Job 34

Elihu Rebukes Job's Three Friends

32 So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was vrighteous in his own eyes. Then Elihu the son of Barachel wthe Buzite, of the family of Ram, burned with anger. He burned with anger at Job because he justified himself xrather than God. He burned with anger also at Job's three friends because they had found no answer, although they had ydeclared Job to be in the wrong. Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job because they were older than he. And when Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, he burned with anger.

And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said:

I am young in years,

and you are zaged;

therefore I was timid and afraid

to declare my opinion to you.

I said, Let days speak,

and many years teach wisdom.

But it is athe spirit in man,

bthe breath of the Almighty, that makes him cunderstand.

dIt is not the old1 who are wise,

nor the aged who understand what is right.

10  Therefore I say, Listen to me;

let me also declare my opinion.

11  Behold, I waited for your words,

I listened for your wise sayings,

while you searched out what to say.

12  I gave you my attention,

and, behold, there was none among you who refuted Job

or who answered his words.

13  Beware elest you say, We have found wisdom;

God may vanquish him, not a man.

14  He has not directed his words against me,

and I will not answer him with your speeches.

15  They are dismayed; they answer no more;

they have not a word to say.

16  And shall I wait, because they do not speak,

because they stand there, and answer no more?

17  I also will answer with my share;

I also will declare my opinion.

18  For I am full of words;

the spirit within me constrains me.

19  Behold, my belly is like wine that has no vent;

like new fwineskins ready to burst.

20  gI must speak, that I may find hrelief;

I must open my lips and answer.

21  I will not ishow partiality to any man

or use flattery toward any person.

22  For I do not know how to flatter,

else my Maker would soon take me away.

Elihu Rebukes Job

33  But now, hear my speech, O Job,

and listen to all my words.

Behold, I jopen my mouth;

the tongue in my mouth speaks.

My words declare the uprightness of my heart,

and what my lips know they speak sincerely.

kThe Spirit of God has made me,

and lthe breath of the Almighty gives me life.

mAnswer me, if you can;

nset your words in order before me; take your stand.

Behold, I am toward God as you are;

I too was pinched off from a piece of oclay.

Behold, no pfear of me need terrify you;

my qpressure will not be heavy upon you.

Surely you have spoken in my ears,

and I have heard the sound of your words.

You say, I am rpure, without stransgression;

I am clean, and there is no iniquity in me.

10  Behold, he finds occasions against me,

he tcounts me as his enemy,

11  he uputs my feet in the stocks

and vwatches all my paths.

12  Behold, in this you are not right. I will answer you,

for God is greater than man.

13  Why do you wcontend against him,

saying, He xwill answer none of man's1 words?2

14  For God yspeaks in one way,

zand in two, though man adoes not perceive it.

15  In ba dream, in ca vision of dthe night,

when cdeep sleep falls on men,

while they slumber on their beds,

16  then he eopens the ears of men

and terrifies3 them with warnings,

17  that he may turn man aside from his fdeed

and conceal pride from a man;

18  he keeps back his soul from the pit,

his life from gperishing by the sword.

19  Man is also rebuked with pain on his bed

and with continual strife in his hbones,

20  so that his ilife loathes bread,

and his appetite jthe choicest food.

21  His flesh is so wasted away that it cannot be seen,

and his bones that were not seen kstick out.

22  His soul draws near lthe pit,

and his life to mthose who bring death.

23  If there be for him nan angel,

oa mediator, pone of the thousand,

to declare to man what is qright for him,

24  and he is merciful to him, and says,

Deliver him from going down into the pit;

I have found ra ransom;

25  let his flesh sbecome fresh with youth;

let him return to the days of his youthful vigor;

26  then man4 tprays to God, and he accepts him;

he usees his face with a shout of joy,

and he vrestores to man his righteousness.

27  He sings before men and says:

I wsinned and perverted what was right,

and it was not repaid to me.

28  He has redeemed my xsoul from going down yinto the pit,

and my life shall zlook upon the light.

29  Behold, God does all these things,

twice, athree times, with a man,

30  to bring back his soul from the pit,

that he may be lighted with bthe light of life.

31  Pay attention, O Job, listen to me;

be silent, and I will speak.

32  If you have any words, canswer me;

dspeak, for I desire to justify you.

33  If not, elisten to me;

be silent, and I will teach you wisdom.

Elihu Asserts God's Justice

34 Then Elihu answered and said:

Hear my words, you wise men,

and give ear to me, you who know;

for gthe ear tests words

as the palate tastes food.

Let us choose hwhat is right;

let us know among ourselves what is good.

For Job has said, I am iin the right,

and jGod has taken away my right;

in spite of my right I am counted a liar;

my wound is incurable, though I am kwithout transgression.

What man is like Job,

who ldrinks up scoffing like water,

who travels in company with evildoers

and walks mwith wicked men?

For nhe has said, It profits a man nothing

that he should take delight in God.

10  Therefore, hear me, you men of understanding:

far be it from God that he should odo wickedness,

and from the Almighty that he should do wrong.

11  For according to pthe work of a man he will repay him,

and qaccording to his ways he will make it befall him.

12  Of a truth, God will not do wickedly,

and rthe Almighty will not pervert justice.

13  Who gave him charge over the earth,

and who slaid on him1 the whole world?

14  If he should tset his heart to it

and ugather to himself his vspirit and his breath,

15  all flesh would perish together,

and man would wreturn to dust.

16  If you have understanding, hear this;

listen to what I say.

