Add parallel Print Page Options

Elihu Continues

Are You Really Innocent?

35 Elihu said:

Job, are you really innocent
    in the sight of God?[a]
Don’t you honestly believe
    it pays to obey him?
I will give the answers
    to you and your friends.
Look up to the heavens
    and think!
Do your sins hurt God?
Is any good you may have done
    at all helpful to him?
The evil or good you do
    only affects other humans.

In times of trouble,
everyone begs the mighty God
    to have mercy.
10 But after their Creator
helps them through hard times,
    they forget about him,
11 though he makes us wiser
    than animals or birds.
12 God won’t listen to the prayers
    of proud and evil people.
13 If God All-Powerful refuses
to answer their empty prayers,
14     he will surely deny
your impatient request
    to face him in court.
15 Job, you were wrong to say
    God doesn’t punish sin.
16 Everything you have said
    adds up to nonsense.

Elihu Continues

Be Patient a While Longer

36 Elihu said:

Be patient a while longer;
I have something else to say
    in God’s defense.
God always does right—
and this knowledge
    comes straight from God.[b]
You can rest assured
    that what I say is true.
Although God is mighty,
he cares about everyone
    and makes fair decisions.

The wicked are cut down,
and those who are wronged
    receive justice.
God watches over good people
and places them
in positions
    of power and honor forever.
But when people are prisoners
    of suffering and pain,
God points out their sin
    and their pride,
10 then he warns them
    to turn back to him.
11 And if they obey,
they will be successful
    and happy from then on.
12 But if they foolishly refuse,
they will be rewarded
    with a violent death.

Godless People Are Too Angry

13 Godless people are too angry
to ask God for help
    when he punishes them.
14 So they die young
    in shameful disgrace.
15 Hard times and trouble
are God’s way
    of getting our attention!
16 And at this very moment,
God deeply desires
    to lead you from trouble
and to spread your table
    with your favorite food.

17 Now that the judgment
for your sins
    has fallen upon you,
18 don’t let your anger
and the pain you endured
    make you sneer at God.
19 Your reputation and riches
cannot protect you
    from distress,
20 nor can you find safety
    in the dark world below.[c]
21 Be on guard! Don’t turn to evil
    as a way of escape.
22 God’s power is unlimited.
He needs no teachers
23     to guide or correct him.

Others Have Praised God

24 Others have praised God
for what he has done,
    so join with them.
25 From down here on earth,
everyone has looked up
and seen
26     how great God is—
God is more than we imagine;
no one can count the years
    he has lived.
27 God gathers moisture
into the clouds
28     and supplies us with rain.
29 Who can understand
    how God scatters the clouds
and speaks from his home
    in the thunderstorm?
30 And when God sends lightning,
it can be seen
    at the bottom of the sea.
31 By producing such rainstorms,
God rules the world
    and provides us with food.
32 Each flash of lightning
is one of his arrows
    striking its target,
33 and the thunder tells
    of his anger against sin.[d]

Elihu Continues

I Am Frightened

37 I am frightened
    and tremble all over,
when I hear the roaring voice
    of God in the thunder,
and when I see his lightning
    flash across the sky.
God’s majestic voice
    thunders his commands,[e]
creating miracles too marvelous
    for us to understand.
Snow and heavy rainstorms
make us stop and think
    about God’s power,
and they force animals
    to seek shelter.
The windstorms of winter strike,
10 and the breath of God
    freezes streams and rivers.
11 Rain clouds filled with lightning
    appear at God’s command,
12 traveling across the sky
13     to release their cargo—
sometimes as punishment for sin,
    sometimes as kindness.

Consider Carefully

14 Job, consider carefully
    the many wonders of God.
15 Can you explain why lightning
flashes
at the orders
16     of God who knows all things?
Or how he hangs the clouds
    in empty space?
17 You almost melt in the heat
of fierce desert winds
    when the sky is like brass.
18 God can spread out the clouds
to get relief from the heat,
    but can you?

19 Tell us what to say to God!
    Our minds are in the dark,
and we don’t know how
    to argue our case.
20 Should I risk my life
by telling God
    that I want to speak?
21 No one can stare at the sun
after a breeze has blown
    the clouds from the sky.
22 Yet the glorious splendor
of God All-Powerful
    is brighter by far.
23 God cannot be seen—
but his power is great,
    and he is always fair.
24 And so we humans fear God,
    because he shows no respect
for those who are proud
    and think they know so much.

Footnotes

  1. 35.2 are. . . God: Or “is it right for you to accuse God?”
  2. 36.3 comes straight from God: The Hebrew text has “comes from a distant place,” which refers to the place where God lives; Elihu is claiming that he learned this from God.
  3. 36.20 below: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verses 18-20.
  4. 36.33 sin: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 33.
  5. 37.4 commands: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 4.