33 Job, listen to me! Pay close attention. 2 Everything I will say 3 is true and sincere, 4 just as surely as the Spirit of God All-Powerful[a] gave me the breath of life. 5 Now line up your arguments and prepare to face me. 6 We each were made from clay, and God has no favorites, 7 so don’t be afraid of me or what I might do.
I Have Heard You Argue
8 I have heard you argue 9 that you are innocent, guilty of nothing. 10 You claim that God has made you his enemy, 11 that he has bound your feet and blocked your path. 12 But, Job, you’re wrong— God is greater than any human. 13 So why do you challenge God to answer you?[b] 14 God speaks in different ways, and we don’t always recognize his voice. 15 Sometimes in the night, he uses terrifying dreams 16 to give us warnings. 17 God does this to make us turn from sin and pride 18 and to protect us from being swept away to the world of the dead.
19 Sometimes we are punished with a serious illness and aching joints. 20 Merely the thought of our favorite food makes our stomachs sick, 21 and we become so skinny that our bones stick out. 22 We feel death and the grave taking us in their grip.
23 One of a thousand angels then comes to our rescue by saying we are innocent. 24 The angel shows kindness, commanding death to release us, because the price was paid. 25 Our health is restored, we feel young again, 26 and we ask God to accept us. Then we joyfully worship God, and we are rewarded because we are innocent. 27 When that happens, we tell everyone, “I sinned and did wrong, but God forgave me 28 and rescued me from death! Now I will see the light.”
29 God gives each of us chance after chance 30 to be saved from death and brought into the light that gives life. 31 So, Job, pay attention and don’t interrupt, 32 though I would gladly listen to anything you say that proves you are right. 33 Otherwise, listen in silence to my wisdom.
You Men Think You Are Wise
34 Elihu said:
2 You men think you are wise, but just listen to me! 3 Think about my words, as you would taste food. 4 Then we can decide the case and give a just verdict. 5 Job claims he is innocent and God is guilty of mistreating him. 6 Job also argues that God considers him a liar and that he is suffering severely in spite of his innocence. 7 But to tell the truth, Job is shameless! 8 He spends his time with sinners, 9 because he has said, “It doesn’t pay to please God.”
If Any of You Are Smart
10 If any of you are smart, you will listen and learn that God All-Powerful does what is right. 11 God always treats everyone the way they deserve, 12 and he is never unfair. 13 From the very beginning, God has been in control of all the world.
14 If God took back the breath that he breathed into us, 15 we humans would die and return to the soil. 16 So be smart and listen! 17 The mighty God is the one who brings about justice, and you are condemning him. 18 Indeed, God is the one who condemns unfair rulers. 19 And God created us all; he has no favorites, whether rich or poor. 20 Even powerful rulers die in the darkness of night when they least expect it, just like the rest of us.
God Watches Everything We Do
21 God watches everything we do. 22 No evil person can hide in the deepest darkness. 23 And so, God doesn’t need to set a time for judgment. 24 Without asking for advice, God removes mighty leaders and puts others in their place. 25 He knows what they are like, and he wipes them out in the middle of the night. 26 And while others look on, he punishes them because they were evil 27 and refused to obey him. 28 The persons they mistreated had prayed for help, until God answered their prayers. 29 When God does nothing, can any person or nation find fault with him? 30 But still, he punishes rulers who abuse their people.[c]
31 Job, you should tell God that you are guilty and promise to do better. 32 Then ask him to point out what you did wrong, so you won’t do it again. 33 Do you make the rules, or does God? You have to decide— I can’t do it for you; now make up your mind. 34 Job, anyone with good sense can easily see 35 that you are speaking nonsense and lack good judgment. 36 So I pray for you to suffer as much as possible for talking like a sinner. 37 You have rebelled against God, time after time, and have even insulted us.
Are You Really Innocent?
35 Elihu said:
2 Job, are you really innocent in the sight of God?[d] 3 Don’t you honestly believe it pays to obey him? 4 I will give the answers to you and your friends. 5 Look up to the heavens 6 and think! Do your sins hurt God? 7 Is any good you may have done at all helpful to him? 8 The evil or good you do only affects other humans.
9 In times of trouble, everyone begs the mighty God to have mercy. 10 But after their Creator helps them through hard times, they forget about him, 11 though he makes us wiser than animals or birds. 12 God won’t listen to the prayers of proud and evil people. 13 If God All-Powerful refuses to answer their empty prayers, 14 he will surely deny your impatient request to face him in court. 15 Job, you were wrong to say God doesn’t punish sin. 16 Everything you have said adds up to nonsense.
33.4the Spirit of God All-Powerful: Or “God All-Powerful.”
33.13answer you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 13.
34.30people: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verses 29,30.
35.2are. . . God: Or “is it right for you to accuse God?”
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