Elihu Rebukes Job's Three Friends

32 So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was (A)righteous in his own eyes. Then Elihu the son of Barachel (B)the Buzite, of the family of Ram, burned with anger. He burned with anger at Job because he justified himself (C)rather than God. He burned with anger also at Job's three friends because they had found no answer, although they had (D)declared Job to be in the wrong. Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job because they were older than he. And when Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, he burned with anger.

And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said:

“I am young in years,
    and you are (E)aged;
therefore I was timid and afraid
    to declare my opinion to you.
I said, ‘Let days speak,
    and many years teach wisdom.’
But it is (F)the spirit in man,
    (G)the breath of the Almighty, that makes him (H)understand.
(I)It is not the old[a] who are wise,
    nor the aged who understand what is right.
10 Therefore I say, ‘Listen to me;
    let me also declare my opinion.’

11 “Behold, I waited for your words,
    I listened for your wise sayings,
    while you searched out what to say.
12 I gave you my attention,
    and, behold, there was none among you who refuted Job
    or who answered his words.
13 Beware (J)lest you say, ‘We have found wisdom;
    God may vanquish him, not a man.’
14 He has not directed his words against me,
    and I will not answer him with your speeches.

15 “They are dismayed; they answer no more;
    they have not a word to say.
16 And shall I wait, because they do not speak,
    because they stand there, and answer no more?
17 I also will answer with my share;
    I also will declare my opinion.
18 For I am full of words;
    the spirit within me constrains me.
19 Behold, my belly is like wine that has no vent;
    like new (K)wineskins ready to burst.
20 (L)I must speak, that I may find (M)relief;
    I must open my lips and answer.
21 I will not (N)show partiality to any man
    or use flattery toward any person.
22 For I do not know how to flatter,
    else my Maker would soon take me away.

Elihu Rebukes Job

33 “But now, hear my speech, O Job,
    and listen to all my words.
Behold, I (O)open my mouth;
    the tongue in my mouth speaks.
My words declare the uprightness of my heart,
    and what my lips know they speak sincerely.
(P)The Spirit of God has made me,
    and (Q)the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
(R)Answer me, if you can;
    (S)set your words in order before me; take your stand.
Behold, I am toward God as you are;
    I too was pinched off from a piece of (T)clay.
Behold, no (U)fear of me need terrify you;
    my (V)pressure will not be heavy upon you.

“Surely you have spoken in my ears,
    and I have heard the sound of your words.
You say, ‘I am (W)pure, without (X)transgression;
    I am clean, and there is no iniquity in me.
10 Behold, he finds occasions against me,
    he (Y)counts me as his enemy,
11 he (Z)puts my feet in the stocks
    and (AA)watches all my paths.’

12 “Behold, in this you are not right. I will answer you,
    for God is greater than man.
13 Why do you (AB)contend against him,
    saying, ‘He (AC)will answer none of man's[b] words’?[c]
14 For God (AD)speaks in one way,
    (AE)and in two, though man (AF)does not perceive it.
15 In (AG)a dream, in (AH)a vision of (AI)the night,
    when (AJ)deep sleep falls on men,
    while they slumber on their beds,
16 then he (AK)opens the ears of men
    and terrifies[d] them with warnings,
17 that he may turn man aside from his (AL)deed
    and conceal pride from a man;
18 he keeps back his soul from the pit,
    his life from (AM)perishing by the sword.

