New American Bible (Revised Edition)
IV. Third Cycle of Speeches[a]
Eliphaz’s Third Speech. 1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:
2 Can a man be profitable to God?(A)
Can a wise man be profitable to him?
3 Does it please the Almighty that you are just?(B)
Does he gain if your ways are perfect?[b]
4 Is it because of your piety that he reproves you—
that he enters into judgment with you?
5 Is not your wickedness great,
your iniquity endless?
6 You keep your relatives’ goods in pledge unjustly,[c]
leave them stripped naked of their clothing.(C)
7 To the thirsty you give no water to drink,
and from the hungry you withhold bread;
8 As if the land belonged to the powerful,
and only the privileged could dwell in it!
9 You sent widows away empty-handed,
and the resources of orphans are destroyed.(D)
10 Therefore snares are round about you,(E)
sudden terror makes you panic,
11 Or darkness—you cannot see!
A deluge of waters covers you.
12 Does not God, in the heights of the heavens,(F)
behold the top of the stars, high though they are?
13 Yet you say, “What does God know?(G)
Can he judge through the thick darkness?
14 Clouds hide him so that he cannot see
as he walks around the circuit of the heavens!”
15 Do you indeed keep to the ancient way
trodden by the worthless?
16 They were snatched before their time;
their foundations a river swept away.
17 They said to God, “Let us alone!”
and, “What can the Almighty do to us?”
18 Yet he had filled their houses with good things.
The designs of the wicked are far from me![d](H)
19 The just look on and are glad,
and the innocent deride them:[e](I)
20 “Truly our enemies are destroyed,
and what was left to them, fire has consumed!”
21 Settle with him and have peace.
That way good shall come to you:
22 Receive instruction from his mouth,
and place his words in your heart.
23 If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored;
if you put iniquity far from your tent,
24 And treat raw gold as dust,
the fine gold of Ophir[f] as pebbles in the wadi,
25 Then the Almighty himself shall be your gold
and your sparkling silver.
26 For then you shall delight in the Almighty,
you shall lift up your face toward God.
27 Entreat him and he will hear you,(J)
and your vows you shall fulfill.
28 What you decide shall succeed for you,
and upon your ways light shall shine.
29 For when they are brought low, you will say, “It is pride!”
But downcast eyes he saves.(K)
30 He will deliver whoever is innocent;
you shall be delivered if your hands are clean.(L)
- 22:1–27:23 The traditional three cycles of speeches breaks down in chaps. 22–27, because Zophar does not appear. This may be interpreted as a sign that the three friends see no point in further dialogue, or that Job’s replies have reduced them to silence, or that there has been a mistake in the transmission of the text (hence various transferrals of verses have been proposed to include Zophar, but without any textual evidence).
- 22:3 Another irony: God will “gain,” because he will have been proved right in his claim to the satan that Job is “perfect.”
- 22:6–9 This criticism of Job by Eliphaz is untrue (cf. 31:19), but he is driven to it by his belief that God always acts justly, even when he causes someone to suffer; suffering is due to wrongdoing (cf. v. 29).
- 22:18 The second part of the verse repeats 21:16.
- 22:19 Them: the wicked. Eliphaz obviously thinks that the just can be pleased by God’s punishment of the wicked. Such pleasure at the downfall of the wicked is expressed elsewhere, e.g., Ps 58:11; 63:12.
- 22:24 Ophir: see note on Ps 45:10.