Job Chapter 34 to 36 : English Standard Version   | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

Other Versions34 Elihu Asserts God’s Justice

34:1 Then Elihu answered and said:

2“Hear my words, you wise men, and give ear to me, you who know; 3for the ear tests words as the palate tastes food. 4Let us choose what is right; let us know among ourselves what is good. 5For Job has said, ‘I am in the right, and God has taken away my right; 6in spite of my right I am counted a liar; my wound is incurable, though I am without transgression.’ 7What man is like Job, who drinks up scoffing like water, 8who travels in company with evildoers and walks with wicked men? 9For he 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 do wickedness, and from the Almighty that he should do wrong. 11For according to the work of a man he will repay him, and according to his ways he will make it befall him. 12Of a truth, God will not do wickedly, and the Almighty will not pervert justice. 13Who gave him charge over the earth, and who laid on him[1] the whole world? 14If he should set his heart to it and gather to himself his spirit and his breath, 15all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust.

16“If you have understanding, hear this; listen to what I say. 17Shall one who hates justice govern? Will you condemn him who is righteous and mighty, 18who says to a king, ‘Worthless one,’ and to nobles, ‘Wicked man,’ 19who shows no partiality to princes, nor regards the rich more than the poor, for they are all the work of his hands? 20In a moment they die; at midnight the people are shaken and pass away, and the mighty are taken away by no human hand.

21“For his eyes are on the ways of a man, and he sees all his steps. 22There is no gloom or deep darkness where evildoers may hide themselves. 23For God[2] has no need to consider a man further, that he should go before God in judgment. 24He shatters the mighty without investigation and sets others in their place. 25Thus, knowing their works, he overturns them in the night, and they are crushed. 26He strikes them for their wickedness in a place for all to see, 27because they turned aside from following him and had no regard for any of his ways, 28so that they caused the cry of the poor to come to him, and he heard the cry of the afflicted— 29When he is quiet, who can condemn? When he hides his face, who can behold him, whether it be a nation or a man?— 30that 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; 32teach me what I do not see; if I have done iniquity, I will do it no more’? 33Will he then make repayment to suit you, because you reject it? For you must choose, and not I; therefore declare what you know.[3] 34Men of understanding will say to me, and the wise man who hears me will say: 35‘Job speaks without knowledge; his words are without insight.’ 36Would that Job were tried to the end, because he answers like wicked men. 37For he adds rebellion to his sin; he claps his hands among us and multiplies his words against God.”

[1] Hebrew lacks on him  [2] Hebrew he  [3] The meaning of the Hebrew in verses 29-33 is uncertain

35 Elihu Condemns Job

35:1 And Elihu answered and said:

2“Do you think this to be just? Do you say, ‘It is my right before God,’ 3that you ask, ‘What advantage have I? How am I better off than if I had sinned?’ 4I will answer you and your friends with you. 5Look at the heavens, and see; and behold the clouds, which are higher than you. 6If you have sinned, what do you accomplish against him? And if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to him? 7If you are righteous, what do you give to him? Or what does he receive from your hand? 8Your wickedness concerns a man like yourself, and your righteousness a son of man.

9“Because of the multitude of oppressions people cry out; they call for help because of the arm of the mighty.[4] 10But none says, ‘Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night, 11who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds of the heavens?’ 12There they cry out, but he does not answer, because of the pride of evil men. 13Surely God does not hear an empty cry, nor does the Almighty regard it. 14How much less when you say that you do not see him, that the case is before him, and you are waiting for him! 15And now, because his anger does not punish, and he does not take much note of transgression,[5] 16Job opens his mouth in empty talk; he multiplies words without knowledge.”

[4] Or the many  [5] Theodotion, Symmachus (compare Vulgate); the meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain

36 Elihu Extols God’s Greatness

36:1 And Elihu continued, and said:

2“Bear with me a little, and I will show you, for I have yet something to say on God’s behalf. 3I will get my knowledge from afar and ascribe righteousness to my Maker. 4For truly my words are not false; one who is perfect in knowledge is with you.

5“Behold, God is mighty, and does not despise any; he is mighty in strength of understanding. 6He does not keep the wicked alive, but gives the afflicted their right. 7He does not withdraw his eyes from the righteous, but with kings on the throne he sets them forever, and they are exalted. 8And if they are bound in chains and caught in the cords of affliction, 9then he declares to them their work and their transgressions, that they are behaving arrogantly. 10He opens their ears to instruction and commands that they return from iniquity. 11If they listen and serve him, they complete their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasantness. 12But if they do not listen, they perish by the sword and die without knowledge.

13“The godless in heart cherish anger; they do not cry for help when he binds them. 14They die in youth, and their life ends among the cult prostitutes. 15He delivers the afflicted by their affliction and opens their ear by adversity. 16He also allured you out of distress into a broad place where there was no cramping, and what was set on your table was full of fatness.

17“But you are full of the judgment on the wicked; judgment and justice seize you. 18Beware lest wrath entice you into scoffing, and let not the greatness of the ransom turn you aside. 19Will your cry for help avail to keep you from distress, or all the force of your strength? 20Do not long for the night, when peoples vanish in their place. 21Take care; do not turn to iniquity, for this you have chosen rather than affliction. 22Behold, God is exalted in his power; who is a teacher like him? 23Who has prescribed for him his way, or who can say, ‘You have done wrong’?

24“Remember to extol his work, of which men have sung. 25All mankind has looked on it; man beholds it from afar. 26Behold, God is great, and we know him not; the number of his years is unsearchable. 27For he draws up the drops of water; they distill his mist in rain, 28which the skies pour down and drop on mankind abundantly. 29Can anyone understand the spreading of the clouds, the thunderings of his pavilion? 30Behold, he scatters his lightning about him and covers the roots of the sea. 31For by these he judges peoples; he gives food in abundance. 32He covers his hands with the lightning and commands it to strike the mark. 33Its crashing declares his presence;[6] the cattle also declare that he rises.

[6] Hebrew declares concerning him

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