15 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered [Job] and said,
2 “Should a wise man [such as you] utter such windy and vain knowledge [as we have just heard] And fill himself with the east wind [of withering, parching, and violent accusations]? 3 “Should he rebuke and argue with useless talk? Or with words in which there is no benefit? 4 “Indeed, you are doing away with fear, And you are diminishing meditation before God. 5 “For your guilt teaches your mouth, And you choose [to speak] the language of the crafty and cunning. 6 “Your own mouth condemns you, and not I; Yes, your own lips testify against you.
7 “Were you the first man to be born [the original wise man], Or were you created before the hills? 8 “Do you hear the secret counsel of God, And do you limit [the possession of] wisdom to yourself? 9 “What do you know that we do not know? What do you understand that is not equally clear to us? 10 “Among us are both the gray-haired and the aged, Older than your father. 11 “Are the consolations of God [as we have interpreted them to you] too trivial for you, [Or] were we too gentle toward you [in our first speech] to be effective? 12 “Why does your heart carry you away [allowing you to be controlled by emotion]? And why do your eyes flash [in anger or contempt], 13 That you should turn your spirit against God And let such words [as you have spoken] go out of your mouth? 14 “What is man, that he should be pure and clean, Or he who is born of a woman, that he should be righteous and just? 15 “Behold, God puts no trust in His holy ones (angels); Indeed, the heavens are not pure in His sight— 16 How much less [pure and clean is] the one who is repulsive and corrupt, Man, who drinks unrighteousness and injustice like water!
What Eliphaz Has Seen of Life
17 “I will tell you, listen to me; And what I have seen I will also declare; 18 What wise men have [freely] told, And have not hidden [anything passed on to them] from their fathers, 19 To whom alone the land was given, And no stranger passed among them [corrupting the truth]. 20 “The wicked man writhes with pain all his days, And numbered are the years stored up for him, the ruthless one. 21 “A [dreadful] sound of terrors is in his ears; While at peace and in a time of prosperity the destroyer comes upon him [the tent of the robber is not at peace]. 22 “He does not believe that he will return out of the darkness [for fear of being murdered], And he is destined for the sword [of God’s vengeance]. 23 “He wanders about for food, saying, ‘Where is it?’ He knows that the day of darkness and destruction is already at hand. 24 “Distress and anxiety terrify him, They overpower him like a king ready for battle. 25 “Because he has stretched out his hand against God And behaves arrogantly against [a]the Almighty, 26 Running and charging headlong against Him With his ornamented and massive shield; 27 For he has covered his face with his fat, Adding layers of fat to his thighs [giving himself up to pleasures], 28 And he has lived in desolate [God-forsaken] cities, In houses which no one should inhabit, Which were destined to become heaps [of ruins]; 29 He will not become rich, nor will his wealth endure; And his grain will not bend to the earth nor his possessions be extended on the earth. 30 “He will not escape from darkness [fleeing disaster]; The flame [of God’s wrath] will wither his branch, And by the blast of His mouth he will go away. 31 “Let him not trust in vanity (emptiness, futility) and be led astray; For emptiness will be his [b]reward [for such living]. 32 “It will be fulfilled while he still lives, And his branch will not be green [but shall wither away]. 33 “He will fail to bring his grapes to maturity [leaving them to wither unnourished] on the vine, And will cast off blossoms [and fail to bring forth fruit] like the olive tree. 34 “For the company of the godless is barren, And fire consumes the tents of bribery (wrong and injustice). 35 “They conceive mischief and bring forth wickedness, And their inmost soul prepares deceit and fraud.”
Job Says Friends Are Sorry Comforters
16 Then Job answered and said,
2 “I have heard many such things; Wearisome and miserable comforters are you all. 3 “Is there no end to [your futile] words of wind? Or what plagues you [so much] that you [so boldly] answer [me like this]? 4 “I also could speak like you, If you were in my place; I could compose and join words together against you And shake my head at you. 5 “[But instead] I could strengthen and encourage you with [the words of] my mouth, And the consolation and solace of my lips would soothe your suffering and lessen your anguish.
