Elihu Contradicts Job’s Friends

32 So these three men ceased answering Job, because he was (A)righteous in his own eyes. Then the wrath of Elihu, the son of Barachel the (B)Buzite, of the family of Ram, was aroused against Job; his wrath was aroused because he (C)justified himself rather than God. Also against his three friends his wrath was aroused, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job.

Now because they were years older than he, Elihu had waited [a]to speak to Job. When Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, his wrath was aroused.

So Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite, answered and said:

“I am (D)young in years, and you are very old;
Therefore I was afraid,
And dared not declare my opinion to you.
I said, [b]‘Age should speak,
And multitude of years should teach wisdom.’
But there is a spirit in man,
And (E)the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding.
(F)Great[c] men are not always wise,
Nor do the aged always understand justice.

10 “Therefore I say, ‘Listen to me,
I also will declare my opinion.’
11 Indeed I waited for your words,
I listened to your reasonings, while you searched out what to say.
12 I paid close attention to you;
And surely not one of you convinced Job,
Or answered his words—
13 (G)Lest you say,
‘We have found wisdom’;
God will vanquish him, not man.
14 Now he has not [d]directed his words against me;
So I will not answer him with your words.

15 “They are dismayed and answer no more;
Words escape them.
16 And I have waited, because they did not speak,
Because they stood still and answered no more.
17 I also will answer my part,
I too will declare my opinion.
18 For I am full of words;
The spirit within me compels me.
19 Indeed my [e]belly is like wine that has no [f]vent;
It is ready to burst like new wineskins.
20 I will speak, that I may find relief;
I must open my lips and answer.
21 Let me not, I pray, show partiality to anyone;
Nor let me flatter any man.
22 For I do not know how to flatter,
Else my Maker would soon take me (H)away.

Elihu Contradicts Job

33 “But please, Job, hear my speech,
And listen to all my words.
Now, I open my mouth;
My tongue speaks in my mouth.
My words come from my upright heart;
My lips utter pure knowledge.
(I)The Spirit of God has made me,
And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
If you can answer me,
Set your words in order before me;
Take your stand.
(J)Truly I am [g]as your spokesman before God;
I also have been formed out of clay.
(K)Surely no fear of me will terrify you,
Nor will my hand be heavy on you.

“Surely you have spoken [h]in my hearing,
And I have heard the sound of your words, saying,
‘I(L) am pure, without transgression;
I am innocent, and there is no iniquity in me.
10 Yet He finds occasions against me,
(M)He counts me as His enemy;
11 (N)He puts my feet in the stocks,
He watches all my paths.’

12 “Look, in this you are not righteous.
I will answer you,
For God is greater than man.
13 Why do you (O)contend with Him?
For He does not give an accounting of any of His words.
14 (P)For God may speak in one way, or in another,
Yet man does not perceive it.
15 (Q)In a dream, in a vision of the night,
When deep sleep falls upon men,
While slumbering on their beds,
16 (R)Then He opens the ears of men,
And seals their instruction.
17 In order to turn man from his deed,
And conceal pride from man,
18 He keeps back his soul from the Pit,
And his life from [i]perishing by the sword.

19 Man is also chastened with pain on his (S)bed,
And with strong pain in many of his bones,
20 (T)So that his life abhors (U)bread,
And his soul [j]succulent food.
21 His flesh wastes away from sight,
And his bones stick out which once were not seen.
22 Yes, his soul draws near the Pit,
And his life to the executioners.

23 “If there is a messenger for him,
A mediator, one among a thousand,
To show man His uprightness,
24 Then He is gracious to him, and says,
‘Deliver him from going down to the Pit;
I have found [k]a ransom’;
25 His flesh shall be young like a child’s,
He shall return to the days of his youth.
26 He shall pray to God, and He will delight in him,
He shall see His face with joy,
For He restores to man His righteousness.
27 Then he looks at men and (V)says,
‘I have sinned, and perverted what was right,
And it (W)did not profit me.’
28 He will (X)redeem [l]his soul from going down to the Pit,
And his life shall see the light.

29 “Behold, God works all these things,
Twice, in fact, three times with a man,
30 (Y)To bring back his soul from the Pit,
That he may be enlightened with the light of life.

31 “Give ear, Job, listen to me;
Hold your peace, and I will speak.
32 If you have anything to say, answer me;
Speak, for I desire to justify you.
33 If not, (Z)listen to me;
[m]Hold your peace, and I will teach you wisdom.”

Elihu Proclaims God’s Justice

34 Elihu further answered and said:

“Hear my words, you wise men;
Give ear to me, you who have knowledge.
(AA)For the ear tests words
As the palate tastes food.
Let us choose justice for ourselves;
Let us know among ourselves what is good.

