December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- Then Job answered and said:
- I have heard this sort of thing many times. Wearisome comforters are you all!
- Is there no end to windy words? Or what sickness have you that you speak on?
- I also could talk as you do, were you in my place. I could declaim over you, or wag my head at you;
- I could strengthen you with talk, or shake my head with silent lips.
- If I speak, this pain I have will not be checked; if I leave off, it will not depart from me.
- But now that I am exhausted and stunned, all my company has closed in on me.
- As a witness there rises up my traducer, speaking openly against me;
- I am the prey his wrath assails, he gnashes his teeth against me. My enemies lord it over me;
- their mouths are agape to bite me. They smite me on the cheek insultingly; they are all enlisted against me.
- God has given me over to the impious; into the clutches of the wicked he has cast me.
- I was in peace, but he dislodged me; he seized me by the neck and dashed me to pieces. He has set me up for a target;
- his arrows strike me from all directions, He pierces my sides without mercy, he pours out my gall upon the ground.
- He pierces me with thrust upon thrust; he attacks me like a warrior.
- I have fastened sackcloth over my skin, and have laid my brow in the dust.
- My face is inflamed with weeping and there is darkness over my eyes,
- Although my hands are free from violence, and my prayer is sincere.
- 1 O earth, cover not my blood, nor let my outcry come to rest!
- 2 Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and my spokesman is on high.
- My friends it is who wrong me; before God my eyes drop tears,
- That he may do justice for a mortal in his presence and decide between a man and his neighbor.
- For my years are numbered now, and I am on a journey from which I shall not return.
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1  As the blood of those who were unjustly slain cries to heaven for vengeance (Genesis 4:10; Ezekiel 24:6-9), so Job's sufferings demand redress.
2  Witness: refers either to God or, more probably, to Job's prayer.
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