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Job 34 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

34 Then Elihu continued,[a] saying:

Hear my words, you wise ones,
and listen to me, you knowledgeable ones.
Doesn’t the ear test words
as the palate tastes food?
Let us judge for ourselves what is right;
let us decide together what is good.
For Job has declared, “I am righteous,
yet God has deprived me of justice.
Would I lie about my case?
My wound[b] is incurable,
though I am without transgression.”
What man is like Job?
He drinks derision like water.
He keeps company with evildoers
and walks with wicked men.
For he has said, “A man gains nothing
when he becomes God’s friend.”

10 Therefore listen to me, you men of understanding.
It is impossible for God to do wrong,
and for the Almighty to act unjustly.
11 For he repays a person according to his deeds,
and he gives him what his conduct deserves.[c]
12 Indeed, it is true that God does not act wickedly
and the Almighty does not pervert justice.
13 Who gave him authority over the earth?
Who put him in charge of the entire world?
14 If he put his mind to it
and withdrew the spirit and breath he gave,
15 every living thing would perish together
and mankind would return to the dust.

16 If you have understanding, hear this;
listen to what I have to say.
17 Could one who hates justice govern the world?
Will you condemn the mighty Righteous One,
18 who says to a king, “Worthless man!”
and to nobles, “Wicked men!”?
19 God is not partial to princes
and does not favor the rich over the poor,
for they are all the work of his hands.
20 They die suddenly in the middle of the night;
people shudder, then pass away.
Even the mighty are removed without effort.

21 For his eyes watch over a man’s ways,
and he observes all his steps.
22 There is no darkness, no deep darkness,
where evildoers can hide.
23 God does not need to examine a person further,
that one should[d] approach him in court.
24 He shatters the mighty without an investigation
and sets others in their place.
25 Therefore, he recognizes their deeds
and overthrows them by night, and they are crushed.
26 In full view of the public,[e]
he strikes them for their wickedness,
27 because they turned aside from following him
and did not understand any of his ways
28 but caused the poor to cry out to him,
and he heard the outcry of the needy.
29 But when God is silent, who can declare him guilty?
When he hides his face, who can see him?
Yet he watches over both individuals and nations,
30 so that godless men should not rule
or ensnare the people.

31 Suppose someone says to God,
“I have endured my punishment;
I will no longer act wickedly.
32 Teach me what I cannot see;
if I have done wrong, I won’t do it again.”
33 Should God repay you on your terms
when you have rejected his?
You must choose, not I!
So declare what you know.
34 Reasonable men will say to me,
along with the wise men who hear me,
35 “Job speaks without knowledge;
his words are without insight.”
36 If only Job were tested to the limit,
because his answers are like those of wicked men.
37 For he adds rebellion to his sin;
he scornfully claps in our presence,
while multiplying his words against God.


  1. 34:1 Lit answered
  2. 34:6 Lit arrow
  3. 34:11 Lit and like a path of a man, he causes him to find
  4. 34:23 Some emend to God has not appointed a time for man to
  5. 34:26 Lit In a place of spectators
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

Job 34 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

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[a] 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[b] will not pervert justice.
13 Who gave him charge over the earth
    and who laid on him[c] the whole world?
14 If he should take back his spirit[d] 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[e] 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.[f]
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.”


  1. Job 34:10 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  2. Job 34:12 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  3. Job 34:13 Heb lacks on him
  4. Job 34:14 Heb his heart his spirit
  5. Job 34:23 Cn: Heb yet
  6. 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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