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Eliphaz Speaks: You Are Speaking Sinfully, Job

15 Then Eliphaz from Teman replied to Job,

“Should a wise person answer with endless details
    and fill his stomach with the east wind?
Should he argue with words that don’t help,
    with speeches that don’t help anyone?
Yes, you destroy the fear of God
    and diminish devotion to El.
Your sin teaches you what to say.
    You choose to talk with a sly tongue.
Your own mouth condemns you, not I.
    Your lips testify against you.

You Are Not the Only Wise Person, Job

“Were you the first human to be born?
    Were you delivered before the hills existed?
Did you listen in on Eloah’s council meeting
    and receive a monopoly on wisdom?
What do you know that we don’t know?
    What do you understand that we don’t?
10 Both the old and the gray-haired are among us.
    They are older than your father.
11 Isn’t El’s comfort enough for you,
    even when gently spoken to you?
12 Why have your emotions carried you away?
    Why do your eyes flash
13 when you turn against El
    and spit these words out of your mouth?
14 Why should a mortal be considered faultless
    or someone born of a woman be considered righteous?
15 If El doesn’t trust his holy ones,
    and the heavens are not pure in his sight,
16 how much less will he trust the one who is disgusting and corrupt,
    the one who drinks wickedness like water.

I Want to Tell You What I Know

17 “I’ll tell you; listen to me!
    I’ll relate what I have seen.
18 I’ll tell you what wise people have declared
    and what was not kept secret from their ancestors.
19 (The land was given to them alone,
    and no stranger passed through their land.)

The Tortured Life of the Wicked Person

20 “The wicked person is tortured all his days.
    Only a few years are reserved for the ruthless person.
21 Terrifying sounds are in his ears.
    While he enjoys peace, the destroyer comes to him.
22 He doesn’t believe he’ll return from the dark.
    He is destined to be killed with a sword.
23 He wanders around for food and asks, ‘Where is it?’[a]
    He knows that his ruin is close at hand.

24 “The day of darkness[b] troubles him.
    Distress and anguish terrify him
        like a king ready for battle.
25 He stretches out his hand against El
    and attacks Shadday like a warrior.
26 He stubbornly charges at him with a thick shield.

27 “His face is bloated with fat,
    and he is fat around the waist.
28 He lives in ruined cities
    where no one dwells,
        in houses that are doomed to be piles of rubble.
29 He won’t get rich,
    and his wealth won’t last.
        His possessions won’t spread out over the land.

30 “He won’t escape the darkness.
    A flame will shrivel his branches.
        He will be blown away by his own breath.
31 He shouldn’t trust in worthless things and deceive himself
    because he will get worthless things in return.
32 It will happen before his time has come,
    and his branch will not become green.
33 He will drop his unripened grapes like a vine
    and throw off his blossoms like an olive tree
34 because a mob of godless people produces nothing,
    and fire burns up the tents of those who offer bribes.[c]
35 They conceive trouble and give birth to evil.
    Their wombs produce deception.”


  1. Job 15:23 Or “He wanders around as if he were food for vultures.”
  2. Job 15:24 The Hebrew text divides verses 23 and 24 at this point.
  3. Job 15:34 Or “those who take bribes.”


15 Then Eliphaz the Temanite(A) replied:

“Would a wise person answer with empty notions
    or fill their belly with the hot east wind?(B)
Would they argue with useless words,
    with speeches that have no value?(C)
But you even undermine piety
    and hinder devotion to God.(D)
Your sin(E) prompts your mouth;(F)
    you adopt the tongue of the crafty.(G)
Your own mouth condemns you, not mine;
    your own lips testify against you.(H)

“Are you the first man ever born?(I)
    Were you brought forth before the hills?(J)
Do you listen in on God’s council?(K)
    Do you have a monopoly on wisdom?(L)
What do you know that we do not know?
    What insights do you have that we do not have?(M)
10 The gray-haired and the aged(N) are on our side,
    men even older than your father.(O)
11 Are God’s consolations(P) not enough for you,
    words(Q) spoken gently to you?(R)
12 Why has your heart(S) carried you away,
    and why do your eyes flash,
13 so that you vent your rage(T) against God
    and pour out such words(U) from your mouth?(V)

14 “What are mortals, that they could be pure,
    or those born of woman,(W) that they could be righteous?(X)
15 If God places no trust in his holy ones,(Y)
    if even the heavens are not pure in his eyes,(Z)
16 how much less mortals, who are vile and corrupt,(AA)
    who drink up evil(AB) like water!(AC)

17 “Listen to me and I will explain to you;
    let me tell you what I have seen,(AD)
18 what the wise have declared,
    hiding nothing received from their ancestors(AE)
19 (to whom alone the land(AF) was given
    when no foreigners moved among them):
20 All his days the wicked man suffers torment,(AG)
    the ruthless man through all the years stored up for him.(AH)
21 Terrifying sounds fill his ears;(AI)
    when all seems well, marauders attack him.(AJ)
22 He despairs of escaping the realm of darkness;(AK)
    he is marked for the sword.(AL)
23 He wanders about(AM) for food like a vulture;(AN)
    he knows the day of darkness(AO) is at hand.(AP)
24 Distress and anguish(AQ) fill him with terror;(AR)
    troubles overwhelm him, like a king(AS) poised to attack,
25 because he shakes his fist(AT) at God
    and vaunts himself against the Almighty,(AU)
26 defiantly charging against him
    with a thick, strong shield.(AV)

27 “Though his face is covered with fat
    and his waist bulges with flesh,(AW)
28 he will inhabit ruined towns
    and houses where no one lives,(AX)
    houses crumbling to rubble.(AY)
29 He will no longer be rich and his wealth will not endure,(AZ)
    nor will his possessions spread over the land.(BA)
30 He will not escape the darkness;(BB)
    a flame(BC) will wither his shoots,(BD)
    and the breath of God’s mouth(BE) will carry him away.(BF)
31 Let him not deceive(BG) himself by trusting what is worthless,(BH)
    for he will get nothing in return.(BI)
32 Before his time(BJ) he will wither,(BK)
    and his branches will not flourish.(BL)
33 He will be like a vine stripped of its unripe grapes,(BM)
    like an olive tree shedding its blossoms.(BN)
34 For the company of the godless(BO) will be barren,
    and fire will consume(BP) the tents of those who love bribes.(BQ)
35 They conceive trouble(BR) and give birth to evil;(BS)
    their womb fashions deceit.”