“For Job has said, (AB)‘I am righteous,
But (AC)God has taken away my justice;
(AD)Should I lie concerning my right?
My [n]wound is incurable, though I am without transgression.’
What man is like Job,
(AE)Who drinks [o]scorn like water,
Who goes in company with the workers of iniquity,
And walks with wicked men?
For (AF)he has said, ‘It profits a man nothing
That he should delight in God.’

10 “Therefore listen to me, you [p]men of understanding:
(AG)Far be it from God to do wickedness,
And from the Almighty to commit iniquity.
11 (AH)For He repays man according to his work,
And makes man to find a reward according to his way.
12 Surely God will never do wickedly,
Nor will the Almighty (AI)pervert justice.
13 Who gave Him charge over the earth?
Or who appointed Him over the whole world?
14 If He should set His heart on it,
If He should (AJ)gather to Himself His Spirit and His breath,
15 (AK)All flesh would perish together,
And man would return to dust.

16 “If you have understanding, hear this;
Listen to the sound of my words:
17 (AL)Should one who hates justice govern?
Will you (AM)condemn Him who is most just?
18 (AN)Is it fitting to say to a king, ‘You are worthless,’
And to nobles, ‘You are wicked’?
19 Yet He (AO)is not partial to princes,
Nor does He regard the rich more than the poor;
For (AP)they are all the work of His hands.
20 In a moment they die, (AQ)in the middle of the night;
The people are shaken and pass away;
The mighty are taken away without a hand.

21 “For(AR) His eyes are on the ways of man,
And He sees all his steps.
22 (AS)There is no darkness nor shadow of death
Where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.
23 For He need not further consider a man,
That he should go before God in judgment.
24 (AT)He breaks in pieces mighty men without inquiry,
And sets others in their place.
25 Therefore He knows their works;
He overthrows them in the night,
And they are crushed.
26 He strikes them as wicked men
In the open sight of others,
27 Because they (AU)turned back from Him,
And (AV)would not consider any of His ways,
28 So that they (AW)caused the cry of the poor to come to Him;
For He (AX)hears the cry of the afflicted.
29 When He gives quietness, who then can make trouble?
And when He hides His face, who then can see Him,
Whether it is against a nation or a man alone?—
30 That the hypocrite should not reign,
Lest the people be ensnared.

31 “For has anyone said to God,
‘I have borne chastening;
I will offend no more;
32 Teach me what I do not see;
If I have done iniquity, I will do no more’?
33 Should He repay it according to your terms,
Just because you disavow it?
You must choose, and not I;
Therefore speak what you know.

34 “Men of understanding say to me,
Wise men who listen to me:
35 ‘Job(AY) speaks without knowledge,
His words are without wisdom.’
36 Oh, that Job were tried to the utmost,
Because his answers are like those of wicked men!
37 For he adds (AZ)rebellion to his sin;
He claps his hands among us,
And multiplies his words against God.”

Elihu Condemns Self-Righteousness

35 Moreover Elihu answered and said:

“Do you think this is right?
Do you say,
‘My righteousness is more than God’s’?
For (BA)you say,
‘What advantage will it be to You?
What profit shall I have, more than if I had sinned?’

“I will answer you,
And (BB)your companions with you.
(BC)Look to the heavens and see;
And behold the clouds—
They are higher than you.
If you sin, what do you accomplish (BD)against Him?
Or, if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to Him?
(BE)If you are righteous, what do you give Him?
Or what does He receive from your hand?
Your wickedness affects a man such as you,
And your righteousness a son of man.

“Because(BF) of the multitude of oppressions they cry out;
They cry out for help because of the arm of the mighty.
10 But no one says, (BG)‘Where is God my Maker,
(BH)Who gives songs in the night,
11 Who (BI)teaches us more than the beasts of the earth,
And makes us wiser than the birds of heaven?’
12 (BJ)There they cry out, but He does not answer,
Because of the pride of evil men.
13 (BK)Surely God will not listen to empty talk,
Nor will the Almighty regard it.
14 (BL)Although you say you do not see Him,
Yet justice is before Him, and (BM)you must wait for Him.
15 And now, because He has not (BN)punished in His anger,
Nor taken much notice of folly,
16 (BO)Therefore Job opens his mouth in vain;
He multiplies words without knowledge.”


  1. Job 32:4 Vg. till Job had spoken
  2. Job 32:7 Lit. Days, i.e., years
  3. Job 32:9 Or Men of many years
  4. Job 32:14 ordered
  5. Job 32:19 bosom
  6. Job 32:19 opening
  7. Job 33:6 Lit. as your mouth
  8. Job 33:8 Lit. in my ears
  9. Job 33:18 Lit. passing
  10. Job 33:20 desirable
  11. Job 33:24 an atonement
  12. Job 33:28 Kt. my
  13. Job 33:33 Keep silent
  14. Job 34:6 Lit. arrow
  15. Job 34:7 derision
  16. Job 34:10 men of heart

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