Job 36–37; Acts 15:22–41

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 lightnings2 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 balancings3 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.4


The Council’s Letter to Gentile Believers

22 Then it seemed good to uthe apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called vBarsabbas, and wSilas, leading men among xthe brothers, 23 with the following letter: xThe brothers, both uthe apostles and the elders, to the brothers1 who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, ygreetings. 24 Since we have heard that zsome persons have gone out from us and atroubled you2 with words, unsettling your minds, although we gave them no instructions, 25 it has seemed good to us, having come bto one accord, to choose men and send them to you with our cbeloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 dmen who have erisked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have therefore sent fJudas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of mouth. 28 For it has seemed good gto the Holy Spirit and hto us ito lay on you no greater burden than these requirements: 29 jthat you abstain from kwhat has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.

30 So when they were sent off, they went down to Antioch, and having gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter. 31 And when they had read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement. 32 And Judas and Silas, who were themselves lprophets, encouraged and mstrengthened nthe brothers with many words. 33 And after they had spent some time, they were sent off oin peace by nthe brothers to those who had sent them.3 35 But pPaul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.

Paul and Barnabas Separate

36 And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, Let us return and visit nthe brothers qin every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are. 37 Now Barnabas wanted to take with them rJohn called Mark. 38 But Paul thought best not to take with them one swho had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. 39 And there arose ta sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. uBarnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and departed, vhaving been commended by wthe brothers to xthe grace of the Lord. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, ystrengthening the churches.