Job Vindicates Himself
31 “I made a covenant with 1 my eyes;
how then could I entertain thoughts against a virgin? 2
2 What then would be one’s lot from God above,
one’s heritage from the Almighty 3 on high?
3 Is it not misfortune for the unjust,
and disaster for those who work iniquity?
4 Does he not see my ways
and count all my steps?
5 If 4 I have walked in falsehood,
and if 5 my foot has hastened 6 to deceit –
6 let him 7 weigh me with honest 8 scales;
then God will discover 9 my integrity.
7 If my footsteps have strayed from the way,
if my heart has gone after my eyes, 10
or if anything 11 has defiled my hands,
8 then let me sow 12 and let another eat,
and let my crops 13 be uprooted.
9 If my heart has been enticed by a woman,
and I have lain in wait at my neighbor’s door, 14
10 then let my wife turn the millstone 15 for another man,
and may other men have sexual relations with her. 16
11 For I would have committed 17 a shameful act, 18
an iniquity to be judged. 19
12 For it is a fire that devours even to Destruction, 20
and it would uproot 21 all my harvest.
13 “If I have disregarded the right of my male servants
or my female servants
when they disputed 22 with me,
14 then what will I do when God confronts me in judgment; 23
when he intervenes, 24
how will I respond to him?
15 Did not the one who made me in the womb make them? 25
Did not the same one form us in the womb?
16 If I have refused to give the poor what they desired, 26
or caused the eyes of the widow to fail,
17 If I ate my morsel of bread myself,
and did not share any of it with orphans 27 –
18 but from my youth I raised the orphan 28 like a father,
and from my mother’s womb 29
I guided the widow! 30
19 If I have seen anyone about to perish for lack of clothing,
or a poor man without a coat,
20 whose heart did not bless me 31
as he warmed himself with the fleece of my sheep, 32
21 if I have raised my hand 33 to vote against the orphan,
when I saw my support in the court, 34
22 then 35 let my arm fall from the shoulder, 36
let my arm be broken off at the socket. 37
23 For the calamity from God was a terror to me, 38
and by reason of his majesty 39 I was powerless.
24 “If I have put my confidence in gold
or said to pure gold,
‘You are my security!’
25 if I have rejoiced because of the extent of my wealth,
or because of the great wealth my hand had gained,
26 if I looked at the sun 40 when it was shining,
and the moon advancing as a precious thing,
27 so that my heart was secretly enticed,
and my hand threw them a kiss from my mouth, 41
28 then this 42 also would be iniquity to be judged, 43
for I would have been false 44 to God above.
29 If 45 I have rejoiced over the misfortune of my enemy 46
or exulted 47 because calamity 48 found him –
30 I 49 have not even permitted my mouth 50 to sin
by asking 51 for his life through a curse –
31 if 52 the members of my household 53 have never said, 54
‘If only there were 55 someone
who has not been satisfied from Job’s 56 meat!’ –
32 But 57 no stranger had to spend the night outside,
for I opened my doors to the traveler 58 –
33 if 59 I have covered my transgressions as men do, 60
by hiding 61 iniquity in my heart, 62
34 because I was terrified 63 of the great multitude, 64
and the contempt of families terrified me,
so that I remained silent
and would not go outdoors – 65
35 “If only I had 66 someone to hear me!
Here is my signature – 67
let the Almighty answer me!
If only I had an indictment 68
that my accuser had written. 69
36 Surely 70 I would wear it proudly 71 on my shoulder,
I would bind 72 it on me like a crown;
37 I would give him an accounting of my steps;
like a prince I would approach him.
Job’s Final Solemn Oath 73
38 “If my land cried out against me 74
and all its furrows wept together,
39 if I have eaten its produce without paying, 75
or caused the death 76 of its owners, 77
40 then let thorns sprout up in place of wheat,
and in place of barley, weeds!” 78
The words of Job are ended.
V. The Speeches of Elihu (32:1-37:24)
Elihu’s First Speech 1
32 So these three men refused to answer 2 Job further, because he was righteous in his 3 own eyes. 2 Then Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became very angry. 4 He was angry 5 with Job for justifying 6 himself rather than God. 7 3 With Job’s 8 three friends he was also angry, because they could not find 9 an answer, and so declared Job guilty. 10 4 Now Elihu had waited before speaking 11 to Job, because the others 12 were older than he was. 5 But when Elihu saw 13 that the three men had no further reply, 14 he became very angry.
Elihu Claims Wisdom
6 So Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite spoke up: 15
“I am young, 16 but you are elderly;
that is why I was fearful, 17
and afraid to explain 18 to you what I know.
