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22 Eliphaz the Temanite made suggestions to Job.

Eliphaz: Can a strong person be of any use to God?
        How about one who is wise? Can he help himself?
    Is the Highest One[a] made happy if you are righteous?
        Does He profit from your perfect ways?
    Do you really think He takes you to task because you revere Him too much?
        Is this why He brings allegations against you?
    Is it not possible that you are, in fact, great with wickedness
        and endless in your wrongdoing?

    When your relatives came to you needing money,
        for no good reason you took their clothes for collateral
        and left them naked.
    You have never given so much as a cup of water to the thirsty
        or a crumb to the hungry.
    You must think only the powerful and privileged possess the land
        and can live in it any way they wish.
    You have sent away widows who were wanting,
        and you have obliterated the only support of orphans.
10     This is why you are surrounded by snares,
        why you are overcome with dreadful fears,
11     Why you’re in the dark, without a glimmer to help you see,
        sunk beneath the rush of flooding water.

12     Is not God up there at the crown of the highest arc of heaven?
        And the highest stars!
        See how lofty they are!
13     But you—you say, “What does God know?
        Can He send His judgments through such thick darkness?
14     Those clouds are just a veil for Him so He does not have to look upon us
        while He saunters, oblivious, through the chambers of the sky.”
15     Job, are you now guardian of the ancient road
        where the wicked have traveled?
16     The wicked, who are captured
        and taken off before their time,
        their foundations washed out by a flooded river,
17     They are the ones who tell God, “Leave us be.”
        They say, “What can the Highest One do to us?”
18     How are they repaid for their insolence?
        You say, “He stuffs their homes with goodness,”
    Then you shake your head and mutter,
        “Far be it from me to understand the thoughts and plans of the wicked.”
19     The righteous would look upon their ruin and laugh for delight;
        the innocent would taunt
20     By saying, “Sure enough, our enemies have gone to their annihilation,
        and what they’ve left behind feeds a hungry fire.”

21     Now be of use to God;
        be at peace with Him,
        and goodness will return to your life.
22     Receive instruction directly from His lips,
        and make His words a part of you.
23     If you return to the Highest One,
        you will be restored;
        if you banish the evil from your tents,
24     And consider your gold as common as earth’s dust
        and Ophir’s refined gold as plentiful as stones in rock-lined streams,
25     Then your true treasure will be the Highest One—
        worth more than gold and silver beyond measure.
26     For then, at last, you will find pleasure in the Highest One,
        and you will finally be able to show Him your face.
27     When you approach Him, He will listen;
        you will make good on your promises to Him.
28     You will pronounce something to be,
        and He will make it so;
        light will break out across all of your paths.
29     God will humble, but you say, “Raise them up.”
        He will save the downcast.
30     He will even consent to deliver those who are not innocent
        through the purity of your then-washed-clean hands.

Footnotes

  1. 22:3 Hebrew, Shaddai

Eliphaz

22 Then Eliphaz the Temanite(A) replied:

“Can a man be of benefit to God?(B)
    Can even a wise person benefit him?(C)
What pleasure(D) would it give the Almighty if you were righteous?(E)
    What would he gain if your ways were blameless?(F)

“Is it for your piety that he rebukes you
    and brings charges against you?(G)
Is not your wickedness great?
    Are not your sins(H) endless?(I)
You demanded security(J) from your relatives for no reason;(K)
    you stripped people of their clothing, leaving them naked.(L)
You gave no water(M) to the weary
    and you withheld food from the hungry,(N)
though you were a powerful man, owning land(O)
    an honored man,(P) living on it.(Q)
And you sent widows(R) away empty-handed(S)
    and broke the strength of the fatherless.(T)
10 That is why snares(U) are all around you,(V)
    why sudden peril terrifies you,(W)
11 why it is so dark(X) you cannot see,
    and why a flood of water covers you.(Y)

12 “Is not God in the heights of heaven?(Z)
    And see how lofty are the highest stars!
13 Yet you say, ‘What does God know?(AA)
    Does he judge through such darkness?(AB)
14 Thick clouds(AC) veil him, so he does not see us(AD)
    as he goes about in the vaulted heavens.’(AE)
15 Will you keep to the old path
    that the wicked(AF) have trod?(AG)
16 They were carried off before their time,(AH)
    their foundations(AI) washed away by a flood.(AJ)
17 They said to God, ‘Leave us alone!
    What can the Almighty do to us?’(AK)
18 Yet it was he who filled their houses with good things,(AL)
    so I stand aloof from the plans of the wicked.(AM)
19 The righteous see their ruin and rejoice;(AN)
    the innocent mock(AO) them, saying,
20 ‘Surely our foes are destroyed,(AP)
    and fire(AQ) devours their wealth.’

21 “Submit to God and be at peace(AR) with him;(AS)
    in this way prosperity will come to you.(AT)
22 Accept instruction from his mouth(AU)
    and lay up his words(AV) in your heart.(AW)
23 If you return(AX) to the Almighty, you will be restored:(AY)
    If you remove wickedness far from your tent(AZ)
24 and assign your nuggets(BA) to the dust,
    your gold(BB) of Ophir(BC) to the rocks in the ravines,(BD)
25 then the Almighty will be your gold,(BE)
    the choicest silver for you.(BF)
26 Surely then you will find delight in the Almighty(BG)
    and will lift up your face(BH) to God.(BI)
27 You will pray to him,(BJ) and he will hear you,(BK)
    and you will fulfill your vows.(BL)
28 What you decide on will be done,(BM)
    and light(BN) will shine on your ways.(BO)
29 When people are brought low(BP) and you say, ‘Lift them up!’
    then he will save the downcast.(BQ)
30 He will deliver even one who is not innocent,(BR)
    who will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.”(BS)

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