19 “Man is also rebuked with pain on his bed
    and with continual strife in his (AN)bones,
20 so that his (AO)life loathes bread,
    and his appetite (AP)the choicest food.
21 His flesh is so wasted away that it cannot be seen,
    and his bones that were not seen (AQ)stick out.
22 His soul draws near (AR)the pit,
    and his life to (AS)those who bring death.
23 If there be for him (AT)an angel,
    (AU)a mediator, (AV)one of the thousand,
    to declare to man what is (AW)right for him,
24 and he is merciful to him, and says,
    ‘Deliver him from going down into the pit;
    I have found (AX)a ransom;
25 let his flesh (AY)become fresh with youth;
    let him return to the days of his youthful vigor’;
26 then man[e] (AZ)prays to God, and he accepts him;
    he (BA)sees his face with a shout of joy,
and he (BB)restores to man his righteousness.
27     He sings before men and says:
‘I (BC)sinned and perverted what was right,
    and it was not repaid to me.
28 He has redeemed my (BD)soul from going down (BE)into the pit,
    and my life shall (BF)look upon the light.’

29 “Behold, God does all these things,
    twice, (BG)three times, with a man,
30 to bring back his soul from the pit,
    that he may be lighted with (BH)the light of life.
31 Pay attention, O Job, listen to me;
    be silent, and I will speak.
32 If you have any words, (BI)answer me;
    (BJ)speak, for I desire to justify you.
33 If not, (BK)listen to me;
    be silent, and I will teach you wisdom.”

Elihu Asserts God's Justice

34 Then Elihu answered and said:

“Hear my words, you wise men,
    and give ear to me, you who know;
for (BL)the ear tests words
    as the palate tastes food.
Let us choose (BM)what is right;
    let us know among ourselves what is good.
For Job has said, ‘I am (BN)in the right,
    and (BO)God has taken away my right;
in spite of my right I am counted a liar;
    my wound is incurable, though I am (BP)without transgression.’
What man is like Job,
    who (BQ)drinks up scoffing like water,
who travels in company with evildoers
    and walks (BR)with wicked men?
For (BS)he has said, ‘It profits a man nothing
    that he should take delight in God.’

10 “Therefore, hear me, you men of understanding:
    far be it from God that he should (BT)do wickedness,
    and from the Almighty that he should do wrong.
11 For according to (BU)the work of a man he will repay him,
    and (BV)according to his ways he will make it befall him.
12 Of a truth, God will not do wickedly,
    and (BW)the Almighty will not pervert justice.
13 Who gave him charge over the earth,
    and who (BX)laid on him[f] the whole world?
14 If he should (BY)set his heart to it
    and (BZ)gather to himself his (CA)spirit and his breath,
15 all flesh would perish together,
    and man would (CB)return to dust.

16 “If you have understanding, hear this;
    listen to what I say.
17 (CC)Shall one who hates justice govern?
    Will you condemn him who is righteous and mighty,
18 who (CD)says to a king, ‘Worthless one,’
    and to nobles, ‘Wicked man,’
19 who (CE)shows no partiality to princes,
    nor regards the rich (CF)more than the poor,
    for (CG)they are all the work of his hands?
20 In a moment (CH)they die;
    at (CI)midnight the people are shaken and pass away,
    and the mighty are taken away by (CJ)no human hand.

21 “For his eyes are on (CK)the ways of a man,
    and he sees all his (CL)steps.
22 There is no (CM)gloom or (CN)deep darkness
    where evildoers may hide themselves.
23 For God[g] has no need to consider a man further,
    that he should go before God in (CO)judgment.
24 He (CP)shatters the mighty without investigation
    and sets (CQ)others in their place.
25 Thus, knowing their works,
    he (CR)overturns them in the night, and they are crushed.
26 He strikes them for their wickedness
    in a place for all to see,
27 because they turned aside from (CS)following him
    and had no regard for any of his ways,
28 so that they (CT)caused the cry of the poor to come to him,
    and he (CU)heard the cry of the afflicted—
29 When he is quiet, who can condemn?
    When he hides his face, who can behold him,
    whether it be a nation or a man?—
30 that a godless man should not reign,
    that he should not ensnare the people.

