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Elihu Condemns Self-Righteousness

35 Elihu continued and said:

“Do you think this to be just?
    You say, ‘I am in the right before God.’(A)
If you ask, ‘What advantage have I?
    How am I better off than if I had sinned?’(B)
I will answer you
    and your friends with you.
Look at the heavens and see;
    observe the clouds, which are higher than you.(C)
If you have sinned, what do you accomplish against him?
    And if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to him?(D)
If you are righteous, what do you give to him,
    or what does he receive from your hand?(E)
Your wickedness affects others like you,
    and your righteousness, other human beings.

“Because of the multitude of oppressions people cry out;
    they call for help because of the arm of the mighty.(F)
10 But no one says, ‘Where is God my Maker,
    who gives strength in the night,(G)
11 who teaches us more than the animals of the earth
    and makes us wiser than the birds of the air?’(H)
12 There they cry out, but he does not answer,
    because of the pride of evildoers.(I)
13 Surely God does not hear an empty cry,
    nor does the Almighty[a] regard it.(J)
14 How much less when you say that you do not see him,
    that the case is before him and you are waiting for him!(K)
15 And now, because his anger does not punish
    and he does not greatly heed transgression,[b](L)
16 Job opens his mouth in empty talk;
    he multiplies words without knowledge.”(M)


  1. 35.13 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  2. 35.15 Meaning of Heb uncertain