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Eliphaz Talks

Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered, “If one speaks with you, will you want him to stop? But who can keep from speaking? See, you have taught many, and you have given strength to weak hands. Your words have helped him stand who would have fallen. You have given strength to weak knees. But now it has come to you, and you are not happy. It touches you, and you are troubled and sad. Is not your fear of God what gives you strength and your good ways that give you hope?

“Think now, who without guilt was ever destroyed? As I have seen, those who plow sin and plant trouble gather the same. By the breath of God they are destroyed. They are destroyed by the wind of His anger. 10 The noise of the lion, the voice of the angry lion, and the teeth of the young lions are broken. 11 The strong lion dies because there is no food to get. And the young of the lioness are sent everywhere.

12 “Now a word was brought to me in secret. My ear heard it spoken in a quiet voice. 13 With troubled thoughts from the dreams of the night, when deep sleep comes upon men, 14 fear came to me and I shook. It made all my bones shake. 15 A spirit passed by my face. The hair of my flesh stood up. 16 The spirit stood still, but I could not understand what I saw. Something was in front of my eyes. All was quiet, then I heard a voice: 17 ‘Can man be right more than God? Can a man be pure more than his Maker? 18 He puts no trust even in His servants. He finds mistakes among His angels. 19 How much more those who live in houses of clay, who build upon the dust, who are crushed like the moth! 20 Between morning and evening they are destroyed. Without anyone seeing it they become lost forever. 21 Is not their tent-rope pulled up within them? They die, and have no wisdom.’

Eliphaz Keeps On Talking

“Call now. Is there anyone who will answer you? To which of the holy ones will you turn? To be bitter kills the foolish man, and jealousy kills the child-like. I have seen the fool taking root, but right away his house was cursed. His sons are far from being safe. They are destroyed in the gate, and there is no one to help them. The hungry eat the food of his field. They take it even out of the thorns. And the thirsty want his riches. For suffering does not come from the dust. Trouble does not grow out of the ground. But man is born to trouble, as fire goes up.

“But as for me, I would look to God. I would put my troubles before God. He does great things, too great for us to understand. He does too many wonderful things for us to number. 10 He gives rain on the earth and sends water on the fields. 11 He puts those who are in low places up to high places. Those who are filled with sorrow are lifted to where they are safe. 12 He troubles the plans of those who try to fool people, so that their hands cannot do what they plan. 13 God gets them into a trap when they use their own wisdom. And the plans of the wise are brought to a quick end. 14 They meet with darkness during the day, and feel their way at noon as in the night. 15 But He saves from the sword those in need. He saves the poor from the power of the strong. 16 So those who have no hope, have hope, and what is not right and good must shut its mouth.

17 “See, happy is the man to whom God speaks strong words. So do not hate the strong teaching of the All-powerful. 18 He punishes, but He gives comfort. He hurts, but His hands heal. 19 He will take you out of six troubles. Yes, in seven, nothing will hurt you. 20 He will keep you from death in times of no food, and from the power of the sword in war. 21 You will be hidden from the punishment of the tongue. You will not be afraid of being destroyed when danger comes. 22 You will laugh at danger and times of no food. And you will not be afraid of wild animals. 23 For you will be in agreement with the stones of the field. And the animals of the field will be at peace with you. 24 You will know that your tent is safe. You will look over what you have and see that nothing is gone. 25 You will know also that your children and children’s children will be many. They will be as the grass of the earth. 26 You will come to the grave in full strength, like the grain gathered in when it is time. 27 See, this is what we have found, and it is true. Hear it, and know for yourself.”

Job Speaks

Then Job answered, “If only my trials and troubles were weighed! They would weigh more than the sand of the seas. My words have been spoken fast and without thought. For the arrows of the All-powerful are in me. My spirit drinks their poison. The hard things from God are like an army against me. Does the wild donkey make noise when it has grass? Or does the bull make noise when it has food? Can something that has no taste be eaten without salt? Is there any taste in the white of an egg? My soul will not touch them. They are like hated food to me.

“If only I might get what I ask for, and that God would give me what I desire! If only God were willing to crush me, that He would let His hand loose and destroy me! 10 But this gives me comfort even though I suffer much pain because I have not turned away from the words of the Holy One. 11 What strength have I, that I should wait? What is my end, that I should not give up? 12 Do I have the strength of stones? Is my flesh brass? 13 I have no power to help myself, and a way out is far from me.

14 “Kindness from a friend should be shown to a man without hope, or he might turn away from the fear of the All-powerful. 15 My brothers have been like rivers that are not there when needed. 16 They are dark because of ice and snow turning into water. 17 When they have no water, there is no noise. When it is hot, they are not there. 18 The people on their camels turn away from them. They go into the waste places and die. 19 The people and camels of Tema looked. The travelers of Sheba hoped for them. 20 They were troubled for they had trusted. They came there and their hope goes. 21 Yes, this is how you have been. You see my trouble and are afraid. 22 Have I said, ‘Give me something,’ or, ‘Pay something from your riches to help me’? 23 Have I said, ‘Take me out from under the power of the one who hates me,’ or, ‘Save me from those who make it hard for me’?

24 “Teach me, and I will be quiet. Show me where I have been wrong. 25 Honest words give pain. But what does your arguing prove? 26 Do you think you can speak against my words, and act as if the words of a man without hope are wind? 27 You would even draw names over those who have no father, and make trades over your friend. 28 Now be pleased to look at me, and see if I lie to your face. 29 I ask that you change your minds and let no wrong be done. Stop now, for I am still right and good. 30 Is there wrong-doing on my tongue? Can I not taste trouble?

Job Keeps On Talking

“Is not man made to work on earth? Are not his days like the days of a man paid to work? Like a servant who desires to be out of the sun, and like a working man who waits for his pay, I am given months of pain and nights of suffering for no reason. When I lie down I say, ‘When will I get up?’ But the night is long, and I am always turning from side to side until morning. My flesh is covered with worms and dirt. My skin becomes hard and breaks open. My days are faster than a cloth-maker’s tool, and come to their end without hope.

“Remember that my life is only a breath. My eye will not again see good. The eye of him who sees me will see me no more. Your eyes will be on me, but I will be gone. When a cloud goes away, it is gone. And he who goes down to the place of the dead does not come back. 10 He will not return to his house, and his place will not know him any more.

11 “So I will not keep my mouth shut. I will speak in the suffering of my spirit. I will complain because my soul is bitter. 12 Am I the sea, or a large sea animal, that You put someone to watch me? 13 When I say, ‘My bed will comfort me, and there I will find rest from my complaining,’ 14 then You send dreams to me which fill me with fear. 15 So a quick death by having my breath stopped would be better to me than my pains. 16 I hate my life. I will not live forever. Leave me alone, for my days are only a breath. 17 What is man, that You make so much of him? Why do You care about him, 18 that You look at him every morning, and test him all the time? 19 How long will it be until You look away from me? Will You not let me alone until I swallow my spit? 20 Have I sinned? What have I done to You, O watcher of men? Why have you made me something to shoot at, so that I am a problem to myself? 21 Why then do You not forgive my wrong-doing and take away my sin? For now I will lie down in the dust. You will look for me, but I will not be.”