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15 Then Elifaz the Teimani spoke:

“Should a wise man answer with hot-air arguments?
Should he fill up his belly with the hot east wind?
Should he reason with useless talk
or make speeches that do him no good?

“Why, you are abolishing fear of God
and hindering prayer to him!
Your iniquity is teaching you how to speak,
and deceit is your language of choice.
Your own mouth condemns you, not I;
your own lips testify against you.

“Were you the firstborn of the human race,
brought forth before the hills?
Do you listen in on God’s secrets?
Do you limit wisdom to yourself?
What do you know that we don’t know?
What discernment do you have that we don’t?
10 With us are gray-haired men, old men,
men much older than your father.
11 Are the comfortings of God not enough for you,
or a word that deals gently with you?
12 Why does your heart carry you away,
and why do your eyes flash angrily,
13 so that you turn your spirit against God
and let such words escape your mouth?

14 “What is a human being, that he could be innocent,
someone born from a woman, that he could be righteous?
15 God doesn’t trust even his holy ones;
no, even the heavens are not innocent in his view.
16 How much less one loathesome and corrupt,
a human being, who drinks iniquity like water.

17 “I will tell you — hear me out!
I will recount what I have seen;
18 wise men have told it,
and it wasn’t hidden from their fathers either,
19 to whom alone the land was given —
no foreigner passed among them.

20 “The wicked is in torment all his life,
for all the years allotted to the tyrant.
21 Terrifying sounds are in his ears;
in prosperity, robbers swoop down on him.
22 He despairs of returning from darkness —
he is destined to meet the sword.
23 He wanders and looks for food, which isn’t there.
He knows the day of darkness is ready, at hand.
24 Distress and anguish overwhelm him,
assaulting him like a king about to enter battle.

25 “He raises his hand against God
and boldly defies Shaddai,
26 running against him with head held high
and thickly ornamented shield.

27 “He lets his face grow gross and fat,
and the rest of him bulges with blubber;
28 he lives in abandoned cities,
in houses no one would inhabit,
houses about to become ruins;
29 therefore he will not remain rich,
his wealth will not endure,
his produce will not bend
[the grain stalks] to the earth.

30 “He will not escape from darkness.
The flame will dry up his branches.
By a breath from the mouth of [God],
he will go away.
31 Let him not rely on futile methods,
thereby deceiving himself;
for what he will receive in exchange
will be only futility.
32 This will be accomplished in advance of its day.
His palm frond will not be fresh and green;
33 he will be like a vine that sheds its unripe grapes,
like an olive tree that drops its flowers.

34 “For the community of the ungodly is sterile;
fire consumes the tents of bribery.
35 They conceive trouble and give birth to evil;
their womb prepares deceit.”

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