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Job 34 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 34

Then Elihu answered and said:[a]

Hear my discourse, you that are wise;
    you that have knowledge, listen to me!
For the ear tests words,
    as the palate tastes food.
Let us choose what is right;
    let us determine among ourselves what is good.
For Job has said, “I am innocent,
    but God has taken away what is my right.
I declare the judgment on me to be a lie;
    my arrow-wound is incurable, sinless though I am.”
What man is like Job?
    He drinks in blasphemies like water,
Keeps company with evildoers
    and goes along with the wicked,
When he says, “There is no profit
    in pleasing God.”
10 Therefore, you that have understanding, hear me:
    far be it from God to do wickedness;
    far from the Almighty to do wrong!
11 Rather, he requites mortals for their conduct,
    and brings home to them their way of life.
12 Surely, God cannot act wickedly,
    the Almighty cannot pervert justice.
13 Who gave him charge over the earth,
    or who set all the world in its place?
14 If he were to set his mind to it,
    gather to himself his spirit and breath,
15 All flesh would perish together,
    and mortals return to dust.
16 Now you[b]—understand, hear this!
    Listen to the words I speak!
17 Can an enemy of justice be in control,
    will you condemn the supreme Just One,
18 Who says to a king, “You are worthless!”
    and to nobles, “You are wicked!”
19 Who neither favors the person of princes,
    nor respects the rich more than the poor?
For they are all the work of his hands;
20     in a moment they die, even at midnight.
People are shaken, and pass away,
    the powerful are removed without lifting a hand;
21 For his eyes are upon our ways,
    and all our steps he sees.
22 There is no darkness so dense
    that evildoers can hide in it.
23 For no one has God set a time
    to come before him in judgment.
24 Without inquiry he shatters the mighty,
    and appoints others in their place,
25 Thus he discerns their works;
    overnight they are crushed.
26 [c]Where the wicked are, he strikes them,
    in a place where all can see,
27 Because they turned away from him
    and did not understand his ways at all:
28 And made the cry of the poor reach him,
    so that he heard the cry of the afflicted.
29 If he is silent, who then can condemn?
    If he hides his face, who then can behold him,
    whether nation or individual?
30 Let an impious man not rule,
    nor those who ensnare their people.
31 Should anyone say to God,
    “I accept my punishment; I will offend no more;
32 What I cannot see, teach me:
    if I have done wrong, I will do so no more,”
33 Would you then say that God must punish,
    when you are disdainful?
It is you who must choose, not I;
    speak, therefore, what you know.
34 Those who understand will say to me,
    all the wise who hear my views:
35 “Job speaks without knowledge,
    his words make no sense.
36 Let Job be tested to the limit,
    since his answers are those of the impious;
37 For he is adding rebellion to his sin
    by brushing off our arguments
    and addressing many words to God.”


  1. 34:1 Elihu replies, although no one else has spoken. This connective phrase (see also 35:1 and 36:1) may indicate that these speeches of Elihu are a secondary addition to the book (see note on 32:2).
  2. 34:16 Now you: Elihu turns to Job and addresses him directly.
  3. 34:26, 29–30 The extant Hebrew text of these verses is obscure.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Job 34 New International Version (NIV)

34 Then Elihu said:

“Hear my words, you wise men;
    listen to me, you men of learning.
For the ear tests words
    as the tongue tastes food.
Let us discern for ourselves what is right;
    let us learn together what is good.

“Job says, ‘I am innocent,
    but God denies me justice.
Although I am right,
    I am considered a liar;
although I am guiltless,
    his arrow inflicts an incurable wound.’
Is there anyone like Job,
    who drinks scorn like water?
He keeps company with evildoers;
    he associates with the wicked.
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[a] 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.”


  1. Job 34:14 Or Spirit
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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