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1“Look, my eye has seen all this,

my ear has heard and understood it.

2What you know, I also know;

I am not inferior to you.

3But I would speak to the Almighty,

and I desire to argue my case with God.

4As for you, you whitewash with lies;

all of you are worthless physicians.

5If you would only keep silent,

that would be your wisdom!

6Hear now my reasoning,

and listen to the pleadings of my lips.

7Will you speak falsely for God,

and speak deceitfully for him?

8Will you show partiality toward him,

will you plead the case for God?

9Will it be well with you when he searches you out?

Or can you deceive him, as one person deceives another?

10He will surely rebuke you

if in secret you show partiality.

11Will not his majesty terrify you,

and the dread of him fall upon you?

12Your maxims are proverbs of ashes,

your defenses are defenses of clay.

13“Let me have silence, and I will speak,

and let come on me what may.

14I will take my flesh in my teeth,

and put my life in my hand.

15See, he will kill me; I have no hope;

but I will defend my ways to his face.

16This will be my salvation,

that the godless shall not come before him.

17Listen carefully to my words,

and let my declaration be in your ears.

18I have indeed prepared my case;

I know that I shall be vindicated.

19Who is there that will contend with me?

For then I would be silent and die.

Job’s Despondent Prayer

20Only grant two things to me,

then I will not hide myself from your face:

21withdraw your hand far from me,

and do not let dread of you terrify me.

22Then call, and I will answer;

or let me speak, and you reply to me.

23How many are my iniquities and my sins?

Make me know my transgression and my sin.

24Why do you hide your face,

and count me as your enemy?

25Will you frighten a windblown leaf

and pursue dry chaff?

26For you write bitter things against me,

and make me reap the iniquities of my youth.

27You put my feet in the stocks,

and watch all my paths;

you set a bound to the soles of my feet.

28One wastes away like a rotten thing,

like a garment that is moth-eaten.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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