1All this my eye has seen;
my ear has heard and perceived it.
2What you know, I also know;a
I do not fall short of you.
3But I would speak with the Almighty;b
I want to argue with God.
4But you gloss over falsehoods,
you are worthless physicians, every one of you!
5Oh, that you would be altogether silent;
that for you would be wisdom!
6Hear now my argument
and listen to the accusations from my lips.
7Is it for God that you speak falsehood?
Is it for him that you utter deceit?
8Is it for him that you show partiality?
Do you make accusations on behalf of God?
9Will it be well when he shall search you out?
Can you deceive him as you do a mere human being?
10He will openly rebuke you
if in secret you show partiality.
11Surely his majesty will frighten you
and dread of him fall upon you.
12Your reminders are ashy maxims,
your fabrications mounds of clay.
13Be silent! Let me alone that I may speak,
no matter what happens to me.
14I will carry my flesh between my teeth,
and take my life in my hand.*
15Slay me though he might,c I will wait for him;*
I will defend my conduct before him.
16This shall be my salvation:
no impious man can come into his presence.
17Pay close attention to my speech,
give my statement a hearing.
18Behold, I have prepared my case,d
I know that I am in the right.
19If anyone can make a case against me,
then I shall be silent and expire.
20Two things only do not use against me,*
then from your presence I need not hide:
21Withdraw your hand far from me,
do not let the terror of you frighten me.
22Then call me, and I will respond;
or let me speak first, and answer me.
23What are my faults and my sins?
My misdeed, my sin make known to me!
24Why do you hide your face
and consider me your enemy?* e
25Will you harass a wind-driven leaf
or pursue a withered straw?
26For you draw up bitter indictments against me,
and punish in me the faults of my youth.
27You put my feet in the stocks;
you watch all my paths
and trace out all my footsteps,
28Though I wear out like a leather bottle,
like a garment the moth has consumed.
* [13:14] The second half of the verse is a common biblical expression for risking one’s life; cf. Jgs 12:3; 1 Sm 19:5; 28:21; Ps 119:109; the first half of the verse must have a similar meaning. Job is so confident of his innocence that he is willing to risk his life by going to judgment with God.
* [13:15] Many translations adopt the Ketib reading, “I have no hope.”
* [13:20] In 13:20–14:22, Job directs his address to God; cf. 7:8–21; 9:28–10:22. His three friends never do this.
* [13:24] The Hebrew word for “enemy” (‘oyeb) is very close to the Hebrew form of Job’s name (‘iyyob). The play on the word implies that God has confused the two.