The Second Speech of Eliphaz
Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied,
“Job, would a wise person answer with a lot of meaningless talk?
Would they fill their stomach with the hot east wind?
Would they argue with useless words?
Would they give worthless speeches?
But you even cause others to lose their respect for God.
You make it hard for them to be faithful to him.
Your sin makes you say evil things.
You talk like people who twist the truth.
Your own mouth judges you, not mine.
Your own lips witness against you.
“Are you the first man who was ever born?
Were you created before the hills?
Do you listen in when God speaks with his angels?
Do you think you are the only wise person?
What do you know that we don’t know?
What understanding do you have that we don’t have?
People who are old and gray are on our side.
And they are even older than your parents!
Aren’t God’s words of comfort enough for you?
He speaks them to you gently.
Why have you let your wild ideas carry you away?
Why do your eyes flash with anger?
Why do you get so angry with God?
Why do words like those pour out of your mouth?
“Can human beings really be pure?
Can those who are born really be right with God?
God doesn’t trust his holy angels.
Even the heavens aren’t pure in his sight.
So he’ll certainly find fault with human beings.
After all, they are evil and sinful.
They drink up evil as if it were water.
“Listen to me. I’ll explain things to you.
Let me tell you what I’ve seen.
I’ll tell you what those who are wise have said.
They don’t hide anything they’ve received
from their people of long ago.
The land was given only to those people.
Their wisdom didn’t come from outsiders.
And here’s what those who are wise have said.
Sinful people always suffer pain.
Mean people suffer all their lives.
Terrifying sounds fill their ears.
When everything seems to be going well,
robbers attack them.
They lose all hope of escaping the darkness of death.
They will certainly be killed by swords.
Like vultures, they look around for food.
They know that the day they will die is near.
Suffering and pain terrify them.
Their troubles overpower them,
like a king ready to attack his enemies.
They shake their fists at God.
They brag about themselves and oppose the Mighty One.
They boldly charge against him
with their thick, strong shields.
“Their faces are very fat.
Their stomachs hang out.
They’ll live in towns that have been destroyed.
They’ll live in houses where no one else lives.
The houses will crumble to pieces.
They won’t be rich anymore. Their wealth won’t last.
Their property will no longer spread out over the land.
They won’t escape the darkness of death.
A flame will dry up everything they have.
The breath of God will blow them away.
Don’t let them fool themselves
by trusting in what is worthless.
They won’t get anything out of it.
Even before they die, they will dry up.
No matter what they do, it won’t succeed.
They’ll be like vines
that are stripped of their unripe grapes.
They’ll be like olive trees
that drop their flowers.
People who are ungodly won’t have any children.
Fire will burn up the tents of people who accept money
from those who want special favors.
Instead of having children,
ungodly people create suffering.
All they produce is evil.
They are full of lies.”
“I’ve heard many of these things before.
All of you are terrible at comforting me!
Your speeches go on forever.
Won’t they ever end?
What’s wrong with you?
Why do you keep on arguing?
If you and I changed places,
I could say the same things you are saying.
I could make fine speeches against you.
I could shake my head at you.
But what I might say would give you hope.
My words of comfort would help you.
“If I speak, it doesn’t help me.
And if I keep quiet, my pain doesn’t go away.
God has worn me out completely.
He has destroyed my whole family.
People can see the condition he has put me in.
My thin body stands as a witness against me.
God is angry with me.
He attacks me and tears me up.
He grinds his teeth at me.
He stares at me as if he were my enemy.
People make fun of me.
They slap my face and laugh at me.
All of them join together against me.
God has turned me over to sinful people.
He has handed me over to them.
Everything was going well with me.
But he broke me into pieces like a clay pot.
He grabbed me by the neck and crushed me.
He has taken aim at me.
He shoots his arrows at me from all sides.
Without pity, he stabs me in the kidneys.
He spills my insides on the ground.
He smashes through me as if I were a wall.
He rushes at me like a fighting man.
“I’ve sewed rough clothing over my skin.
All I can do is sit here in the dust.
My face is red from crying.
I have dark circles under my eyes.
But I haven’t harmed anyone.
My prayers to God are pure.
“Earth, please don’t cover up my blood!
May God always hear my cry for help!
Even now my witness is in heaven.
The one who speaks up for me is there.
My go-between is my friend
as I pour out my tears to God.
He makes his appeal to God to help me
as a person pleads for a friend.
“Only a few years will pass by.
Then I’ll take the path of no return.
My strength is almost gone.
I won’t live much longer.
A grave is waiting for me.
People who make fun of me are all around me.
I’m forced to watch as they attack me with their words.
“God, please pay the price to have me set free.
Who else would put up money for me?
You have closed the minds of those who are trying to comfort me.
They don’t understand that I haven’t done anything wrong.
So don’t let them win the argument.
Suppose someone tells lies about their friends to get a reward.
Then their own children will suffer for it.
“God has made an example of me.
People spit in my face.
My eyes have grown weak because I’m so sad.
My body is so thin it hardly casts a shadow.
People who claim to be honest
are shocked when they see me.
Those who think they haven’t sinned
are stirred up against me.
They think I’m ungodly.
But godly people will keep doing what is right.
Those who have clean hands will grow stronger.
“Come on, all of you! Try again!
I can’t find a wise person among you.
My life is almost over. My plans are destroyed.
Yet the desires of my heart
turn night into day.
Even though it’s dark,
‘Light is nearby.’
Suppose the only home I can hope for is a grave.
And suppose I make my bed in the darkness of death.
Suppose I say to the grave,
‘You are like a father to me.’
And suppose I say to its worms,
‘You are like a mother or sister to me.’
Then what hope do I have?
Who can give me any hope?
Will hope go down to the gates of death with me?
Will we go down together into the dust of the grave?”
The Second Speech of Bildad
Then Bildad the Shuhite replied,
“Job, when will you stop these speeches of yours?
Be reasonable! Then we can talk.
Why do you look at us as if we were cattle?
Why do you think of us as being stupid?
Your anger is tearing you to pieces.
Does the earth have to be deserted just to prove you are right?
Must all the rocks be moved from their places?
“The lamps of sinful people are blown out.
Their flames will never burn again.
The lights in their tents become dark.
The lamps beside those who are evil go out.
They walk more slowly than they used to.
Their own evil plans make them fall.
Their feet take them into a net.
They wander right into it.
A trap grabs hold of their heels.
It refuses to let them go.
A trap lies in their path.
A rope to catch them is hidden on the ground.
Terrors alarm them on every side.
They follow them every step of the way.
Trouble would like to eat them up.
Danger waits for them when they fall.
It eats away parts of their skin.
Death itself feeds on their arms and legs.
They are torn away from the safety of their tents.
They are marched off to the one who rules over death.
Fire races through their tents.
Burning sulfur is scattered over their homes.
Their roots dry up under them.
Their branches dry up above them.
No one on earth remembers them.
Their names are forgotten in the land.
They are driven from light into the place of darkness.
They are thrown out of the world.
Their family dies out among their people.
No one is left where they used to live.
What has happened to them shocks the people in the west.
It terrifies the people in the east.
Now you know what the homes of sinners are like.
Those who don’t know God live in places like that.”