Job 32-34 Revised Standard Version

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Elihu Justifies His Right to Answer Job

32 1  So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. 2  Then Eli'hu the son of Bar'achel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became angry. He was angry at Job because he justified himself rather than God; 3  he was angry also at Job's three friends because they had found no answer, although they had declared Job to be in the wrong. 4  Now Eli'hu had waited to speak to Job because they were older than he. 5  And when Eli'hu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, he became angry.

6  And Eli'hu the son of Bar'achel the Buzite answered: "I am young in years, and you are aged; 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 the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. 9  It is not the old that are wise, nor the aged that 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 that confuted Job, or that answered his words, among you. 13  Beware lest you say, 'We have found wisdom; God may vanquish him, not man.' 14  He has not directed his words against me, and I will not answer him with your speeches.

15  "They are discomfited, 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 give my answer; I also will declare my opinion. 18  For I am full of words, the spirit within me constrains me. 19  Behold, my heart is like wine that has no vent; like new wineskins, it is ready to burst. 20  I must speak, that I may find relief; I must open my lips and answer. 21  I will not show partiality to any person or use flattery toward any man. 22  For I do not know how to flatter, else would my Maker soon put an end to me.

Elihu Reproves Job

33 1  "But now, hear my speech, O Job, and listen to all my words. 2  Behold, I open 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  The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. 5  Answer me, if you can; set your words in order before me; take your stand. 6  Behold, I am toward God as you are; I too was formed from a piece of clay. 7  Behold, no fear of me need terrify you; my pressure will not be heavy upon you.

8  "Surely, you have spoken in my hearing, and I have heard the sound of your words. 9  You say, 'I am clean, without transgression; I am pure, and there is no iniquity in me. 10  Behold, he finds occasions against me, he counts me as his enemy; 11  he puts my feet in the stocks, and watches all my paths.' 12  "Behold, in this you are not right. I will answer you. God is greater than man. 13  Why do you contend against him, saying, 'He will answer none of my words'?

14  For God speaks in one way, and in two, though man does not perceive it. 15  In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, while they slumber on their beds, 16  then he opens the ears of men, and terrifies them with warnings, 17  that he may turn man aside from his deed, and cut off pride from man; 18  he keeps back his soul from the Pit, his life from perishing by the sword.

19  "Man is also chastened with pain upon his bed, and with continual strife in his bones; 20  so that his life loathes bread, and his appetite dainty food. 21  His flesh is so wasted away that it cannot be seen; and his bones which were not seen stick out. 22  His soul draws near the Pit, and his life to those who bring death. 23  If there be for him an angel, a mediator, one of the thousand, to declare to man what is right for him; 24  and he is gracious to him, and says, 'Deliver him from going down into the Pit, I have found a ransom; 25  let his flesh become fresh with youth; let him return to the days of his youthful vigor'; 26  then man prays to God, and he accepts him, he comes into his presence with joy. He recounts to men his salvation, 27  and he sings before men, and says: 'I sinned and perverted what was right, and it was not requited to me. 28  He has redeemed my soul from going down into the Pit, and my life shall see the light.'

29  "Behold, God does all these things, twice, three times, with a man, 30  to bring back his soul from the Pit, that he may see the light of life. 31  Give heed, O Job, listen to me; be silent, and I will speak. 32  If you have anything to say, answer me; speak, for I desire to justify you. 33  If not, listen to me; be silent, and I will teach you wisdom."

Elihu Justifies God

34 1  Then Eli'hu said: 2  "Hear my words, you wise men, and give ear to me, you who know; 3  for the ear tests words as the palate tastes food. 4  Let us choose what is right; let us determine among ourselves what is good. 5  For Job has said, 'I am innocent, and God has taken away my right; 6  in spite of my right I am counted a liar; my wound is incurable, though I am without transgression.' 7  What man is like Job, who drinks up scoffing like water, 8  who goes in company with evildoers and walks with wicked men? 9  For 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. 11  For according to the work of a man he will requite him, and according to his ways he will make it befall him. 12  Of a truth, God will not do wickedly, and the Almighty will not pervert justice. 13  Who gave him charge over the earth and who laid on him the whole world? 14  If he should take back his spirit to himself, and gather to himself his breath, 15  all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust.

16  "If you have understanding, hear this; listen to what I say. 17  Shall one who hates justice govern? Will you condemn him who is righteous and mighty, 18  who says to a king, 'Worthless one,' and to nobles, 'Wicked man'; 19  who shows no partiality to princes, nor regards the rich more than the poor, for they are all the work of his hands? 20  In 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 upon the ways of a man, and he sees all his steps. 22  There is no gloom or deep darkness where evildoers may hide themselves. 23  For he has not appointed a time for any man to go before God in judgment. 24  He shatters the mighty without investigation, and sets others in their place. 25  Thus, knowing their works, he overturns them in the night, and they are crushed. 26  He strikes them for their wickedness in the sight of men, 27  because they turned aside from following him, and had no regard for any of his ways, 28  so that they caused the cry of the poor to come to him, and he heard 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 any one said to God, 'I have borne chastisement; I will not offend any more; 32  teach me what I do not see; if I have done iniquity, I will do it no more'? 33  Will he then make requital to suit you, because you reject it? For you must choose, and not I; therefore declare what you know. 34  Men 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.' 36  Would that Job were tried to the end, because he answers like wicked men. 37  For he adds rebellion to his sin; he claps his hands among us, and multiplies his words against God."

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