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Job 23:1–10

Job Replies: Where Is God?

23 Then Job answered and said:

“Today also my rcomplaint is bitter;1

my shand is heavy on account of my groaning.

Oh, tthat I knew where I might find him,

that I might come even to his useat!

I would vlay my case before him

and fill my mouth with arguments.

I would know what he would answer me

and understand what he would say to me.

Would he wcontend with me in the greatness of his power?

No; he would pay attention to me.

There an upright man could argue with him,

and I would be acquitted forever by my judge.

“Behold, xI go forward, but he is not there,

and backward, but I do not perceive him;

on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him;

he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him.

10  But he yknows zthe way that I atake;

when he has btried me, I shall come out as gold.

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Job 23:1–10 — The New International Version (NIV)

Then Job replied:

“Even today my complaint is bitter;

his hand is heavy in spite of my groaning.

If only I knew where to find him;

if only I could go to his dwelling!

I would state my case before him

and fill my mouth with arguments.

I would find out what he would answer me,

and consider what he would say to me.

Would he vigorously oppose me?

No, he would not press charges against me.

There the upright can establish their innocence before him,

and there I would be delivered forever from my judge.

“But if I go to the east, he is not there;

if I go to the west, I do not find him.

When he is at work in the north, I do not see him;

when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him.

10 But he knows the way that I take;

when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.

Job 23:1–10 — King James Version (KJV 1900)

Then Job answered and said,

Even to day is my complaint bitter:

My stroke is heavier than my groaning.

Oh that I knew where I might find him!

That I might come even to his seat!

I would order my cause before him,

And fill my mouth with arguments.

I would know the words which he would answer me,

And understand what he would say unto me.

Will he plead against me with his great power?

No; but he would put strength in me.

There the righteous might dispute with him;

So should I be delivered for ever from my judge.

Behold, I go forward, but he is not there;

And backward, but I cannot perceive him:

On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him:

He hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him:

10 But he knoweth the way that I take:

When he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

Job 23:1–10 — New Living Translation (NLT)

Then Job spoke again:

“My complaint today is still a bitter one,

and I try hard not to groan aloud.

If only I knew where to find God,

I would go to his court.

I would lay out my case

and present my arguments.

Then I would listen to his reply

and understand what he says to me.

Would he use his great power to argue with me?

No, he would give me a fair hearing.

Honest people can reason with him,

so I would be forever acquitted by my judge.

I go east, but he is not there.

I go west, but I cannot find him.

I do not see him in the north, for he is hidden.

I look to the south, but he is concealed.

10 “But he knows where I am going.

And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold.

Job 23:1–10 — The New King James Version (NKJV)

Then Job answered and said:

“Even today my complaint is bitter;

My hand is listless because of my groaning.

Oh, that I knew where I might find Him,

That I might come to His seat!

I would present my case before Him,

And fill my mouth with arguments.

I would know the words which He would answer me,

And understand what He would say to me.

Would He contend with me in His great power?

No! But He would take note of me.

There the upright could reason with Him,

And I would be delivered forever from my Judge.

“Look, I go forward, but He is not there,

And backward, but I cannot perceive Him;

When He works on the left hand, I cannot behold Him;

When He turns to the right hand, I cannot see Him.

10 But He knows the way that I take;

When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.

Job 23:1–10 — New Century Version (NCV)

Then Job answered:

“My complaint is still bitter today.

I groan because God’s heavy hand is on me.

I wish I knew where to find God

so I could go to where he lives.

I would present my case before him

and fill my mouth with arguments.

I would learn how he would answer me

and would think about what he would say.

Would he not argue strongly against me?

No, he would really listen to me.

Then an honest person could present his case to God,

and I would be saved forever by my judge.

“If I go to the east, God is not there;

if I go to the west, I do not see him.

When he is at work in the north, I catch no sight of him;

when he turns to the south, I cannot see him.

10 But God knows the way that I take,

and when he has tested me, I will come out like gold.

Job 23:1–10 — American Standard Version (ASV)

Then Job answered and said,

Even to-day is my complaint rebellious:

My stroke is heavier than my groaning.

Oh that I knew where I might find him!

That I might come even to his seat!

I would set my cause in order before him,

And fill my mouth with arguments.

I would know the words which he would answer me,

And understand what he would say unto me.

Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power?

Nay; but he would give heed unto me.

There the upright might reason with him;

So should I be delivered for ever from my judge.

Behold, I go forward, but he is not there;

And backward, but I cannot perceive him;

On the left hand, when he doth work, but I cannot behold him;

He hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him.

10 But he knoweth the way that I take;

When he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

Job 23:1–10 — 1890 Darby Bible (DARBY)

And Job answered and said, Even to-day is my complaint bitter: my stroke is heavier than my groaning. Oh that I knew where I might find him, that I might come to his seat! I would order the cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments; I would know the words he would answer me, and understand what he would say unto me. Would he plead against me with his great power? Nay; but he would give heed unto me. There would an upright man reason with him; and I should be delivered for ever from my judge.

