Job’s Final Appeal
31 “I have made a covenant with my beyes;
how then could I gaze at a virgin?
2 What would be cmy portion from God above
and cmy heritage from the Almighty on high?
3 Is not calamity for the unrighteous,
and disaster for the workers of iniquity?
4 dDoes not he see my ways
and enumber all my steps?
5 “If I have walked with falsehood
and my foot has hastened to deceit;
6 (Let me be fweighed in a just balance,
and let God know my integrity!)
7 if my step has turned aside from the way
and gmy heart has gone after my eyes,
and if any hspot has stuck to my hands,
8 then let me isow, and another eat,
and let what grows for me1 be rooted out.
9 “If my heart has been enticed toward a woman,
and I have jlain in wait at my neighbor’s door,
10 then let my wife kgrind for another,
and let others lbow down on her.
11 For that would be a heinous crime;
that would be an iniquity mto be punished by the judges;
12 for that would be a fire nthat consumes as far as Abaddon,
and it would burn to the root all my increase.
13 “If I have rejected the cause of my manservant or my maidservant,
when they brought a complaint against me,
14 what then shall I do when God rises up?
When he omakes inquiry, what shall I answer him?
15 Did pnot he who made me in the womb make him?
And did not one fashion us in the womb?
16 “If I have qwithheld anything that the poor desired,
or have rcaused the eyes of the widow to fail,
17 or have eaten my morsel alone,
and the fatherless has not eaten of it
18 (for from my youth the fatherless2 grew up with me as with a father,
and from my mother’s womb I guided the widow3),
or the needy without tcovering,
and if he was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep,
21 if I have raised my hand against vthe fatherless,
because I saw my help in wthe gate,
22 then let my shoulder blade fall from my shoulder,
and let my arm be broken from its socket.
23 For I was xin terror of calamity from God,
and I could not have faced his xmajesty.
or called afine gold my confidence,
25 if I have brejoiced because my wealth was abundant
or because cmy hand had found much,
or ethe moon moving in splendor,
27 and my heart has been secretly enticed,
and my mouth has kissed my hand,
28 this also would be fan iniquity to be punished by the judges,
for I would have been false to God above.
29 “If I have grejoiced at the ruin of him who hated me,
or exulted when evil overtook him
30 (hI have not let my mouth sin
by asking for his life with a curse),
31 if the men of my tent have not said,
‘Who is there that has not been filled with his imeat?’
32 (jthe sojourner has not lodged in the street;
I have opened my doors to the traveler),
by hiding my iniquity in my heart,
34 because I stood in great fear of mthe multitude,
and the contempt of families terrified me,
so that I kept silence, and did not go out of doors—
35 Oh, that I had one to hear me!
(Here is my signature! Let the Almighty nanswer me!)
Oh, that I had othe indictment written by my adversary!
36 Surely I would carry it on my pshoulder;
37 I would give him an account of all my steps;
like a prince I would approach him.
38 “If my land has cried out against me
and its furrows have wept together,
39 sif I have eaten its yield without payment
and made its owners tbreathe their last,
40 let uthorns grow instead of wheat,
and foul weeds instead of barley.”
The words of Job are ended.
Elihu Rebukes Job’s Three Friends
32 So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was vrighteous in his own eyes. 2 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. 3 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. 4 Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job because they were older than he. 5 And when Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, he burned with anger.
6 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.
7 I said, ‘Let days speak,
and many years teach wisdom.’
8 But it is athe spirit in man,
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.
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.
2 Behold, I jopen my mouth;
the tongue in my mouth speaks.
3 My words declare the uprightness of my heart,
and what my lips know they speak sincerely.
4 kThe Spirit of God has made me,
and lthe breath of the Almighty gives me life.
5 mAnswer me, if you can;
nset your words in order before me; take your stand.
6 Behold, I am toward God as you are;
I too was pinched off from a piece of oclay.
7 Behold, no pfear of me need terrify you;
my qpressure will not be heavy upon you.
8 “Surely you have spoken in my ears,
and I have heard the sound of your words.
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,
14 For God yspeaks in one way,
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,
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’;
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.
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:
2 “Hear my words, you wise men,
and give ear to me, you who know;
3 for gthe ear tests words
as the palate tastes food.
4 Let us choose hwhat is right;
let us know among ourselves what is good.
5 For Job has said, ‘I am iin the right,
and jGod has taken away my right;
6 in spite of my right I am counted a liar;
my wound is incurable, though I am kwithout transgression.’
7 What man is like Job,
who ldrinks up scoffing like water,
8 who travels in company with evildoers
and walks mwith wicked men?
9 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,
14 If he should tset his heart to it
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.
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;
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:
2 “Do you think this to be just?
Do you say, v‘It is my right before God,’
3 that you ask, w‘What advantage have I?
How am I better off than if I had sinned?’
4 I will answer you
and xyour friends with you.
5 yLook at the heavens, and see;
and behold the clouds, which are higher than you.
6 If you have sinned, zwhat do you accomplish against him?
And if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to him?
7 aIf you are righteous, what do you give to him?
Or what does he receive from your hand?
8 Your wickedness concerns a man like yourself,
and your righteousness ba son of man.
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;