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Job 23 International Standard Version (ISV)

Job Responds to Eliphaz

23 Job’s response was to say:

“I’m still complaining bitterly today;
    my hand is heavy because of groaning.
If only I knew where to find him,
    I would visit him where he has taken his seat.
I would lay out my case before him;
    and fill my mouth with arguments.
I know how he would answer me;
    I understand what he’ll tell me.

“Would he use his great power to fight me?
    No, he’ll pay attention to me.
In that place, the upright can reason with him;
    and I’ll be acquitted once and for all by my judge.”

Job Justifies His Innocence

“Look! If I go east,[a] he isn’t there!
    If I go to the west,[b] I don’t perceive him.
If he’s working in the north,[c] I can’t observe him;[d]
    If he turns south,[e] I can’t see him.[f]
10 Because he knows the road on which I travel,
    when he had tested me, I’ll come out like gold.
11 My feet stay where his footsteps lead;
    I kept on his pathway and haven’t turned aside.
12 I haven’t wandered away from the commands that he has spoken;[g]
    I’ve treasured what he has said[h] more than my own meals.”

Job Stands Petrified Before God

13 “But he is One—who can change him?
    He does whatever he wants to do.
14 He’ll complete what he has planned for me;
    he has many things in mind for me!
15 That’s why I’m terrified at his presence!
    When I think about it, I’m afraid of him.
16 God has caused me to faint;[i]
    the Almighty makes me terrified!
17 Nevertheless, I haven’t been silenced because of the darkness,
    even when thick darkness obscures my vision.”[j]


  1. Job 23:8 Or forward
  2. Job 23:8 Or back
  3. Job 23:9 Or left
  4. Job 23:9 The Heb. lacks him
  5. Job 23:9 Or right
  6. Job 23:9 The Heb. lacks him
  7. Job 23:12 Lit. commands of his lips
  8. Job 23:12 Lit. treasured the words of his mouth
  9. Job 23:16 Or tender hearted
  10. Job 23:17 Lit. face
International Standard Version (ISV)

Copyright © 1995-2014 by ISV Foundation. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED INTERNATIONALLY. Used by permission of Davidson Press, LLC.

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)

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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