Lo, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I do not perceive him; On the left hand, where he doth work, but I behold him not; he hideth himself on the right hand, and I see him not. 10 But he knoweth the way that I take; he trieth me, I shall come forth as gold.

Job 23:1–10 — GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Then Job replied ⸤to his friends⸥, 

“My complaint is bitter again today. 

I try hard to control my sighing. 

“If only I knew where I could find God! 

I would go where he lives. 

I would present ⸤my⸥ case to him. 

I would have a mouthful of arguments. 

I want to know the words he would use to answer me. 

I want to understand the things he would say to me. 

Would he sue me and hide behind great legal maneuvers? 

No, he certainly would press charges against me. 

Then decent people could argue with him, 

and I would escape my judgment forever. 

However, if I go east, he isn’t there. 

If I go west, I can’t find him. 

If I go northward, where he is at work, I can’t observe him. 

If I turn southward, I can’t see him. 

10 ⸤I can’t find him⸥ because he knows the road I take. 

When he tests me, 

I’ll come out as pure as gold. 

Job 23:1–10 — The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Then Job answered:

Today also my complaint is bitter.

His hand is heavy despite my groaning.

If only I knew how to find Him,

so that I could go to His throne.

I would plead my case before Him

and fill my mouth with arguments.

I would learn how He would answer me;

and understand what He would say to me.

Would He prosecute me forcefully?

No, He will certainly pay attention to me.

Then an upright man could reason with Him,

and I would escape from my Judge forever.

If I go east, He is not there,

and if I go west, I cannot perceive Him.

When He is at work to the north, I cannot see Him;

when He turns south, I cannot find Him.

10 Yet He knows the way I have taken;

when He has tested me, I will emerge as pure gold.

Job 23:1–10 — The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Then Job answered:

“Today also my complaint is bitter;

his hand is heavy despite my groaning.

Oh, that I knew where I might find him,

that I might come even to his dwelling!

I would lay my case before him,

and fill my mouth with arguments.

I would learn what he would answer me,

and understand what he would say to me.

Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power?

No; but he would give heed to me.

There an upright person could reason with him,

and I should be acquitted forever by my judge.

“If I go forward, he is not there;

or backward, I cannot perceive him;

on the left he hides, and I cannot behold him;

I turn to the right, but I cannot see him.

10 But he knows the way that I take;

when he has tested me, I shall come out like gold.

Job 23:1–10 — The Lexham English Bible (LEB)

Then Job answered and said,

“Even today my complaint is bitter;

my hand is heavy in addition to my groaning.

O that I knew and that I might find him;

O that I might come to his dwelling.

I would lay my case before him,

and I would fill my mouth with arguments.

I want to know the words with which he would answer me,

and I want to understand what he would say to me.

Would he contend with me in the greatness of his strength?

No, but he himself would give heed to me.

There an upright person could reason with him,

and I would be acquitted forever by my judge.

“When I go forward, he is not there,

or backward, I cannot see him.

When he works on the left, I cannot perceive him;

he turns to the right, but I cannot see him.

10 But he knows the way that I take;

he tests me—I shall come out like gold.

Job 23:1–10 — New International Reader’s Version (1998) (NIrV)

Job replied,

“Even today my problems are more than I can handle.

In spite of my groans, God’s hand is heavy on me.

I wish I knew where I could find him!

I wish I could go to the place where he lives!

I would state my case to him.

I’d give him all of my arguments.

I’d find out what his answers would be.

I’d think about what he would say.

Would he oppose me with his great power?

No. He wouldn’t bring charges against me.

I’m an honest person. I could state my case to him.

Then my Judge would tell me once and for all that I’m not guilty.

“But if I go to the east, God isn’t there.

If I go to the west, I don’t find him.

When he’s working in the north, I don’t see him there.

When he turns to the south, I don’t see him there either.

10 But he knows every step I take.

When he has put me to the test,

I’ll come out as pure as gold.

Job 23:1–10 — New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (NASB95)

Then Job replied,

Even today my complaint is rebellion;

His hand is heavy despite my groaning.

Oh that I knew where I might find Him,

That I might come to His seat!

“I would present my case before Him

And fill my mouth with arguments.

“I would learn the words which He would answer,

And perceive what He would say to me.

“Would He contend with me by the greatness of His power?

No, surely He would pay attention to me.

There the upright would reason with Him;

And I would be delivered forever from my Judge.

Behold, I go forward but He is not there,

And backward, but I cannot perceive Him;

When He acts on the left, I cannot behold Him;

He turns on the right, I cannot see Him.

10 “But He knows the way I take;

When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.