31 “For has anyone said to God,
    ‘I have borne punishment; I will not offend any more;
32 (CV)teach me what I do not see;
    if I have done iniquity, I will do it no more’?
33 Will he then make repayment to suit you,
    because you reject it?
For you must choose, and not I;
    therefore (CW)declare what you know.[h]
34 Men of understanding will say to me,
    and the wise man who hears me will say:
35 ‘Job (CX)speaks without knowledge;
    his words are without insight.’
36 Would that Job were tried to the end,
    because he answers like wicked men.
37 For he adds rebellion to his sin;
    he (CY)claps his hands among us
    and multiplies his words against God.”

Elihu Condemns Job

35 And Elihu answered and said:

“Do you think this to be just?
    Do you say, (CZ)‘It is my right before God,’
that you ask, (DA)‘What advantage have I?
    How am I better off than if I had sinned?’
I will answer you
    and (DB)your friends with you.
(DC)Look at the heavens, and see;
    and behold the clouds, which are higher than you.
If you have sinned, (DD)what do you accomplish against him?
    And if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to him?
(DE)If you are righteous, what do you give to him?
    Or what does he receive from your hand?
Your wickedness concerns a man like yourself,
    and your righteousness (DF)a son of man.

“Because of the multitude of (DG)oppressions people (DH)cry out;
    they call for help because of the arm of (DI)the mighty.[i]
10 But none says, ‘Where is God my (DJ)Maker,
    who gives (DK)songs in the night,
11 who teaches us (DL)more than the beasts of the earth
    and makes us wiser than the birds of the heavens?’
12 There they (DM)cry out, but he does not answer,
    because of the pride of evil men.
13 Surely God does not hear an empty cry,
    nor does the Almighty regard it.
14 How much less when you say that you (DN)do not see him,
    that the case is before him, and you are (DO)waiting for him!
15 And now, because (DP)his anger does not punish,
    and he does not take much note of transgression,[j]
16 Job opens his mouth in empty talk;
    he (DQ)multiplies words (DR)without knowledge.”

Elihu Extols God's Greatness

36 And Elihu continued, and said:

“Bear with me a little, and I will show you,
    for I have yet something to say on God's behalf.
I will get my knowledge from (DS)afar
    and ascribe (DT)righteousness to my (DU)Maker.
For truly my words are not false;
    one who is (DV)perfect in knowledge is with you.

“Behold, God is mighty, and (DW)does not despise any;
    he is (DX)mighty in strength of understanding.
He does not keep the wicked alive,
    but gives (DY)the afflicted their right.
He does not withdraw his (DZ)eyes from the righteous,
    but with (EA)kings on the throne
    he sets them forever, and they are (EB)exalted.
And if they are (EC)bound in chains
    and caught in the cords of affliction,
then he declares to them their work
    and their transgressions, that they are (ED)behaving arrogantly.
10 He (EE)opens their ears to instruction
    and commands that they (EF)return from iniquity.
11 (EG)If they listen and serve him,
    they (EH)complete their days in prosperity,
    and their years in pleasantness.
12 But if they do not listen, they (EI)perish by the sword
    and die (EJ)without knowledge.

13 “The (EK)godless in heart cherish anger;
    they do not cry for help when he (EL)binds them.
14 They (EM)die in youth,
    and their life ends among the cult prostitutes.
15 He delivers (EN)the afflicted by their affliction
    and (EO)opens their ear by adversity.
16 He also allured you out of distress
    into (EP)a broad place where there was no cramping,
    and what was set on your (EQ)table was full of (ER)fatness.

17 “But you are full of the judgment on the wicked;
    judgment and justice seize you.
18 Beware lest wrath entice you into scoffing,
    and let not the greatness of (ES)the ransom turn you aside.
19 Will your (ET)cry for help avail to keep you from distress,
    or all the force of your strength?
20 Do not long for (EU)the night,
    when peoples vanish (EV)in their place.
21 Take care; (EW)do not turn to iniquity,
    for this you have chosen rather than affliction.
22 Behold, God is exalted in his power;
    who is (EX)a teacher like him?
23 Who has (EY)prescribed for him his way,
    or who can say, (EZ)‘You have done wrong’?

