35 Then Elihu said:

“Do you think this is just?
    You say, ‘I am in the right,(A) not God.’(B)
Yet you ask him, ‘What profit is it to me,[a]
    and what do I gain by not sinning?’(C)

“I would like to reply to you
    and to your friends with you.
Look up at the heavens(D) and see;
    gaze at the clouds so high above you.(E)
If you sin, how does that affect him?
    If your sins are many, what does that do to him?(F)
If you are righteous, what do you give to him,(G)
    or what does he receive(H) from your hand?(I)
Your wickedness only affects humans like yourself,(J)
    and your righteousness only other people.(K)

“People cry out(L) under a load of oppression;(M)
    they plead for relief from the arm of the powerful.(N)
10 But no one says, ‘Where is God my Maker,(O)
    who gives songs(P) in the night,(Q)
11 who teaches(R) us(S) more than he teaches[b] the beasts of the earth
    and makes us wiser than[c] the birds in the sky?’
12 He does not answer(T) when people cry out
    because of the arrogance(U) of the wicked.(V)
13 Indeed, God does not listen to their empty plea;
    the Almighty pays no attention to it.(W)
14 How much less, then, will he listen
    when you say that you do not see him,(X)
that your case(Y) is before him
    and you must wait for him,(Z)
15 and further, that his anger never punishes(AA)
    and he does not take the least notice of wickedness.[d](AB)
16 So Job opens his mouth with empty talk;(AC)
    without knowledge he multiplies words.”(AD)

Footnotes

  1. Job 35:3 Or you
  2. Job 35:11 Or night, / 11 who teaches us by
  3. Job 35:11 Or us wise by
  4. Job 35:15 Symmachus, Theodotion and Vulgate; the meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.

36 Elihu continued:

“Bear with me a little longer and I will show you
    that there is more to be said in God’s behalf.
I get my knowledge from afar;(A)
    I will ascribe justice to my Maker.(B)
Be assured that my words are not false;(C)
    one who has perfect knowledge(D) is with you.(E)

“God is mighty,(F) but despises no one;(G)
    he is mighty, and firm in his purpose.(H)
He does not keep the wicked alive(I)
    but gives the afflicted their rights.(J)
He does not take his eyes off the righteous;(K)
    he enthrones them with kings(L)
    and exalts them forever.(M)
But if people are bound in chains,(N)
    held fast by cords of affliction,(O)
he tells them what they have done—
    that they have sinned arrogantly.(P)
10 He makes them listen(Q) to correction(R)
    and commands them to repent of their evil.(S)
11 If they obey and serve him,(T)
    they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity(U)
    and their years in contentment.(V)
12 But if they do not listen,
    they will perish by the sword[a](W)
    and die without knowledge.(X)

13 “The godless in heart(Y) harbor resentment;(Z)
    even when he fetters them, they do not cry for help.(AA)
14 They die in their youth,(AB)
    among male prostitutes of the shrines.(AC)
15 But those who suffer(AD) he delivers in their suffering;(AE)
    he speaks(AF) to them in their affliction.(AG)

16 “He is wooing(AH) you from the jaws of distress
    to a spacious place(AI) free from restriction,(AJ)
    to the comfort of your table(AK) laden with choice food.(AL)
17 But now you are laden with the judgment due the wicked;(AM)
    judgment and justice have taken hold of you.(AN)
18 Be careful that no one entices you by riches;
    do not let a large bribe(AO) turn you aside.(AP)
19 Would your wealth(AQ) or even all your mighty efforts
    sustain you so you would not be in distress?
20 Do not long for the night,(AR)
    to drag people away from their homes.[b]
21 Beware of turning to evil,(AS)
    which you seem to prefer to affliction.(AT)

22 “God is exalted in his power.(AU)
    Who is a teacher like him?(AV)
23 Who has prescribed his ways(AW) for him,(AX)
    or said to him, ‘You have done wrong’?(AY)
24 Remember to extol his work,(AZ)
    which people have praised in song.(BA)
25 All humanity has seen it;(BB)
    mortals gaze on it from afar.
26 How great is God—beyond our understanding!(BC)
    The number of his years is past finding out.(BD)

