16Then Job spoke again.2"I have heard all this before. What miserable comforters you are!3Won't you ever stop blowing hot air? What makes you keep on talking?4I could say the same things if you were in my place. I could spout off criticism and shake my head at you.5But if it were me, I would encourage you. I would try to take away your grief.6Instead, I suffer if I defend myself, and I suffer no less if I refuse to speak.7"O God, you have ground me down and devastated my family.8As if to prove I have sinned, you've reduced me to skin and bones. My gaunt flesh testifies against me.9God hates me and angrily tears me apart. He snaps his teeth at me and pierces me with his eyes.10People jeer and laugh at me. They slap my cheek in contempt. A mob gathers against me.11God has handed me over to sinners. He has tossed me into the hands of the wicked.12"I was living quietly until he shattered me. He took me by the neck and broke me in pieces. Then he set me up as his target,13and now his archers surround me. His arrows pierce me without mercy. The ground is wet with my blood.14Again and again he smashes against me, charging at me like a warrior.15I wear burlap to show my grief. My pride lies in the dust.16My eyes are red with weeping; dark shadows circle my eyes.17Yet I have done no wrong, and my prayer is pure.18"O earth, do not conceal my blood. Let it cry out on my behalf.19Even now my witness is in heaven. My advocate is there on high.20My friends scorn me, but I pour out my tears to God.21I need someone to mediate between God and me, as a person mediates between friends.22For soon I must go down that road from which I will never return.