Job Says God Shattered Him
6 “If I speak [to you miserable comforters], my pain is not relieved; And if I refrain [from speaking], what [pain or anguish] leaves me? 7 “But now God has exhausted me. You [O Lord] have destroyed all my family and my household. 8 “You have taken a firm hold on me and have shriveled me up, It has become a witness [against me]; And my leanness [and infirmity] rises up [as evidence] against me, It testifies to my face [about my guilt]. 9 “His wrath has torn me and hunted me down, He has gnashed at me with his teeth; My adversary sharpens His gaze and glares [with piercing eyes] at me. 10 “They have gaped at me with their mouths, With contempt they have struck me on the cheek; They massed themselves together [and conspired] against me. 11 “God hands me over to [c]criminals And tosses me [headlong] into the hands of the wicked. 12 “I was [living] at ease, but He crushed me and broke me apart, And He has seized me by the neck and has shaken me to pieces; He has also set me up as His target. 13 “His arrows surround me. He pierces my kidneys (vital organs) without mercy; He pours out my gall on the ground. 14 “He attacks me, making wound after wound; He runs at me like a warrior. 15 “I have sewed sackcloth over my skin [as a sign of mourning] And have defiled my horn (symbol of strength) in the dust. 16 “My face is red and swollen with weeping, And on my eyelids is the shadow of death [my eyes are dimmed], 17 Although there is no violence or wrongdoing in my hands, And my prayer is pure.
18 “O earth, do not cover my blood, And let there be no [resting] place for my cry [where it will cease being heard]. 19 “Even now, behold, my Witness is in heaven, And my Advocate [who vouches and testifies for me] is on high. 20 “My friends are scoffers [who ridicule]; My eye pours out tears to God. 21 “Oh, that a man would mediate and plead with God [for me] Just as a man [mediates and pleads] with his neighbor and friend. 22 “For when a few years are past, I shall go the way of no return.
Job Says He Has Become a Byword
17 “My spirit is broken, my days are extinguished, The grave is ready for me. 2 “Surely there are mockers and mockery with me, And my eye gazes on their obstinacy and provocation.
3 “Give me a pledge (guarantee, promise) with Yourself [acknowledge my innocence before my death]; Who is there that will [d]be my guarantor and give security for me? 4 “But You [Lord] have closed their hearts to understanding, Therefore You will not exalt them [by giving a verdict against me]. 5 “He who denounces and informs against his friends for a share of the spoil, The eyes of his children will also languish and fail.
6 “But He has made me a byword and mockery among the people, And I have become one in whose face people spit. 7 “My eye has grown dim (unexpressive) because of grief, And all my [body’s] members are [wasted away] like a shadow. 8 “The upright will be [astonished and] appalled at this, And the innocent will stir himself up against the godless and polluted. 9 “Nevertheless the righteous will hold to his ways, And he who has clean hands will grow stronger and stronger. 10 “But as for all of you, come back again, Even though I do not find a wise man among you. 11 “My days are past, my purposes and plans are frustrated and torn apart; The wishes of my heart [are broken]. 12 “These [thoughts try to] make the night into the day; ‘The light is near,’ they say in the presence of darkness [but they pervert the truth]. 13 “But if I look to Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead) as my home, If I make my bed in the darkness, 14 If I call out to the pit (grave), ‘You are my father’; And to the worm [that feeds on decay], ‘You are my mother and my sister [because I will soon be closest to you],’ 15 Where now is my hope? And who regards or considers or is even concerned about my hope? 16 “Will my hope go down with me to Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead)? Shall we go down together in the dust?”
Bildad Speaks of the Wicked
18 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said,
2 “How long will you hunt for words and continue these speeches? Do some clear thinking and show understanding and then we can talk. 3 “Why are we regarded as beasts, As if [we are] stupid (senseless) in your eyes? 4 “You who tear yourself apart in anger, Is the earth to be abandoned for your sake, Or the rock to be moved out of its place?
5 “Indeed, the light of the wicked will be put out, And the flame of his fire will not shine. 6 “The light will be dark in his tent, And his lamp beside him will be put out. 7 “The vigorous stride will be shortened, And his own counsel and the scheme [in which he trusted] will bring his downfall. 8 “For the wicked is thrown into a net by his own feet (wickedness), And he steps on the webbing [of the lattice-covered pit]. 9 “A snare catches him by the heel, And a trap snaps shut on him. 10 “A noose is hidden for him on the ground, And a trap for him on the path. 11 “Terrors frighten him on every side And chase at his heels. 12 “The strength [of the wicked] is famished and weakened, And disaster is ready at his side [if he stops]. 13 “His skin is devoured by disease; The firstborn of death [the worst of diseases] consumes his limbs. 14 “He is torn from his tent which he trusted [for safety], And he is marched and brought to the king of terrors (death). 15 “Nothing of his dwells in his tent; Brimstone (burning sulfur) is scattered over his dwelling [to purify it]. 16 “The roots [of the wicked] are dried up below, And above, his branch is cut off and withers. 17 “Memory of him perishes from the earth, And he has no name on the street. 18 “He is driven and propelled from light into darkness, And chased from the inhabited world. 19 “He has no offspring or prosperity among his people, Nor any survivor where he sojourned. 20 “Those in the west are astonished and appalled at his fate, And those in the east are seized with horror. 21 “Surely such are the dwellings of the wicked and the ungodly, And such is the place of him who does not know or recognize or honor God.”
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