose him?
God does as he pleases,
14 and he will do exactly
    what he intends with me.
15 Merely the thought
of God All-Powerful
16     makes me tremble with fear.
17 God has covered me
    with darkness,
    but I refuse to be silent.[b]


  1. 23.12 treasured his teachings: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  2. 23.17 silent: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 17.

Job 23 New International Version (NIV)


23 Then Job replied:

“Even today my complaint is bitter;
    his hand[a] is heavy in spite of[b] my groaning.
If only I knew where to find him;
    if only I could go to his dwelling!
I would state my case before him
    and fill my mouth with arguments.
I would find out what he would answer me,
    and consider what he would say to me.
Would he vigorously oppose me?
    No, he would not press charges against me.
There the upright can establish their innocence before him,
    and there I would be delivered forever from my judge.

“But if I go to the east, he is not there;
    if I go to the west, I do not find him.
When he is at work in the north, I do not see him;
    when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him.
10 But he knows the way that I take;
    when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.
11 My feet have closely followed his steps;
    I have kept to his way without turning aside.
12 I have not departed from the commands of his lips;
    I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.

13 “But he stands alone, and who can oppose him?
    He does whatever he pleases.
14 He carries out his decree against me,
    and many such plans he still has in store.
15 That is why I am terrified before him;
    when I think of all this, I fear him.
16 God has made my heart faint;
    the Almighty has terrified me.
17 Yet I am not silenced by the darkness,
    by the thick darkness that covers my face.


  1. Job 23:2 Septuagint and Syriac; Hebrew / the hand on me
  2. Job 23:2 Or heavy on me in
New International Version (NIV)

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