Job 34 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Elihu Vindicates God’s Justice
34 Elihu continued his discourse and said,
“Hear my words, you wise men,
And listen to me, you who have [so much] knowledge.
“For the ear puts words to the test
As the palate tastes food.
“Let us choose for ourselves that which is right;
Let us know among ourselves what is good.
“For Job has said, ‘I am righteous [and innocent],
But God has taken away my right;
Although I am right, I am accounted a liar.
My wound is incurable, though I am without transgression.’
“What man is like Job,
Who drinks up derision like water,
Who goes in company with those who do evil
And walks with wicked men?
“For he has said, ‘It profits a man nothing
When he takes delight and is pleased with God and obeys Him.’
“Therefore hear me, you men of understanding.
Far be it from God that He would do wickedness,
And from the Almighty to do wrong.
“For God pays a man according to his work,
And He will make every man find [appropriate] compensation according to his way.
“Surely God will not act wickedly,
Nor will the Almighty pervert justice.
“Who put God in charge over the earth?
And who has laid on Him the whole world?
“If God should determine to do so,
If He should gather to Himself [that is, withdraw from man] His [life-giving] spirit and His breath,
All flesh would perish together,
And man would return to dust.
“If you now have understanding, hear this;
Listen to the sound of my words.
“Shall one who hates justice [and is an enemy of right] govern?
And will you condemn Him who is just and mighty?
“God who says to a king, ‘You are worthless and vile,’
Or to princes and nobles, ‘You are wicked and evil’?
“Who is not partial to princes,
Nor does He regard the rich above the poor,
For they all are the work of His hands.
“In a moment they die, even at midnight
The people are shaken and pass away,
And the powerful are taken away without a [human] hand.
“For God’s eyes are on the ways of a man,
And He sees all his steps.
“There is no darkness nor deep shadow
Where the evildoers may hide themselves.
“For He sets no appointed time for a man,
That he should appear before Him in judgment.
“He breaks mighty men without inquiry,
And sets others in their place.
“Therefore He knows of their works,
And He overthrows them in the night,
So that they are crushed and destroyed.
“He strikes them like the wicked
In a public place,
Because they turned aside from following Him
And would not consider or show regard for any of His ways,
So that they caused the cry of the poor to come to Him,
And He heard the cry of the afflicted.
“When He keeps quiet, who then can condemn?
When He hides His face [withdrawing His favor and help], who then can behold Him [and make supplication to Him],
Whether it be a nation or a man by himself?—
So that godless men would not rule
Nor be snares for the people.
“For has anyone said to God,
‘I have endured my chastisement;
I will not offend anymore;
Teach me what I do not see [in regard to how I have sinned];
If I have done wrong (injustice, unrighteousness),
I will not do it again’?
“Shall God’s retribution [for your sins] be on your terms, because you refuse to accept it?
For you must do the choosing, and not I;
Therefore say what you [truthfully] know.
“Men of understanding will tell me,
Indeed, every wise man who hears me [will agree],
‘Job speaks without knowledge,
And his words are without wisdom and insight.
‘Job ought to be tried to the limit
Because he answers like wicked men!
‘For he adds rebellion [in his unsubmissive, defiant attitude toward God] to his [unacknowledged] sin;
He claps his hands among us [in open mockery and contempt of God],
And he multiplies his words [of accusation] against God.’”
Job 34 New International Version (NIV)
34 Then Elihu said:
2 “Hear my words, you wise men;
listen to me, you men of learning.
3 For the ear tests words
as the tongue tastes food.
4 Let us discern for ourselves what is right;
let us learn together what is good.
5 “Job says, ‘I am innocent,
but God denies me justice.
6 Although I am right,
I am considered a liar;
although I am guiltless,
his arrow inflicts an incurable wound.’
7 Is there anyone like Job,
who drinks scorn like water?
8 He keeps company with evildoers;
he associates with the wicked.
9 For he says, ‘There is no profit
in trying to please God.’
10 “So listen to me, you men of understanding.
Far be it from God to do evil,
from the Almighty to do wrong.
11 He repays everyone for what they have done;
he brings on them what their conduct deserves.
12 It is unthinkable that God would do wrong,
that the Almighty would pervert justice.
13 Who appointed him over the earth?
Who put him in charge of the whole world?
14 If it were his intention
and he withdrew his spirit and breath,
15 all humanity would perish together
and mankind would return to the dust.
16 “If you have understanding, hear this;
listen to what I say.
17 Can someone who hates justice govern?
Will you condemn the just and mighty One?
18 Is he not the One who says to kings, ‘You are worthless,’
and to nobles, ‘You are wicked,’
19 who shows no partiality to princes
and does not favor the rich over the poor,
for they are all the work of his hands?
20 They die in an instant, in the middle of the night;
the people are shaken and they pass away;
the mighty are removed without human hand.
21 “His eyes are on the ways of mortals;
he sees their every step.
22 There is no deep shadow, no utter darkness,
where evildoers can hide.
23 God has no need to examine people further,
that they should come before him for judgment.
24 Without inquiry he shatters the mighty
and sets up others in their place.
25 Because he takes note of their deeds,
he overthrows them in the night and they are crushed.
26 He punishes them for their wickedness
where everyone can see them,
27 because they turned from following him
and had no regard for any of his ways.
28 They caused the cry of the poor to come before him,
so that he heard the cry of the needy.
29 But if he remains silent, who can condemn him?
If he hides his face, who can see him?
Yet he is over individual and nation alike,
30 to keep the godless from ruling,
from laying snares for the people.
31 “Suppose someone says to God,
‘I am guilty but will offend no more.
32 Teach me what I cannot see;
if I have done wrong, I will not do so again.’
33 Should God then reward you on your terms,
when you refuse to repent?
You must decide, not I;
so tell me what you know.
34 “Men of understanding declare,
wise men who hear me say to me,
35 ‘Job speaks without knowledge;
his words lack insight.’
36 Oh, that Job might be tested to the utmost
for answering like a wicked man!
37 To his sin he adds rebellion;
scornfully he claps his hands among us
and multiplies his words against God.”