Job 36

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.

Elihu Proclaims God's Majesty

37  At this also my heart trembles

and leaps out of its place.

Keep listening to the thunder of his voice

and the rumbling that comes from his mouth.

Under the whole heaven he lets it go,

and his ilightning to the jcorners of the earth.

After it khis voice roars;

lhe thunders with his majestic voice,

and he does not restrain the lightnings1 when his voice is heard.

God thunders wondrously with his voice;

he does mgreat things that we cannot ncomprehend.

For to othe snow he says, Fall on the earth,

likewise to the downpour, his mighty downpour.

He pseals up the hand of every man,

that all men whom he made may qknow it.

Then the beasts go into their rlairs,

and remain in their sdens.

From tits chamber ucomes the whirlwind,

and vcold from the scattering winds.

10  By the breath of God wice is given,

and xthe broad waters are frozen fast.

11  He loads the thick cloud with moisture;

the clouds scatter his lightning.

12  They yturn around and around by his zguidance,

zto accomplish all that he commands them

on the face of athe habitable world.

13  Whether for bcorrection or for his cland

or for dlove, he causes it to happen.

14  Hear this, O Job;

stop and econsider the wondrous works of God.

15  Do you know how God lays his command upon them

and causes the lightning of his cloud to shine?

16  Do you know the balancings2 of the clouds,

the wondrous works of him who is fperfect in knowledge,

17  you whose garments are hot

when the earth is still because of the south wind?

18  Can you, like him, gspread out the skies,

hard as a cast metal hmirror?

19  Teach us what we shall say to him;

we cannot draw up our case because of idarkness.

20  Shall it be told him that I would speak?

Did a man ever wish that he would be swallowed up?

21  And now no one looks on the light

when it is bright in the skies,

when the wind has passed and cleared them.

22  Out of the north comes golden splendor;

God is clothed with jawesome majesty.

23  The Almightywe kcannot find him;

he is lgreat in power;

mjustice and abundant righteousness he will not nviolate.

24  Therefore men ofear him;

he does not regard any who are pwise in their own conceit.3

The Lord Answers Job

38 Then the Lord qanswered Job out of the whirlwind and said:

Who is this that rdarkens counsel by words swithout knowledge?

tDress for action1 like a man;

I will question you, and you make it known to me.

Where were you when I ulaid the foundation of the earth?

Tell me, if you have understanding.

Who determined its measurementssurely you know!

Or who stretched the line upon it?

On what were its bases sunk,

or who laid its cornerstone,

when the morning stars vsang together

and all wthe sons of God xshouted for joy?

Or who yshut in the sea with doors

when it burst out from the womb,

when I made clouds its garment

and zthick darkness its swaddling band,

10  and prescribed alimits for it

and set bars and doors,

11  and said, Thus far shall you come, and no farther,

and here shall your bproud waves be stayed?

12  Have you ccommanded the morning since your days began,

and caused the dawn to know its place,

13  that it might take hold of dthe skirts of the earth,

and the wicked be eshaken out of it?

14  It is changed like clay under the seal,

and its features stand out like a garment.

15  From the wicked their flight is withheld,

and gtheir uplifted arm is broken.

16  Have you hentered into the springs of the sea,

or walked in the recesses of the deep?

17  Have ithe gates of death been revealed to you,

or have you seen the gates of jdeep darkness?

18  Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?

Declare, if you know all this.

19  Where is the way to the dwelling of light,

and where is the place of darkness,

20  that you may take it to its territory

and that you may discern kthe paths to its home?

21  You know, for lyou were born then,

and the number of your days is great!

22  Have you entered mthe storehouses of the snow,

or have you seen mthe storehouses of the hail,

23  which I have reserved nfor the time of trouble,

nfor the day of battle and war?

24  What is the way to the place where the light is distributed,

or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth?

25  Who has cleft a channel for the torrents of rain

and oa way for the thunderbolt,

26  to bring rain on pa land where no man is,

on qthe desert in which there is no man,

27  to satisfy the waste and desolate land,

and to make the ground sprout with rgrass?

28  Has sthe rain a father,

or who has begotten the drops of dew?

29  From whose womb did tthe ice come forth,

and who has given birth to tthe frost of heaven?

30  The waters become hard like stone,

and the face of the deep is ufrozen.

31  Can you bind the chains of vthe Pleiades

or loose the cords of vOrion?

32  Can you lead forth the Mazzaroth2 in their season,

or can you guide vthe Bear with its children?

33  Do you know wthe ordinances of the heavens?

Can you establish their rule on the earth?

34  Can you lift up your voice to the clouds,

that xa flood of waters may cover you?

35  Can you send forth lightnings, that they may go

and say to you, Here we are?

36  Who has yput wisdom in zthe inward parts3

or given understanding to the mind?4

37  Who can number the clouds by wisdom?

Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens,

38  when the dust runs into a mass

and athe clods stick fast together?

39  Can you hunt the prey for the lion,

or bsatisfy the appetite of the young lions,

40  when they crouch in their cdens

or lie in wait din their thicket?

41  Who provides for ethe raven its prey,

when its young ones cry to God for help,

and wander about for lack of food?