17  xShall one who hates justice govern?

Will you condemn him who is righteous and mighty,

18  who ysays to a king, Worthless one,

and to nobles, Wicked man,

19  who zshows no partiality to princes,

nor regards the rich amore than the poor,

for bthey are all the work of his hands?

20  In a moment cthey die;

at dmidnight the people are shaken and pass away,

and the mighty are taken away by eno human hand.

21  For his eyes are on fthe ways of a man,

and he sees all his fsteps.

22  There is no ggloom or hdeep darkness

where evildoers may hide themselves.

23  For God2 has no need to consider a man further,

that he should go before God in ijudgment.

24  He jshatters the mighty without investigation

and sets lothers in their place.

25  Thus, knowing their works,

he moverturns them in the night, and they are crushed.

26  He strikes them for their wickedness

in a place for all to see,

27  because they turned aside from nfollowing him

and had no regard for any of his ways,

28  so that they ocaused the cry of the poor to come to him,

and he pheard the cry of the afflicted

29  When he is quiet, who can condemn?

When he hides his face, who can behold him,

whether it be a nation or a man?

30  that a godless man should not reign,

that he should not ensnare the people.

31  For has anyone said to God,

I have borne punishment; I will not offend any more;

32  rteach me what I do not see;

if I have done iniquity, I will do it no more?

33  Will he then make repayment to suit you,

because you reject it?

For you must choose, and not I;

therefore sdeclare what you know.3

34  Men of understanding will say to me,

and the wise man who hears me will say:

35  Job tspeaks without knowledge;

his words are without insight.

36  Would that Job were tried to the end,

because he answers like wicked men.

37  For he adds rebellion to his sin;

he uclaps his hands among us

and multiplies his words against God.

Elihu Condemns Job

35 And Elihu answered and said:

Do you think this to be just?

Do you say, vIt is my right before God,

that you ask, wWhat advantage have I?

How am I better off than if I had sinned?

I will answer you

and xyour friends with you.

yLook at the heavens, and see;

and behold the clouds, which are higher than you.

If you have sinned, zwhat do you accomplish against him?

And if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to him?

aIf you are righteous, what do you give to him?

Or what does he receive from your hand?

Your wickedness concerns a man like yourself,

and your righteousness ba son of man.

Because of the multitude of coppressions people dcry out;

they call for help because of the arm of ethe mighty.1

10  But none says, Where is God my fMaker,

who gives gsongs in the night,

11  who teaches us hmore than the beasts of the earth

and makes us wiser than the birds of the heavens?

12  There they icry out, but he does not answer,

because of the pride of evil men.

13  Surely God does not hear an empty cry,

nor does the Almighty regard it.

14  How much less when you say that you jdo not see him,

that the case is before him, and you are kwaiting for him!

15  And now, because lhis anger does not punish,

and he does not take much note of transgression,2

16  Job opens his mouth in empty talk;

he mmultiplies words nwithout knowledge.

Elihu Extols God's Greatness

36 And Elihu continued, and said:

Bear with me a little, and I will show you,

for I have yet something to say on God's behalf.

I will get my knowledge from oafar

and ascribe prighteousness to my qMaker.

For truly my words are not false;

one who is rperfect in knowledge is with you.

Behold, God is mighty, and sdoes not despise any;

he is tmighty in strength of understanding.

He does not keep the wicked alive,

but gives uthe afflicted their right.

He does not withdraw his veyes from the righteous,

but with wkings on the throne

he sets them forever, and they are xexalted.

And if they are ybound in chains

and caught in the cords of affliction,

then he declares to them their work

and their transgressions, that they are zbehaving arrogantly.

10  He aopens their ears to instruction

and commands that they breturn from iniquity.

11  cIf they listen and serve him,

they dcomplete their days in prosperity,

and their years in pleasantness.

12  But if they do not listen, they eperish by the sword

and die fwithout knowledge.

13  The ggodless in heart cherish anger;

they do not cry for help when he hbinds them.

14  They idie in youth,

and their life ends among the cult prostitutes.

15  He delivers jthe afflicted by their affliction

and kopens their ear by adversity.

16  He also allured you out of distress

into la broad place where there was no cramping,

and what was set on your mtable was full of nfatness.

17  But you are full of the judgment on the wicked;

judgment and justice seize you.

18  Beware lest wrath entice you into scoffing,

and let not the greatness of othe ransom turn you aside.

19  Will your pcry for help avail to keep you from distress,

or all the force of your strength?

20  Do not long for qthe night,

when peoples vanish rin their place.

21  Take care; sdo not turn to iniquity,

for this you have chosen rather than affliction.

22  Behold, God is exalted in his power;

who is ta teacher like him?

23  Who has uprescribed for him his way,

or who can say, vYou have done wrong?

24  Remember to wextol his work,

of which men have xsung.

25  All mankind has looked on it;

man beholds it from afar.

26  Behold, God is great, and we yknow him not;

the number of his zyears is unsearchable.

27  For he draws up the drops of water;

they distill his amist in brain,

28  which cthe skies pour down

and drop on mankind abundantly.

29  Can anyone understand dthe spreading of the clouds,

the thunderings of his epavilion?

30  Behold, he scatters his lightning about him

and covers the roots of the sea.

31  For by these he fjudges peoples;

he gives gfood in abundance.

32  He covers his hhands with the lightning

and commands it to strike the mark.

33  Its crashing declares his presence;1

the cattle also declare that he rises.