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33 Elihu: So now, Job, listen closely to my words;
        lend an ear to my speeches.
    Wait for it! I am about ready to part my lips;
        even now, my tongue begins to stir within my mouth.
    My words emerge from a heart of integrity;
        my lips express their knowledge with sincerity.
    God’s Spirit has fashioned me
        and the breath of the Highest One[a] imparts life to me.
    So refute me if you can;
        go ahead and make your preparations and assume your position.
    But remember I am just like you; we are both God’s vessels,
        both pinched from the clay and formed by Him.
    Look, there is no reason for you to be afraid of me;
        my hand will not feel all that heavy on you.

    Job, now you have said—and I heard it—
        I heard the words sounded out:
    “I am pure, without sin;
        innocent indeed, and there is no wrongdoing within me!
10     But oh! God has come up with reasons to accuse me;
        now He considers me His enemy.
11     He locks my feet in the shackles;
        He watches all my paths, dogs my every step.
12     But listen! You are wrong in all this
        because God is greater than a mere man.

13     Why do you argue with Him,
        complaining that He refuses to account for all of His actions?
14     For God does speak in one way and even another way—
        yet no one may be able to perceive what He says.
15     One kind of answer God gives
        comes in the form of a dream—in a night-vision—
    When deep slumber comes to people
        who have lain down to sleep in their beds.
16     Yes, this is often when He opens the ears of humanity,
        and seals their life-corrections in the terrors of the night
17     So that He can turn one away from his evil deeds
        and put down the arrogance of the proud.
18     He does all of this so that He might hold back one soul from the pit
        and protect one life from passing over to the land of death.[b]

19     Or another kind of answer God gives comes thus:
        one may be corrected through a bed of pain;
        his bones may hold him in an unceasing trial,
20     In which his food becomes repulsive,
        and he doesn’t hunger for even his favorite meals.
21     His body wastes away almost to nothing,
        and bones, once hidden, stick out gruesomely.
22     Thus he is sobered as his soul approaches the rim of the pit,
        as his life hears the whispers of the coming messengers of death.

23     If there is a heavenly messenger at one’s side, a mediator,
        even just one out of the thousand in his regime of God’s messengers,
        to proclaim what is right for that person according to God,
24     And to be gracious to him and to say,
        “Spare this one from descending into the pit;
        I have found a ransom that will save his life!
25     Then his skin will be renewed, as smooth and fresh as a child’s,
        and he will be restored to the vim and vigor of his youth.”
26     He will make his appeal to God, and God will grant acceptance;
        he will see God’s face and shout with joy,
        knowing God has restored his right standing.
27     Then he comes to his fellow humans and sings out,
        “I sinned and perverted what I knew to be right,
        but God has not repaid me what I deserved.
28     He has instead paid that ransom
        and spared me from descending into the pit
        and my life now sees the light.”

29     Look! God does all of these things two,
        even three times with a person,
30     In order to guide his soul back from the rim of the pit
        so the light of life might shine on him.
31     Lend your ear, Job, and listen well to me;
        remain silent, and I will do the talking.
32     If you have anything to say to me, say it. Make your answer to me;
        go ahead and speak, because I do desire to see you justified to God.
33     But if not, then listen well to me;
        stay quiet, and I will teach you wisdom.


  1. 33:4 Hebrew, Shaddai
  2. 33:18 Hebrew manuscripts read, “from passing over the canal.”

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