2If only the grounds for my resentment might be weighed, and my misfortunes placed with them on the scales! 3For they would outweigh the sands of the sea: what wonder if my words are frenzied! 4The arrows of the Almighty find their mark in me, and their poison soaks into my spirit; God's onslaughts wear me down. 5Does a wild ass bray when it has grass or an ox low when it has fodder? 6Is tasteless food eaten unseasoned, or is there any flavour in the juice of mallows?
7Such food sticks in my throat, and my bowels rumble like an echo.
8If only I might have my request and God would grant what I hope for: 9that he would be pleased to crush me, to sever with his hand and cut me off! 10That would bring me relief, and in the face of unsparing anguish I would leap for joy, for I have never denied the words of the Holy One. 11Have I the strength to go on waiting? What end have I to expect, that I should be patient? 12Is my strength the strength of stone, or is my flesh made of bronze? 13Oh how shall I find help within myself now that success has been put beyond my reach?
14Devotion is due from his friends to one who despairs and loses faith in the Almighty; 15but my brothers have been deceptive as a torrent, like the watercourses of torrents that run dry. 16They turn dark with ice and are hidden with piled-up snow; 17but they vanish the moment they are in spate, dwindle in the heat and are gone. 18Caravans, winding hither and thither, go up into the desert and perish; 19the caravans of Tema look for the water, the travelling merchants of Sheba rely on it; 20but they are disappointed, for all their confidence, they arrive, only to be frustrated. 21Just so unreliable have you now been to me a 6:21 Just … to me: prob. rdg; Heb. obscure. : you felt dismay and took fright. 22Did I ever say, ‘Give me this or that,’ or say, ‘Use your wealth to save my life’? 23Did I say, ‘Rescue me from my enemy's grip,’ or, ‘Ransom me from the clutches of ruthless people’?
24Tell me plainly, and I shall listen in silence; show me where I have been at fault. 25How harsh are the words of the upright! But what do your arguments prove? 26Do you mean to argue about mere words? Surely such despairing utterance is mere wind. 27Would you assail an orphan b 6:27 orphan: or blameless person. ? Would you make attacks on your friend? 28So now, I beg you, turn and look at me: am I likely to lie to your faces? 29Think again, let me have no more injustice; think again, for my integrity is in question. 30Do I ever give voice to injustice? Have I not the sense to discern when my words are wild?