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Elihu Continues

You Men Think You Are Wise

34 Elihu said:

You men think you are wise,
    but just listen to me!
Think about my words,
    as you would taste food.
Then we can decide the case
    and give a just verdict.
Job claims he is innocent
and God is guilty
    of mistreating him.
Job also argues that God
    considers him a liar
and that he is suffering severely
    in spite of his innocence.
But to tell the truth,
    Job is shameless!
He spends his time with sinners,
because he has said,
    “It doesn’t pay to please God.”

If Any of You Are Smart

10 If any of you are smart,
    you will listen and learn
that God All-Powerful
    does what is right.
11 God always treats everyone
the way they deserve,
12     and he is never unfair.
13 From the very beginning,
God has been in control
    of all the world.

14 If God took back the breath
    that he breathed into us,
15 we humans would die
and return to the soil.
16     So be smart and listen!
17 The mighty God is the one
who brings about justice,
    and you are condemning him.
18 Indeed, God is the one
    who condemns unfair rulers.
19 And God created us all;
he has no favorites,
    whether rich or poor.
20 Even powerful rulers die
    in the darkness of night
when they least expect it,
    just like the rest of us.

God Watches Everything We Do

21 God watches everything we do.
22 No evil person can hide
    in the deepest darkness.
23 And so, God doesn’t need
    to set a time for judgment.
24 Without asking for advice,
God removes mighty leaders
    and puts others in their place.
25 He knows what they are like,
and he wipes them out
    in the middle of the night.
26 And while others look on,
    he punishes them
because they were evil
27     and refused to obey him.
28 The persons they mistreated
    had prayed for help,
until God answered
    their prayers.
29 When God does nothing,
can any person or nation
    find fault with him?
30 But still, he punishes rulers
    who abuse their people.[a]

31 Job, you should tell God
that you are guilty
    and promise to do better.
32 Then ask him to point out
what you did wrong,
    so you won’t do it again.
33 Do you make the rules,
    or does God?
You have to decide—
I can’t do it for you;
    now make up your mind.
34 Job, anyone with good sense
    can easily see
35 that you are speaking nonsense
    and lack good judgment.
36 So I pray for you to suffer
as much as possible
    for talking like a sinner.
37 You have rebelled against God,
time after time,
    and have even insulted us.

Footnotes

  1. 34.30 people: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verses 29,30.

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