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Job 35 The Message (MSG)

Elihu’s Third Speech

When God Makes Creation a Classroom

35 1-3 Elihu lit into Job again:

“Does this kind of thing make any sense?
    First you say, ‘I’m perfectly innocent before God.’
And then you say, ‘It doesn’t make a bit of difference
    whether I’ve sinned or not.’

4-8 “Well, I’m going to show you
    that you don’t know what you’re talking about,
    neither you nor your friends.
Look up at the sky. Take a long hard look.
    See those clouds towering above you?
If you sin, what difference could that make to God?
    No matter how much you sin, will it matter to him?
Even if you’re good, what would God get out of that?
    Do you think he’s dependent on your accomplishments?
The only ones who care whether you’re good or bad
    are your family and friends and neighbors.
    God’s not dependent on your behavior.

9-15 “When times get bad, people cry out for help.
    They cry for relief from being kicked around,
But never give God a thought when things go well,
    when God puts spontaneous songs in their hearts,
When God sets out the entire creation as a science classroom,
    using birds and beasts to teach wisdom.
People are arrogantly indifferent to God—
    until, of course, they’re in trouble,
    and then God is indifferent to them.
There’s nothing behind such prayers except panic;
    the Almighty pays them no mind.
So why would he notice you
    just because you say you’re tired of waiting to be heard,
Or waiting for him to get good and angry
    and do something about the world’s problems?

16 “Job, you talk sheer nonsense—
    nonstop nonsense!”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Job 35 New International Version (NIV)

35 Then Elihu said:

“Do you think this is just?
    You say, ‘I am in the right, not God.’
Yet you ask him, ‘What profit is it to me,[a]
    and what do I gain by not sinning?’

“I would like to reply to you
    and to your friends with you.
Look up at the heavens and see;
    gaze at the clouds so high above you.
If you sin, how does that affect him?
    If your sins are many, what does that do to him?
If you are righteous, what do you give to him,
    or what does he receive from your hand?
Your wickedness only affects humans like yourself,
    and your righteousness only other people.

“People cry out under a load of oppression;
    they plead for relief from the arm of the powerful.
10 But no one says, ‘Where is God my Maker,
    who gives songs in the night,
11 who teaches us more than he teaches[b] the beasts of the earth
    and makes us wiser than[c] the birds in the sky?’
12 He does not answer when people cry out
    because of the arrogance of the wicked.
13 Indeed, God does not listen to their empty plea;
    the Almighty pays no attention to it.
14 How much less, then, will he listen
    when you say that you do not see him,
that your case is before him
    and you must wait for him,
15 and further, that his anger never punishes
    and he does not take the least notice of wickedness.[d]
16 So Job opens his mouth with empty talk;
    without knowledge he multiplies words.”

Footnotes:

  1. Job 35:3 Or you
  2. Job 35:11 Or night, / 11 who teaches us by
  3. Job 35:11 Or us wise by
  4. Job 35:15 Symmachus, Theodotion and Vulgate; the meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
New International Version (NIV)

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

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