4 Standing with Job and his other two friends in the trash heap, Eliphaz the Temanite tried to convince Job his suffering was temporary.
2 Eliphaz: Could you bear it if someone were to speak?
Ah, but who can hold his tongue in such a situation?
3 Look back, and think on the many you have taught;
you have strengthened the weak hands of the suffering.
4 Your words propped up the tottering;
you have strengthened mourners’ wobbly knees.
5 May my words help you in that way, now that trouble arrives and you despair.
It extends its hand, crushes you, and you are overwhelmed.
6 Isn’t your fear of God true confidence
and your unswerving commitment genuine hope?
7 Take pause; scan your memory:
Who ever died among the innocent?
And when have the righteous ever met with destruction?
8 The way I see it, those who pull the pernicious plow,
Who sow sorrow’s seeds, reap the same at harvest.
9 By God’s breath, they meet destruction;
when His anger explodes, they meet their end.
10 O the bluster of humanity!
The lion roars! The king of beasts thunders!
Still the young lions’ teeth are shattered.
11 The old lion dies for lack of prey,
and the whole pride is scattered.
12 Now, listen: a secret word was delivered to me;
my ears caught hold of a whisper.
13 In the anxiety of a nightmare—
while deep sleep falls on humans—
14 Fear took me by my right arm, terror by my left,
and they shook me, they did!—made my bones rattle.
15 Then a wind blew through, a divine breath skimming my face.
Every hair on my body stood on end.
16 It came to a stop, but I couldn’t make it out—
some form there before me, then a hushed voice breaking the silence:
17 “Can a mortal stand innocent before God?
Can a man or even a hero be pure before his Creator?”
18 If God is unsure of His own servants,
and in His holy attendants He finds fault,
19 How much more those whose bodies come from clay,
whose skeletons are dust, are crushed like a moth.
20 From morning to evening, their bodies are broken to pieces,
ground back into dirt, unseen, gone forever.
21 When the cords of their tents are pulled up,
don’t they die, none the wiser?