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Eliphaz Speaks: You Are Speaking Sinfully, Job

15 Then Eliphaz from Teman replied to Job,

“Should a wise person answer with endless details
    and fill his stomach with the east wind?
Should he argue with words that don’t help,
    with speeches that don’t help anyone?
Yes, you destroy the fear of God
    and diminish devotion to El.
Your sin teaches you what to say.
    You choose to talk with a sly tongue.
Your own mouth condemns you, not I.
    Your lips testify against you.

You Are Not the Only Wise Person, Job

“Were you the first human to be born?
    Were you delivered before the hills existed?
Did you listen in on Eloah’s council meeting
    and receive a monopoly on wisdom?
What do you know that we don’t know?
    What do you understand that we don’t?
10 Both the old and the gray-haired are among us.
    They are older than your father.
11 Isn’t El’s comfort enough for you,
    even when gently spoken to you?
12 Why have your emotions carried you away?
    Why do your eyes flash
13 when you turn against El
    and spit these words out of your mouth?
14 Why should a mortal be considered faultless
    or someone born of a woman be considered righteous?
15 If El doesn’t trust his holy ones,
    and the heavens are not pure in his sight,
16 how much less will he trust the one who is disgusting and corrupt,
    the one who drinks wickedness like water.

I Want to Tell You What I Know

17 “I’ll tell you; listen to me!
    I’ll relate what I have seen.
18 I’ll tell you what wise people have declared
    and what was not kept secret from their ancestors.
19 (The land was given to them alone,
    and no stranger passed through their land.)

The Tortured Life of the Wicked Person

20 “The wicked person is tortured all his days.
    Only a few years are reserved for the ruthless person.
21 Terrifying sounds are in his ears.
    While he enjoys peace, the destroyer comes to him.
22 He doesn’t believe he’ll return from the dark.
    He is destined to be killed with a sword.
23 He wanders around for food and asks, ‘Where is it?’[a]
    He knows that his ruin is close at hand.

24 “The day of darkness[b] troubles him.
    Distress and anguish terrify him
        like a king ready for battle.
25 He stretches out his hand against El
    and attacks Shadday like a warrior.
26 He stubbornly charges at him with a thick shield.

27 “His face is bloated with fat,
    and he is fat around the waist.
28 He lives in ruined cities
    where no one dwells,
        in houses that are doomed to be piles of rubble.
29 He won’t get rich,
    and his wealth won’t last.
        His possessions won’t spread out over the land.

30 “He won’t escape the darkness.
    A flame will shrivel his branches.
        He will be blown away by his own breath.
31 He shouldn’t trust in worthless things and deceive himself
    because he will get worthless things in return.
32 It will happen before his time has come,
    and his branch will not become green.
33 He will drop his unripened grapes like a vine
    and throw off his blossoms like an olive tree
34 because a mob of godless people produces nothing,
    and fire burns up the tents of those who offer bribes.[c]
35 They conceive trouble and give birth to evil.
    Their wombs produce deception.”


  1. Job 15:23 Or “He wanders around as if he were food for vultures.”
  2. Job 15:24 The Hebrew text divides verses 23 and 24 at this point.
  3. Job 15:34 Or “those who take bribes.”