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Elihu Condemns Self-Righteousness

35 Elihu spoke again and said:

“Do you think this is right,
    that you say, ‘My righteousness is before God’?
For you said, ‘What advantage will it be to me?
    What profit will I have if I am cleansed from my sin?’

“I will answer you,
    and your companions with you.
Look unto the heavens and see,
    and behold the clouds that are higher than you.
If you sin, what do you accomplish against Him?
    Or if your transgressions are multiplied, what does it do to Him?
If you are righteous, what does it give Him?
    Or what does He receive from your hand?
Your wickedness may hurt a man like you,
    and your righteousness may profit a son of man.

“Because of the many oppressions they cry out;
    they cry out because of the arm of the mighty.
10 But none says, ‘Where is God my Maker,
    who gives songs in the night,
11 who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth,
    and makes us wiser than the birds of heaven?’
12 There they cry out, but He does not answer
    because of the pride of evil men.
13 Surely God will not hear vanity,
    nor will the Almighty regard it.
14 Although you say you do not see Him,
    yet judgment is before Him,
    and you must trust in Him.
15 But now, because He has not punished in His anger,
    nor taken much notice of folly,
16 therefore Job opens his mouth in vain;
    he multiplies words without knowledge.”