Old Testament

Wisdom and Poetical Books

What did Job tell his friends?

Job and his friends had a lengthy discussion about the probable causes of Job’s suffering and Job’s attitude towards his suffering. Job cursed the day he was born. He cried, “Why did I not die at birth, come forth from the womb and expire? Why were there knees to receive me, or breasts for me to suck?” (NRSV, Job 3:11–12) Job complained that God focused too much of his time on him. In Psalm 5, the psalmist admired God’s attention to the minutiae of his life. Here, Job asked for some space: “What are human beings, that you make so much of them, that you set your mind on them, visit them every morning, test them every moment? Will you not look away from me for a while, let me alone until I swallow my spittle?” (Job 7:17–19) Also, Job expressed desire to speak to God one on one: “But I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to argue my case with God.” (NRSV, Job 13:3)


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