7 I said to myself, ‘Age 19 should speak, 20
and length of years 21 should make wisdom known.’
8 But it is a spirit in people,
the breath 22 of the Almighty,
that makes them understand.
9 It is not the aged 23 who are wise,
nor old men who understand what is right.
10 Therefore I say, ‘Listen 24 to me.
I, even I, will explain what I know.’
11 Look, I waited for you to speak; 25
I listened closely to your wise thoughts, 26 while you were searching for words.
12 Now I was paying you close attention, 27
yet 28 there was no one proving Job wrong, 29
not one of you was answering his statements!
13 So do not say, 30 ‘We have found wisdom!
God will refute 31 him, not man!’
14 Job 32 has not directed 33 his words to me,
and so I will not reply to him with your arguments. 34
Job’s Friends Failed to Answer 35
15 “They are dismayed 36 and cannot answer any more;
they have nothing left to say. 37
16 And I have waited. 38 But because they do not speak,
because they stand there and answer no more,
17 I too will answer my part,
I too will explain what I know.
18 For I am full of words,
and the spirit within me 39 constrains me. 40
19 Inside I am like wine which has no outlet, 41
like new wineskins 42 ready to burst!
20 I will speak, 43 so that I may find relief;
I will open my lips, so that I may answer.
21 I will not show partiality to anyone, 44
nor will I confer a title 45 on any man.
22 for I do not know how to give honorary titles, 46
if I did, 47 my Creator would quickly do away with me. 48
Elihu Invites Job’s Attention
33 “But now, O Job, listen to my words,
and hear 1 everything I have to say! 2
2 See now, I have opened 3 my mouth;
my tongue in my mouth has spoken. 4
3 My words come from the uprightness of my heart, 5
and my lips will utter knowledge sincerely. 6
4 The Spirit of God has made me,
and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. 7
5 Reply to me, if you can;
set your arguments 8 in order before me
and take your stand!
6 Look, I am just like you in relation to God;
I too have been molded 9 from clay.
7 Therefore no fear of me should terrify you,
nor should my pressure 10 be heavy on you. 11
Elihu Rejects Job’s Plea of Innocence
8 “Indeed, you have said in my hearing 12
(I heard the sound of the words!): 9 13
‘I am pure, without transgression;
I am clean 14 and have no iniquity. 10 15
Yet God 16 finds occasions 17 with me;
he regards me as his enemy! 11 18
He puts my feet in shackles;
he watches closely all my paths.’
12 Now in this, you are not right – I answer you, 19
for God is greater than a human being. 20
13 Why do you contend against him,
that he does not answer all a person’s 21 words?
Elihu Disagrees With Job’s View of God
14 “For God speaks, the first time in one way,
the second time in another,
though a person does not perceive 22 it.
15 In a dream, a night vision,
when deep sleep falls on people
as they sleep in their beds.
16 Then he gives a revelation 23 to people,
and terrifies them with warnings, 24
17 to turn a person from his sin, 25
and to cover a person’s pride. 26
18 He spares a person’s life from corruption, 27
his very life from crossing over 28 the river.
19 Or a person is chastened 29 by pain on his bed,
and with the continual strife of his bones, 30
20 so that his life loathes food,
and his soul rejects appetizing fare. 31
21 His flesh wastes away from sight,
and his bones, which were not seen,
are easily visible. 32
22 He 33 draws near to the place of corruption,
and his life to the messengers of death. 34
23 If there is an angel beside him,
one mediator 35 out of a thousand,
to tell a person what constitutes his uprightness; 36
24 and if 37 God 38 is gracious to him and says,
‘Spare 39 him from going down
to the place of corruption,
I have found a ransom for him,’ 40
25 then his flesh is restored 41 like a youth’s;
he returns to the days of his youthful vigor. 42
26 He entreats God, and God 43 delights in him,
he sees God’s face 44 with rejoicing,
and God 45 restores to him his righteousness. 46
27 That person sings 47 to others, 48 saying:
‘I have sinned and falsified what is right,
but I was not punished according to what I deserved. 49
28 He redeemed my life 50
from going down to the place of corruption,
and my life sees the light!’
29 “Indeed, God does all these things,
twice, three times, in his dealings 52 with a person,
30 to turn back his life from the place of corruption,
that he may be enlightened with the light of life.
31 Pay attention, Job – listen to me;
be silent, and I will speak.
32 If you have any words, 53 reply to me;
speak, for I want to justify you. 54
33 If not, you listen to me;
be silent, and I will teach you wisdom.”