1 Behold, my eyes have seen all this; my ears have heard and understood it. 2 As you know it, I know it; I am not inferior unto you. 3 But I would speak with the Almighty, and I desired to dispute with God. 4 That ye are certainly forgers of lies; ye are all physicians of no value. 5 O that ye would altogether be silent! And it would be unto you instead of wisdom.
6 Hear now my dispute, and hearken to the arguments of my lips. 7 Are ye to speak iniquity for God? Are ye to speak deceitfully for him? 8 Are ye to bring honour unto him? Are ye to contend for God? 9 Would it be good for him to search you out? As one man mocks another, do ye so mock him? 10 He will reprove you severely, if in secret you give him such honour. 11 Certainly his excellency should make you afraid, and his dread should fall upon you. 12 Your memories shall be compared unto ashes, your bodies to bodies of clay.
13 Listen to me, and I will speak, and afterward let come on me what will. 14 Why shall I take my flesh in my teeth and put my life in the palm of my hand? 15 Though he slay me, yet I will trust in him; but I will defend my ways before him. 16 He also shall be my saving health; for the hypocrite shall not enter into his presence. 17 Hear diligently my reason and my declaration with your ears. 18 Behold now, if I draw near unto the judgment; I know that I shall be justified. 19 Who is he that will contend with me? For now, if I remain silent, I shall die.
20 At the least, grant me these two things; then I will not hide myself from thee: 21 withdraw thy hand from me; and let not thy dread make me afraid. 22 Then call, and I will answer; or let me speak, and answer thou me. 23 How many are my iniquities and sins? Make me to know my transgression and my sin. 24 Why dost thou hide thy face, and hold me for thine enemy? 25 Wilt thou break a leaf driven to and fro? Wilt thou pursue the dry stubble? 26 Why dost thou write bitter things against me and make me carry the iniquities of my youth. 27 Thou dost put my feet also in the stocks and look narrowly unto all my paths; thou dost set a print upon the heels of my feet.