24 “Remember to (FA)extol his work,
    of which men have (FB)sung.
25 All mankind has looked on it;
    man beholds it from afar.
26 Behold, God is great, and we (FC)know him not;
    the number of his (FD)years is unsearchable.
27 For he draws up the drops of water;
    they distill his (FE)mist in (FF)rain,
28 which (FG)the skies pour down
    and drop on mankind abundantly.
29 Can anyone understand (FH)the spreading of the clouds,
    the thunderings of his (FI)pavilion?
30 Behold, he scatters his lightning about him
    and covers the roots of the sea.
31 For by these he (FJ)judges peoples;
    he gives (FK)food in abundance.
32 He covers his (FL)hands with the lightning
    and commands it to strike the mark.
33 Its crashing declares his presence;[k]
    the cattle also declare that he rises.

Elihu Proclaims God's Majesty

37 “At this also my heart trembles
    and leaps out of its place.
Keep listening to the thunder of his voice
    and the rumbling that comes from his mouth.
Under the whole heaven he lets it go,
    and his (FM)lightning to the (FN)corners of the earth.
After it (FO)his voice roars;
    (FP)he thunders with his majestic voice,
    and he does not restrain the lightnings[l] when his voice is heard.
God thunders wondrously with his voice;
    he does (FQ)great things that we cannot (FR)comprehend.
For to (FS)the snow he says, ‘Fall on the earth,’
    likewise to the downpour, his mighty downpour.
He (FT)seals up the hand of every man,
    that all men whom he made may (FU)know it.
Then the beasts go into their (FV)lairs,
    and remain in their (FW)dens.
From (FX)its chamber (FY)comes the whirlwind,
    and (FZ)cold from the scattering winds.
10 By the breath of God (GA)ice is given,
    and (GB)the broad waters are frozen fast.
11 He loads the thick cloud with moisture;
    the clouds scatter his lightning.
12 They (GC)turn around and around by his (GD)guidance,
    (GE)to accomplish all that he commands them
    on the face of (GF)the habitable world.
13 Whether for (GG)correction or for his (GH)land
    or for (GI)love, he causes it to happen.

14 “Hear this, O Job;
    stop and (GJ)consider the wondrous works of God.
15 Do you know how God lays his command upon them
    and causes the lightning of his cloud to shine?
16 Do you know the balancings[m] of the clouds,
    the wondrous works of him who is (GK)perfect in knowledge,
17 you whose garments are hot
    when the earth is still because of the south wind?
18 Can you, like him, (GL)spread out the skies,
    hard as a cast metal (GM)mirror?
19 Teach us what we shall say to him;
    we cannot draw up our case because of (GN)darkness.
20 Shall it be told him that I would speak?
    Did a man ever wish that he would be swallowed up?

21 “And now no one looks on the light
    when it is bright in the skies,
    when the wind has passed and cleared them.
22 Out of the north comes golden splendor;
    God is clothed with (GO)awesome majesty.
23 The Almighty—we (GP)cannot find him;
    he is (GQ)great in power;
    (GR)justice and abundant righteousness he will not (GS)violate.
24 Therefore men (GT)fear him;
    he does not regard any who are (GU)wise in their own conceit.”[n]


  1. Job 32:9 Hebrew many [in years]
  2. Job 33:13 Hebrew his
  3. Job 33:13 Or He will not answer for any of his own words
  4. Job 33:16 Or seals
  5. Job 33:26 Hebrew he
  6. Job 34:13 Hebrew lacks on him
  7. Job 34:23 Hebrew he
  8. Job 34:33 The meaning of the Hebrew in verses 29–33 is uncertain
  9. Job 35:9 Or the many
  10. Job 35:15 Theodotion, Symmachus (compare Vulgate); the meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
  11. Job 36:33 Hebrew declares concerning him
  12. Job 37:4 Hebrew them
  13. Job 37:16 Or hoverings
  14. Job 37:24 Hebrew in heart

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