31 “I have made a covenant (agreement) with my eyes; How then could I gaze [lustfully] at a virgin? 2 “For what is the portion I would have from God above, And what heritage from the Almighty on high? 3 “Does not tragedy fall [justly] on the unjust And disaster to those who work wickedness? 4 “Does not God see my ways And count all my steps?
5 “If I have walked with falsehood, Or if my foot has chased after deceit, 6 Oh, let Him weigh me with accurate scales, And let God know my integrity. 7 “If my step has turned away from the way [of God], Or if my heart has [covetously] followed my eyes, Or if any spot [of guilt] has stained my hands, 8 Then let me plant and [let] another eat [from the results of my labor], And let my crops be uprooted and ruined.
9 “If my heart has been enticed and I was made a fool by a woman, Or if I have [covetously] lurked at my neighbor’s door [until his departure], 10 Let my wife grind [meal, like a bond slave] for another [man], And let others [a]kneel down over her. 11 “For adultery is a heinous and lustful crime; Moreover, it would be a sin punishable by the judges. 12 “For it is a fire which consumes to Abaddon (destruction, ruin, final torment); And [illicit passion] would burn and rage and uproot all my [life’s] increase [destroying everything].
13 “If I have despised and rejected the claim of my male or female servants When they filed a complaint against me, 14 What then could I do when God arises [to judge me]? When He calls me to account, what will I answer Him? 15 “Did not He who made me in the womb make my servant, And did not the same One fashion us both in the womb?
16 “If I have withheld from the poor what they desired, Or have caused the eyes of the widow to look in vain [for relief], 17 Or have eaten my morsel [of food] alone, And did not share it with the orphan 18 (But from my youth the orphan grew up with me as with a father, And from my mother’s womb I have been the widow’s guide), 19 If I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing, Or any poor person without covering, 20 If his loins have not thanked and blessed me [for clothing them], And if he was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep, 21 If I have lifted my hand against the orphan, Because I saw [that the judges would be] my help at the [council] gate, 22 Then let my shoulder fall away from its socket, And my arm be broken off at the elbow. 23 “For tragedy from God is a terror to me, And because of His majesty and exaltation I can do nothing [nor endure facing Him].
24 “If I have put my trust and confidence in gold, Or have declared fine gold my hope and assurance, 25 If I gloated and rejoiced because my wealth was great, And because my [powerful] hand [alone] had obtained so much, 26 If I beheld the sun [as an object of worship] when it shone Or the moon going in its splendor, 27 And my heart became secretly enticed [by them], And my hand threw a kiss from my mouth [in respect to them], 28 This also would have been [a heinous] sin calling for judgment, For I would have denied God above.
29 “Have I rejoiced at the destruction of the enemy [who hated me], Or exulted [in malicious triumph] when evil overtook him? 30 “No, I have not allowed my mouth to sin By cursing my enemy and asking for his life. 31 “I assure you, the men of my tent have said, ‘Who can find one [in need] who has not been satisfied with his meat’? 32 “The stranger has not lodged in the street, Because I have opened my door to the traveler. 33 “Have I concealed my transgressions like Adam or like other men, By hiding my wickedness in my bosom, 34 Because I feared the great multitude, And the contempt of families terrified me, So that I kept silence and did not acknowledge my sin and did not go out of the door? 35 “Oh, that I had one to listen to me! Look, here is my signature (mark); Let the Almighty answer me! Let my adversary write out His indictment [and put His vague accusations in tangible form]. 36 “Surely I would [proudly] bear it on my shoulder, And bind the scroll around my head like a crown. 37 “I would count out to Him the number of my steps [with every detail of my life], Approaching His presence as if I were a prince.
38 “For if my land has cried out against me, And its furrows weep together; 39 If I have eaten its fruits without paying for them, Or have caused its [rightful] owners to lose their lives, 40 Let thorns grow instead of wheat, And stinkweed and cockleburs instead of barley.”
So the words of Job [with his friends] are finished.
Elihu Rebukes Job
32 So these three men ceased answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes [and could not be persuaded otherwise by them]. 2 But Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became indignant. His indignation was kindled and burned and he became upset with Job because he justified himself rather than God [and even expressed doubts about God’s character]. 3 Elihu’s anger burned against Job’s three friends because they had found no answer [and were unable to determine Job’s error], and yet they had condemned Job and declared him to be in the wrong [and responsible for his own afflictions]. 4 Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job because the others were years older than he. 5 And when Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouths of these three men, he burned with anger.
