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Elihu Continues: Listen, Everyone

34 Elihu continued to speak to Job and his friends,

“Listen to my words, you wise men.
    Open your ears to me, you intelligent men.
The ear tests words
    like the tongue tastes food.
Let’s decide for ourselves what is right
    and agree among ourselves as to what is good,
        because Job has said,
            ‘I’m righteous, but El has taken away my rights.
            I’m considered a liar in spite of my rights.
            I’ve been wounded by a deadly arrow,
                though I haven’t been disobedient.’
What person is like Job,
    who drinks scorn like water,
who travels with troublemakers
    and associates with evil people?
He says, ‘It doesn’t do any good to try to please Elohim.’

10 “You people who have understanding, listen to me.
    It is unthinkable that El would ever do evil
    or that Shadday would ever do wicked things.
11 God will repay humanity for what it has done
    and will give each person what he deserves.
12 Certainly, El will never do anything evil,
    and Shadday will never pervert justice.
13 Who put him in charge of the earth?
    Who appointed him to be over the whole world?
14 If he thought only of himself
    and withdrew his Spirit and his breath,
15 all living beings would die together,
    and humanity would return to dust.

God Is Fair

16 “If you understand, listen to this.
    Open your ears to my words!
17 Should anyone who hates justice be allowed to govern?
    Will you condemn the one who is righteous and mighty?
18 Should anyone even say to a king,
    ‘You good-for-nothing scoundrel!’
        or to nobles, ‘You wicked people!’
19 The one who is righteous and mighty
    does not grant special favors to princes
        or prefer important people over poor people
            because his hands made them all.
20 They die suddenly in the middle of the night.
    People have seizures and pass away.
    Mighty people are taken away but not by human hands.
21 God’s eyes are on a person’s ways.
    He sees all his steps.
22 There’s no darkness or deep shadow
    where troublemakers can hide.
23 He doesn’t have to set a time for a person
    in order to bring him to divine judgment.
24 He breaks mighty people into pieces without examining them
    and puts others in their places.
25 He knows what they do,
    so he overthrows them at night, and they’re crushed.
26 In return for their evil, he strikes them in public,
27 because they turned away from following him
    and didn’t consider any of his ways.
28 They forced the poor to cry out to him,
    and he hears the cry of those who suffer.
29 If he keeps quiet, who can condemn him?
    If he hides his face, who can see him
        whether it is a nation or a single person?
30 He does this so that godless people cannot rule
    and so that they cannot trap people.

31 “But suppose such a person says to El, ‘I am guilty,
    I will stop my immoral behavior.
32 Teach me what I cannot see.
    If I’ve done wrong, I won’t do it again.’
33 Should El reward you on your own terms since you have rejected his?
    You must choose, not I.
    Tell me what you know. Speak!

Elihu Makes an Appeal to God

34 “People of understanding, the wise people
    who listen to me, will say,
35 ‘Job speaks without knowledge.
    His words show no insight.’

36 Ab, let Job be thoroughly tested
    for giving answers like wicked people do.
37 He adds disobedience to his sin.
    He claps his hands to insult us.
        He multiplies his words against El.”