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Job 16 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Job’s Reply to Eliphaz

16 Then Job answered:

I have heard many things like these.
You are all miserable comforters.
Is there no end to your empty[a] words?
What provokes you that you continue testifying?
If you were in my place I could also talk like you.
I could string words together against you
and shake my head at you.
Instead, I would encourage you with my mouth,
and the consolation from my lips would bring relief.

Even if I speak, my suffering is not relieved,
and if I hold back, what have I lost?
Surely He[b] has now exhausted me.
You have devastated my entire family.
You have shriveled me up[c]—it has become a witness;
My frailty rises up against me and testifies to my face.
His anger tears at me, and He harasses me.
He gnashes His teeth at me.
My enemy pierces me with His eyes.
10 They open their mouths against me
and strike my cheeks with contempt;
they join themselves together against me.
11 God hands me over to unjust men;[d]
He throws me into the hands of the wicked.
12 I was at ease, but He shattered me;
He seized me by the scruff of the neck
and smashed me to pieces.
He set me up as His target;
13 His archers[e] surround me.
He pierces my kidneys without mercy
and pours my bile on the ground.
14 He breaks through my defenses again and again;[f]
He charges at me like a warrior.

15 I have sewn sackcloth over my skin;
I have buried my strength[g] in the dust.
16 My face has grown red with weeping,
and darkness covers my eyes,
17 although my hands are free from violence
and my prayer is pure.

18 Earth, do not cover my blood;
may my cry for help find no resting place.
19 Even now my witness is in heaven,
and my advocate is in the heights!
20 My friends scoff at me
as I weep before God.
21 I wish that someone might arbitrate
between a man and God
just as a man pleads for his friend.
22 For only a few years will pass
before I go the way of no return.


  1. Job 16:3 Lit windy; Jb 15:2
  2. Job 16:7 Or it
  3. Job 16:8 Or have seized me; Hb obscure
  4. Job 16:11 LXX, Vg; MT reads to a boy
  5. Job 16:13 Or arrows
  6. Job 16:14 Lit through me, breach on breach
  7. Job 16:15 Lit horn

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)

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