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Job 33-34 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Elihu Rebukes Job

33 “But now, hear my speech, O Job,
    and listen to all my words.
See, I 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.
The spirit of God has made me,
    and the breath of the Almighty[a] gives me life.
Answer me, if you can;
    set your words in order before me; take your stand.
See, before God I am as you are;
    I too was formed from a piece of clay.
No fear of me need terrify you;
    my pressure will not be heavy on you.

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

12 “But in this you are not right. I will answer you:
    God is greater than any mortal.
13 Why do you contend against him,
    saying, ‘He will answer none of my[b] words’?
14 For God speaks in one way,
    and in two, though people do not perceive it.
15 In a dream, in a vision of the night,
    when deep sleep falls on mortals,
    while they slumber on their beds,
16 then he opens their ears,
    and terrifies them with warnings,
17 that he may turn them aside from their deeds,
    and keep them from pride,
18 to spare their souls from the Pit,
    their lives from traversing the River.
19 They are also chastened with pain upon their beds,
    and with continual strife in their bones,
20 so that their lives loathe bread,
    and their appetites dainty food.
21 Their flesh is so wasted away that it cannot be seen;
    and their bones, once invisible, now stick out.
22 Their souls draw near the Pit,
    and their lives to those who bring death.
23 Then, if there should be for one of them an angel,
    a mediator, one of a thousand,
    one who declares a person upright,
24 and he is gracious to that person, and says,
    ‘Deliver him from going down into the Pit;
    I have found a ransom;
25 let his flesh become fresh with youth;
    let him return to the days of his youthful vigor’;
26 then he prays to God, and is accepted by him,
    he comes into his presence with joy,
and God[c] repays him for his righteousness.
27     That person sings to others and says,
‘I sinned, and perverted what was right,
    and it was not paid back to me.
28 He has redeemed my soul from going down to the Pit,
    and my life shall see the light.’

29 “God indeed does all these things,
    twice, three times, with mortals,
30 to bring back their souls from the Pit,
    so that they may see the light of life.[d]
31 Pay heed, Job, listen to me;
    be silent, and I will speak.
32 If you have anything to say, answer me;
    speak, for I desire to justify you.
33 If not, listen to me;
    be silent, and I will teach you wisdom.”

Elihu Proclaims God’s Justice

34 Then Elihu continued and said:

“Hear my words, you wise men,
    and give ear to me, you who know;
for the ear tests words
    as the palate tastes food.
Let us choose what is right;
    let us determine among ourselves what is good.
For Job has said, ‘I am innocent,
    and God has taken away my right;
in spite of being right I am counted a liar;
    my wound is incurable, though I am without transgression.’
Who is there like Job,
    who drinks up scoffing like water,
who goes in company with evildoers
    and walks with the wicked?
For he has said, ‘It profits one nothing
    to take delight in God.’

10 “Therefore, hear me, you who have sense,
    far be it from God that he should do wickedness,
    and from the Almighty[e] that he should do wrong.
11 For according to their deeds he will repay them,
    and according to their ways he will make it befall them.
12 Of a truth, God will not do wickedly,
    and the Almighty[f] will not pervert justice.
13 Who gave him charge over the earth
    and who laid on him[g] the whole world?
14 If he should take back his spirit[h] to himself,
    and gather to himself his breath,
15 all flesh would perish together,
    and all mortals return to dust.

16 “If you have understanding, hear this;
    listen to what I say.
17 Shall one who hates justice govern?
    Will you condemn one who is righteous and mighty,
18 who says to a king, ‘You scoundrel!’
    and to princes, ‘You wicked men!’;
19 who shows no partiality to nobles,
    nor regards the rich more than the poor,
    for they are all the work of his hands?
20 In a moment they die;
    at midnight the people are shaken and pass away,
    and the mighty are taken away by no human hand.

21 “For his eyes are upon the ways of mortals,
    and he sees all their steps.
22 There is no gloom or deep darkness
    where evildoers may hide themselves.
23 For he has not appointed a time[i] for anyone
    to go before God in judgment.
24 He shatters the mighty without investigation,
    and sets others in their place.
25 Thus, knowing their works,
    he overturns them in the night, and they are crushed.
26 He strikes them for their wickedness
    while others look on,
27 because they turned aside from following him,
    and had no regard for any of his ways,
28 so that they caused the cry of the poor to come to him,
    and he 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 an individual?—
30 so that the godless should not reign,
    or those who ensnare the people.

31 “For has anyone said to God,
    ‘I have endured punishment; I will not offend any more;
32 teach me what I do not see;
    if I have done iniquity, I will do it no more’?
33 Will he then pay back to suit you,
    because you reject it?
For you must choose, and not I;
    therefore declare what you know.[j]
34 Those who have sense will say to me,
    and the wise who hear me will say,
35 ‘Job speaks without knowledge,
    his words are without insight.’
36 Would that Job were tried to the limit,
    because his answers are those of the wicked.
37 For he adds rebellion to his sin;
    he claps his hands among us,
    and multiplies his words against God.”

Footnotes:

  1. Job 33:4 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  2. Job 33:13 Compare Gk: Heb his
  3. Job 33:26 Heb he
  4. Job 33:30 Syr: Heb to be lighted with the light of life
  5. Job 34:10 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  6. Job 34:12 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  7. Job 34:13 Heb lacks on him
  8. Job 34:14 Heb his heart his spirit
  9. Job 34:23 Cn: Heb yet
  10. Job 34:33 Meaning of Heb of verses 29–33 uncertain
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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