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Elihu Proclaims God’s Justice

34 Then Elihu continued and said:

“Hear my words, you wise men,
    and give ear to me, you who know,
for the ear tests words
    as the palate tastes food.(A)
Let us choose what is right;
    let us determine among ourselves what is good.(B)
For Job has said, ‘I am innocent,
    and God has taken away my right;
in spite of being right I am counted a liar;
    my wound is incurable, though I am without transgression.’(C)
Who is there like Job,
    who drinks up scoffing like water,(D)
who goes in company with evildoers
    and walks with the wicked?(E)
For he has said, ‘It profits one nothing
    to take delight in God.’(F)

10 “Therefore, hear me, you who have sense;
    far be it from God that he should do wickedness
    and from the Almighty[a] that he should do wrong.(G)
11 For according to their deeds he will repay them,
    and according to their ways he will make it befall them.(H)
12 Of a truth, God will not do wickedly,
    and the Almighty[b] will not pervert justice.(I)
13 Who gave him charge over the earth,
    and who laid on him[c] the whole world?(J)
14 If he should take back his spirit[d] to himself
    and gather to himself his breath,(K)
15 all flesh would perish together,
    and all mortals return to dust.(L)

16 “If you have understanding, hear this;
    listen to what I say.
17 Shall one who hates justice govern?
    Will you condemn one who is righteous and mighty,(M)
18 who says to a king, ‘You scoundrel!’
    and to princes, ‘You wicked men!’;(N)
19 who shows no partiality to nobles,
    nor regards the rich more than the poor,
    for they are all the work of his hands?(O)
20 In a moment they die;
    at midnight the people are shaken and pass away,
    and the mighty are taken away by no human hand.(P)

21 “For his eyes are upon the ways of mortals,
    and he sees all their steps.(Q)
22 There is no gloom or deep darkness
    where evildoers may hide themselves.(R)
23 For he has not appointed a time[e] for anyone
    to go before God in judgment.
24 He shatters the mighty without investigation
    and sets others in their place.(S)
25 Thus, knowing their works,
    he overturns them in the night, and they are crushed.(T)
26 He strikes them for their wickedness
    while others look on,(U)
27 because they turned aside from following him
    and had no regard for any of his ways,(V)
28 so that they caused the cry of the poor to come to him,
    and he heard the cry of the afflicted—(W)
29 When he is quiet, who can condemn?
    When he hides his face, who can behold him?
    Whether nation or person, it is the same—(X)
30 so that the godless should not reign
    or those who ensnare the people.(Y)

31 “For has anyone said to God,
    ‘I have endured punishment; I will not offend any more;
32 teach me what I do not see;
    if I have done iniquity, I will do it no more’?(Z)
33 Will he then pay back to suit you
    because you reject it?
For you must choose and not I;
    therefore declare what you know.[f]
34 Those who have sense will say to me,
    and the wise who hear me will say,
35 ‘Job speaks without knowledge;
    his words are without insight.’(AA)
36 Would that Job were tried to the limit,
    because his answers are those of the wicked.(AB)
37 For he adds rebellion to his sin;
    he claps his hands among us
    and multiplies his words against God.”

Elihu Condemns Self-Righteousness

35 Elihu continued and said:

“Do you think this to be just?
    You say, ‘I am in the right before God.’(AC)
If you ask, ‘What advantage have I?
    How am I better off than if I had sinned?’(AD)
I will answer you
    and your friends with you.
Look at the heavens and see;
    observe the clouds, which are higher than you.(AE)
If you have sinned, what do you accomplish against him?
    And if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to him?(AF)
If you are righteous, what do you give to him,
    or what does he receive from your hand?(AG)
Your wickedness affects others like you,
    and your righteousness, other human beings.

“Because of the multitude of oppressions people cry out;
    they call for help because of the arm of the mighty.(AH)
10 But no one says, ‘Where is God my Maker,
    who gives strength in the night,(AI)
11 who teaches us more than the animals of the earth
    and makes us wiser than the birds of the air?’(AJ)
12 There they cry out, but he does not answer,
    because of the pride of evildoers.(AK)
13 Surely God does not hear an empty cry,
    nor does the Almighty[g] regard it.(AL)
14 How much less when you say that you do not see him,
    that the case is before him and you are waiting for him!(AM)
15 And now, because his anger does not punish
    and he does not greatly heed transgression,[h](AN)
16 Job opens his mouth in empty talk;
    he multiplies words without knowledge.”(AO)


  1. 34.10 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  2. 34.12 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  3. 34.13 Heb lacks on him
  4. 34.14 Heb his heart his spirit
  5. 34.23 Cn: Heb yet
  6. 34.33 Meaning of Heb of 34.29–33 uncertain
  7. 35.13 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  8. 35.15 Meaning of Heb uncertain

The Council at Jerusalem

15 Then certain individuals came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”(A) And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to discuss this question with the apostles and the elders.(B) So they were sent on their way by the church, and as they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, they reported the conversion of the gentiles and brought great joy to all the brothers and sisters.(C) When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them.(D) But some believers who belonged to the sect of the Pharisees stood up and said, “It is necessary for them to be circumcised and ordered to keep the law of Moses.”

The apostles and the elders met together to consider this matter. After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “My brothers,[a] you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that I should be the one through whom the gentiles would hear the message of the good news and become believers.(E) And God, who knows the human heart, testified to them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us,(F) and in cleansing their hearts by faith he has made no distinction between them and us.(G) 10 Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing on the neck of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear?(H) 11 On the contrary, we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.”(I)

12 The whole assembly kept silence and listened to Barnabas and Paul as they told of all the signs and wonders that God had done through them among the gentiles.(J) 13 After they finished speaking, James replied, “My brothers,[b] listen to me.(K) 14 Simeon has related how God first looked favorably on the gentiles, to take from among them a people for his name. 15 This agrees with the words of the prophets, as it is written,

16 ‘After this I will return,
and I will rebuild the dwelling of David, which has fallen;
    from its ruins I will rebuild it,
        and I will set it up,(L)
17 so that all other peoples may seek the Lord—
    even all the gentiles over whom my name has been called.
Thus says the Lord, who has been making these things 18         known from long ago.’[c]

19 “Therefore I have reached the decision that we should not trouble those gentiles who are turning to God, 20 but we should write to them to abstain only from things polluted by idols and from sexual immorality and from whatever has been strangled[d] and from blood.(M) 21 For in every city, for generations past, Moses has had those who proclaim him, for he has been read aloud every Sabbath in the synagogues.”(N)

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  1. 15.7 Gk Men, brothers
  2. 15.13 Gk Men, brothers
  3. 15.18 Other ancient authorities read things. Known to God from of old are all his works.’
  4. 15.20 Other ancient authorities lack and from whatever has been strangled