Job’s Seventh Reply. 1Then Job answered and said:

2Today especially my complaint is bitter,

his hand is heavy upon me in my groanings.

3Would that I knew how to find him,

that I might come to his dwelling!

4I would set out my case before him,

fill my mouth with arguments;

5I would learn the words he would answer me,

understand what he would say to me.

6Would he contend against me with his great power?

No, he himself would heed me!

7There an upright man might argue with him,

and I would once and for all be delivered from my judge.

8But if I go east, he is not there;*

or west, I cannot perceive him;

9The north enfolds him, and I cannot catch sight of him;

The south hides him, and I cannot see him.

10Yet he knows my way;

if he tested me, I should come forth like gold.a

11My foot has always walked in his steps;

I have kept his way and not turned aside.

12From the commands of his lips I have not departed;

the words of his mouth I have treasured in my heart.

13But once he decides, who can contradict him?

What he desires, that he does.b

14For he will carry out what is appointed for me,

and many such things he has in store.

15Therefore I am terrified before him;

when I take thought, I dread him.

16For it is God who has made my heart faint,

the Almighty who has terrified me.

17Yes, would that I had vanished in darkness,

hidden by the thick gloom before me.

* [23:8] Job’s confident desire to confront God (vv. 27, contrary to his fears in 9:1420 and 13:2127) gives way to his dark night: God’s absence (vv. 89), which also terrifies (vv. 1317).

a. [23:10] Ps 66:10; Prv 17:3; Mal 3:3; 1 Pt 1:7.

b. [23:13] Jb 42:2; Ps 115:3; 135:6.

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