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36 Elihu continued.

Elihu: Wait for me to finish, and I will explain.
        There is still more to be said on God’s behalf.
    I will acquire my knowledge from ancient, far away sources
        and illustrate the righteous ways of my Maker.
    Truly, there is no untruth hidden in my words;
        in fact, perfect knowledge has graced your presence.
    Look! God has great strength, but He does not detest human beings;
        He is mighty indeed, and His heart swells with understanding.
    He does not preserve the life of the wicked,
        but He grants justice to those who are weak and humble.
    He does not divert His gaze from the righteous;
        He enthrones them with monarchs,
        lifts them up to positions of power forever.
    And if the people are restrained in chains,
        caught in the cords of their misery,
    Then He explains to them their exploits,
        their errors, and how they have lived in arrogance.
10     He uncovers their ears so as to hear His teaching
        and commands them to abandon their sinful path.
11     If they hear and choose to serve Him,
        then they end their days in prosperity and their years in felicity.
12     But if they refuse to listen,
        then they will pass over to the land of death by the sword
        and will arrive, lacking any wisdom, at their death.
13     The sullied and impure stash away their anger.
        Even when He puts them in chains for their own good,
        they refuse to cry for His help.
14     They die young,
        debased among the male prostitutes of the shrines.
15     As for the righteous—when they are afflicted—
        God delivers them through the affliction itself,
        and uses the trial to open their ears to His voice.
16     Job, even now, God is enticing you away from the jaws of distress;
        He is luring you to a wide, wonderful place free of boundaries
        where your table will be covered in the finest foods.

17     You are weighed down, instead, with judgment usually reserved for the wicked.
        And yet, ironically, as you seek to lay hold of justice and judgment,
        justice and judgment have laid hold of you.
18     Beware that your anger at how you are being judged does not seduce you into scorning.
        Do not let the high ransom you are paying through your suffering steer you off God’s path.
19     Will your cry for help lessen your misery?
        How about your strength and forcefulness?
        Are they yielding you any better result?
20     Do not pine, Job, for the night
        when people pass from their earthly homes into oblivion.[a]
21     In short, be careful! Do not turn your life toward evil ways—
        which you have preferred to hearing God’s correcting voice in the midst of your suffering.
22     See, God is supreme in His power.
        Is there any teacher like Him?
23     Is anyone capable of overseeing His path?
        Who has ever said to Him, “You have done wrong”?

24     Remember to praise His works,
        which generations have celebrated in song.
25     All of humankind has seen them
        and has gazed upon them from far away.
26     Look, God is exalted, beyond all knowing.
        The number of His years is vast, beyond all discovery.
27     For He draws up drops of water,
        distills the rain from the mist
28     Which pours down from the clouds,
        dripping a sky full of water over the whole of humanity.
29     It is beyond comprehension: the fanning out of the clouds,
        the crashing thunder from His cloudy pavilion.
30     Ah, and then He extends His lightning over the earth,
        striking even the sea to illumine its depths.
31     For with these, He judges the peoples—
        lightning punishing His enemies and rain blessing His people—
        but now with those same waters, He gives them food in abundance.
32     In the palms of His hands He holds lightning
        and issues orders for it to strike its target.
33     Thunder announces His presence;
        His jealous anger[b] is against what is coming.


  1. 36:18-20 Meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
  2. 36:33 Hebrew manuscripts read, “cattle.”

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