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Elihu Asserts God’s Justice

34 Thus[a] Elihu spoke up[b] and said,

“Hear my words, you wise men,
and listen to me, you who know,
for the ear tests words,
and the palate tastes food.[c]
Let us choose justice for ourselves;
let us determine among ourselves what is good—
for Job has said, ‘I am righteous,
but God has taken away my justice.
Should I lie concerning my justice?
Though I am without transgression, my wound caused by an arrow is incurable.’
What man is like Job,
who drinks scorn like water?
And he goes on the road in company with instigators of mischief,
and walks with men of wickedness.
Indeed, he says, ‘A man does not profit
when he takes delight in God.’
10 “Therefore, listen to me, people who have sense:[d]
far be it from God that he should commit wickedness[e]
and that Shaddai should do wrong.[f]
11 Indeed, he will repay according to a human being’s deeds,
and according to a man’s way he will let it happen to him.
12 What’s more, God truly does not act wickedly,
and Shaddai does not pervert justice.
13 Who gave him charge over the earth?
Or[g] who laid on him the whole world?
14 If he should set his heart to it,
and he should gather his spirit and his breath to himself,
15 all flesh would perish together,
and humankind would return to dust.
16 “But[h] if you have understanding, hear this;
listen to what I say.[i]
17 Shall he who hates justice really govern?
Or will you[j] declare the Righteous One, the Mighty, guilty?—
18 the one who says to a king,
‘You worthless man,’ to noblemen, ‘You wicked man,’
19 who shows no partiality to officials[k]
and who does not take note of the noble more than of the insignificant,[l]
for all of them are the work of his hands?
20 In a moment they die,
and in the middle of the night the people are shaken, and they pass away,
and they take away the mighty effortlessly.[m]
21 “Indeed, his eyes are upon the ways of man,
and he sees all his steps.
22 There is no darkness, and there is no deep shadow
where instigators of mischief might hide themselves.
23 Indeed, he has not yet appointed a time for man
to go to God in the judgment.
24 He shatters the mighty without investigation,
and he sets others in their place.
25 Therefore he knows their works,
and he overturns them in the night
so that[n] they are crushed.
26 He strikes them where the wicked stood,[o]
where there are onlookers,[p]
27 because they have turned aside from him
and have not understood any of his ways,
28 so that they cause the cry of distress from the helpless to come to him,
and he hears the cry of distress from the needy,
29 but he remains quiet, and who can condemn?
And he hides his face, and who can behold him?
Yet[q] he is over a nation and over a person alike,
30 so that godless human beings should not reign,
nor those who ensnare the people.
31 “Indeed, does anyone say to God, ‘I have endured chastisement;
I will not act corruptly again;
32 teach me yourself what I cannot see;[r]
if I have done wrong, I will not repeat it’?
33 According to your judgment,[s] must he repay it because you rejected this?
Indeed, you must choose, and not I, so[t] declare what you know.
34 Those who have sense[u] say to me,
and the wise man hearing me says:
35 ‘Job speaks without knowledge,
and his words are without insight.
36 Would that Job were tested up to the end
because his answers are like those from men of mischief,
37 for he adds transgression to his sin;
he claps hands among us,
and he multiplies his words against God.’”


  1. Job 34:1 Hebrew “And”
  2. Job 34:1 Literally “answered”; see NET
  3. Job 34:3 Literally “to eat”
  4. Job 34:10 Literally “men of heart”
  5. Job 34:10 Literally “from wickedness”
  6. Job 34:10 Literally “from wrong”
  7. Job 34:13 Hebrew “And”
  8. Job 34:16 Hebrew “And”
  9. Job 34:16 Literally “the voice/sound of my words”
  10. Job 34:17 Singular
  11. Job 34:19 Literally “he does not lift the face of officials”
  12. Job 34:19 Literally “he does not regard the eminent to the face of the poor/insignificant”
  13. Job 34:20 Literally “not by a hand”
  14. Job 34:25 Hebrew “and”
  15. Job 34:26 Literally “among the wicked”
  16. Job 34:26 Literally “in the place of seers”
  17. Job 34:29 Hebrew “And”
  18. Job 34:32 Literally “apart from what I can see”
  19. Job 34:33 Literally “from with you”
  20. Job 34:33 Hebrew “And”
  21. Job 34:34 Literally “Men of heart”