6 Then Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite said,
“I am young, and you are aged; For that reason I was anxious and dared not tell you what I think. 7 “I thought age should speak, And a multitude of years should teach wisdom. 8 “But there is [a vital force and] a spirit [of intelligence] in man, And the breath of the Almighty gives them understanding. 9 “Those [who are] abundant in years may not [always] be wise, Nor may the elders [always] understand justice. 10 “Therefore I say, ‘Listen to me; I also will give you my opinion [about Job’s situation] and tell you plainly what I think.’
11 “You see, I waited for your words, I listened to your [wise] reasons, While you pondered and searched out what to say. 12 “I even paid close attention to [what] you [said], Indeed, not one of you convinced Job [nor could you refute him], Not one of you supplied [satisfactory] answers to his words. 13 “Beware if you say, ‘We have found wisdom; God thrusts Job down [justly], not man [for God alone is dealing with him].’ 14 “Now Job has not directed his words against me [therefore I have no reason to be offended], Nor will I answer him with arguments like yours. [I speak for truth, not for revenge.]
15 “They (Job’s friends) are dismayed and embarrassed, they no longer answer; The words have moved away and failed them,” [says Elihu]. 16 “And shall I wait, because they say nothing, But stand still and say no more? 17 “I too will give my share of answers; I too will express my opinion and share my knowledge. 18 “For I am full of words; The spirit within me constrains me. 19 “My belly is like unvented wine; Like new wineskins it is about to burst. 20 “I must speak so that I may get relief; I will open my lips and answer. 21 “I will not [I warn you] be partial to any man [that is, let my respect for you mitigate what I say]; Nor flatter any man. 22 “For I do not know how to flatter, [in an appropriate way, and I fear that], My Maker would soon take me away.
Elihu Claims to Speak for God
33 “However, Job, please listen to my words, And pay attention to everything I say. 2 “Behold, I have opened my mouth [to begin my speech]; My tongue in my mouth is going to speak. 3 “My words will express the uprightness of my heart, And my lips will speak what they know with utter sincerity. 4 “The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of [b]the Almighty gives me life [which inspires me]. 5 “Answer me, if you can; Set yourselves before me, take your stand. 6 “Behold, I belong to God like you; I too was formed out of the clay. 7 “Behold, I will not make you afraid or terrified of me [for I am only mortal and not God], Nor should any pressure from me weigh heavily upon you.
8 “Surely you have spoken in my hearing, And I have heard the sound of your words, saying: 9 ‘I am pure, without transgression; I am innocent and there is no guilt in me. 10 ‘Behold, God finds pretexts against me; He counts me as His enemy. 11 ‘He puts my feet in the stocks [to hinder and humiliate me]; He [suspiciously] watches all my paths,’ [you say]. 12 “Look, let me answer you, in this you are not right or just; For God is greater and far superior to man.
13 “Why do you complain against Him? That He does not answer [you with] all His doings. 14 “For God speaks once, And even twice, yet no one notices it [including you, Job]. 15 “In a dream, a vision of the night [one may hear God’s voice], When deep sleep falls on men While slumbering upon the bed, 16 Then He opens the ears of men And seals their instruction, 17 That He may turn man aside from his conduct, And keep him from pride; 18 He holds back his soul from the pit [of destruction], And his life from passing over into Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead).
19 “Man is also disciplined with pain on his bed, And with unceasing complaint in his bones, 20 So that his life makes him loathe food, And his soul [loathe] even his favorite dishes. 21 “His flesh is so wasted away that it cannot be seen, And his bones which were not seen now stick out. 22 “Then his soul draws near to the pit [of destruction], And his life to those who bring death (the destroyers).
23 “If there is an angel as a mediator for him, One out of a thousand, To explain to a man what is right for him [that is, how to be in right standing with God], 24 Then [c]the angel is gracious to him, and says, ‘Spare him from going down to the pit [of destruction]; I have found a ransom [a consideration, or reason for redemption, an atonement]!’ 25 “Let his flesh be restored and become fresher than in youth; Let him return to the days of his youthful strength. 26 “He will pray to God, and He shall be favorable to him, So that he looks at His face with joy; For God restores to man His righteousness [that is, his right standing with God—with its joys]. 27 “He sings out to other men, ‘I have sinned and perverted that which was right, And it was not proper for me! 28 ‘God has redeemed my life from going to the pit [of destruction], And my life shall see the light.’”
29 [Elihu comments,] “Behold, God does all these things[d]twice, yes, three times, with a man, 30 To bring his life back from the pit [of destruction], That he may be enlightened with the light of the living. 31 “Pay attention, Job, listen to me; Keep silent, and I will speak. 32 “If you have anything to say, answer me; Speak, for I desire to justify you. 33 “If not [and you have nothing to say], listen to me; Keep silent, and I will teach you wisdom.”
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