The Bible – Old Testament
Then Job answered and said:
Ah, could my anguish but be measured and my calamity laid with it in the scales,
They would now outweigh the sands of the sea! Because of this I speak without restraint.
For the arrows of the Almighty pierce me, and my spirit drinks in their poison; the terrors of God are arrayed against me.
1 Does the wild ass bray when he has grass? Does the ox low over his fodder?
Can a thing insipid be eaten without salt? Is there flavor in the white of an egg?
I refuse to touch them; they are loathsome food to me.
Oh, that I might have my request, and that God would grant what I long for:
Even that God would decide to crush me, that he would put forth his hand and cut me off!
Then I should still have consolation and could exult through unremitting pain, because I have not transgressed the commands of the Holy One.
What strength have I that I should endure, and what is my limit that I should be patient?
Have I the strength of stones, or is my flesh of bronze?
Have I no helper, and has advice deserted me?
A friend owes kindness to one in despair, though he have forsaken the fear of the Almighty.
My brethren are undependable as a brook, as watercourses that run dry in the wadies;
Though they may be black with ice, and with snow heaped upon them,
Yet once they flow, they cease to be; in the heat, they disappear from their place.
Caravans turn aside from their routes; they go into the desert and perish.
2 The caravans of Tema search, the companies of Sheba have hopes;
They are disappointed, though they were confident; they come there and are frustrated.
It is thus that you have now become for me; you see a terrifying thing and are afraid.
Have I asked you to give me anything, to offer a gift for me from your possessions,
Or to deliver me from the enemy, or to redeem me from oppressors?
Teach me, and I will be silent; prove to me wherein I have erred.
How agreeable are honest words; yet how unconvincing is your argument!
Do you consider your words as proof, but the sayings of a desperate man as wind?
You would even cast lots for the orphan, and would barter away your friend!
Come, now, give me your attention; surely I will not lie to your face.
Think it over; let there be no injustice. Think it over; I still am right.
Is there insincerity on my tongue, or cannot my taste discern falsehood?
1 [5-6] Job would not complain if his life were as pleasant to him as fodder to a hungry animal; but his life is as disagreeable as insipid food. White of an egg: thus the obscure Hebrew has been understood in Jewish tradition; some render it «mallow juice.»
2  Tema: in northwest Arabia. Sheba: see note on ⇒ Job 1:15.