27 “He draws up the drops of water,(BE)
    which distill as rain to the streams[c];(BF)
28 the clouds pour down their moisture
    and abundant showers(BG) fall on mankind.(BH)
29 Who can understand how he spreads out the clouds,
    how he thunders(BI) from his pavilion?(BJ)
30 See how he scatters his lightning(BK) about him,
    bathing the depths of the sea.(BL)
31 This is the way he governs[d] the nations(BM)
    and provides food(BN) in abundance.(BO)
32 He fills his hands with lightning
    and commands it to strike its mark.(BP)
33 His thunder announces the coming storm;(BQ)
    even the cattle make known its approach.[e](BR)

Footnotes

  1. Job 36:12 Or will cross the river
  2. Job 36:20 The meaning of the Hebrew for verses 18-20 is uncertain.
  3. Job 36:27 Or distill from the mist as rain
  4. Job 36:31 Or nourishes
  5. Job 36:33 Or announces his coming— / the One zealous against evil

Concerning Married Life

Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.”(A) But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife,(B) and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time,(C) so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan(D) will not tempt you(E) because of your lack of self-control. I say this as a concession, not as a command.(F) I wish that all of you were as I am.(G) But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.(H)

Now to the unmarried[a] and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.(I) But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry,(J) for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband.(K) 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband.(L) And a husband must not divorce his wife.

12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord):(M) If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.(N)

15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.(O) 16 How do you know, wife, whether you will save(P) your husband?(Q) Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

Concerning Change of Status

17 Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them.(R) This is the rule I lay down in all the churches.(S) 18 Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised.(T) 19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing.(U) Keeping God’s commands is what counts. 20 Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.(V)

21 Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you—although if you can gain your freedom, do so. 22 For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord’s freed person;(W) similarly, the one who was free when called is Christ’s slave.(X) 23 You were bought at a price;(Y) do not become slaves of human beings. 24 Brothers and sisters, each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.(Z)

Concerning the Unmarried

25 Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord,(AA) but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy(AB) is trustworthy. 26 Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for a man to remain as he is.(AC) 27 Are you pledged to a woman? Do not seek to be released. Are you free from such a commitment? Do not look for a wife.(AD) 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned;(AE) and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.

29 What I mean, brothers and sisters, is that the time is short.(AF) From now on those who have wives should live as if they do not; 30 those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; 31 those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.(AG)

32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs(AH)—how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit.(AI) But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided(AJ) devotion to the Lord.

36 If anyone is worried that he might not be acting honorably toward the virgin he is engaged to, and if his passions are too strong[b] and he feels he ought to marry, he should do as he wants. He is not sinning.(AK) They should get married. 37 But the man who has settled the matter in his own mind, who is under no compulsion but has control over his own will, and who has made up his mind not to marry the virgin—this man also does the right thing. 38 So then, he who marries the virgin does right,(AL) but he who does not marry her does better.[c]

39 A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives.(AM) But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.(AN) 40 In my judgment,(AO) she is happier if she stays as she is—and I think that I too have the Spirit of God.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Corinthians 7:8 Or widowers
  2. 1 Corinthians 7:36 Or if she is getting beyond the usual age for marriage
  3. 1 Corinthians 7:38 Or 36 If anyone thinks he is not treating his daughter properly, and if she is getting along in years (or if her passions are too strong), and he feels she ought to marry, he should do as he wants. He is not sinning. He should let her get married. 37 But the man who has settled the matter in his own mind, who is under no compulsion but has control over his own will, and who has made up his mind to keep the virgin unmarried—this man also does the right thing. 38 So then, he who gives his virgin in marriage does right, but he who does not give her in marriage does better.

Concerning Food Sacrificed to Idols

Now about food sacrificed to idols:(A) We know that “We all possess knowledge.”(B) But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. Those who think they know something(C) do not yet know as they ought to know.(D) But whoever loves God is known by God.[a](E)

So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols:(F) We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world”(G) and that “There is no God but one.”(H) For even if there are so-called gods,(I) whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), yet for us there is but one God,(J) the Father,(K) from whom all things came(L) and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord,(M) Jesus Christ, through whom all things came(N) and through whom we live.

But not everyone possesses this knowledge.(O) Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak,(P) it is defiled. But food does not bring us near to God;(Q) we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.

Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block(R) to the weak.(S) 10 For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols?(T) 11 So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed(U) by your knowledge. 12 When you sin against them(V) in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.(W) 13 Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.(X)

Footnotes

  1. 1 Corinthians 8:3 An early manuscript and another ancient witness think they have knowledge do not yet know as they ought to know. But whoever loves truly knows.

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