Then Elihu said:
“Do you think this is just?
You say, ‘I am in the right, not God.’
Yet you ask him, ‘What profit is it to me,35:3 Or you
and what do I gain by not sinning?’
“I would like to reply to you
and to your friends with you.
Look up at the heavens and see;
gaze at the clouds so high above you.
If you sin, how does that affect him?
If your sins are many, what does that do to him?
If you are righteous, what do you give to him,
or what does he receive from your hand?
Your wickedness only affects humans like yourself,
and your righteousness only other people.
“People cry out under a load of oppression;
they plead for relief from the arm of the powerful.
But no one says, ‘Where is God my Maker,
who gives songs in the night,
who teaches us more than he teaches35:10,11 Or night, / 11 who teaches us by the beasts of the earth
and makes us wiser than35:11 Or us wise by the birds in the sky?’
He does not answer when people cry out
because of the arrogance of the wicked.
Indeed, God does not listen to their empty plea;
the Almighty pays no attention to it.
How much less, then, will he listen
when you say that you do not see him,
that your case is before him
and you must wait for him,
and further, that his anger never punishes
and he does not take the least notice of wickedness.35:15 Symmachus, Theodotion and Vulgate; the meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
So Job opens his mouth with empty talk;
without knowledge he multiplies words.”
“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;
I will ascribe justice to my Maker.
Be assured that my words are not false;
one who has perfect knowledge is with you.
“God is mighty, but despises no one;
he is mighty, and firm in his purpose.
He does not keep the wicked alive
but gives the afflicted their rights.
He does not take his eyes off the righteous;
he enthrones them with kings
and exalts them forever.
But if people are bound in chains,
held fast by cords of affliction,
he tells them what they have done—
that they have sinned arrogantly.
He makes them listen to correction
and commands them to repent of their evil.
If they obey and serve him,
they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity
and their years in contentment.
But if they do not listen,
they will perish by the sword36:12 Or will cross the river
and die without knowledge.
“The godless in heart harbor resentment;
even when he fetters them, they do not cry for help.
They die in their youth,
among male prostitutes of the shrines.
But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering;
he speaks to them in their affliction.
“He is wooing you from the jaws of distress
to a spacious place free from restriction,
to the comfort of your table laden with choice food.
But now you are laden with the judgment due the wicked;
judgment and justice have taken hold of you.
Be careful that no one entices you by riches;
do not let a large bribe turn you aside.
Would your wealth or even all your mighty efforts
sustain you so you would not be in distress?
Do not long for the night,
to drag people away from their homes.36:20 The meaning of the Hebrew for verses 18-20 is uncertain.
Beware of turning to evil,
which you seem to prefer to affliction.
“God is exalted in his power.
Who is a teacher like him?
Who has prescribed his ways for him,
or said to him, ‘You have done wrong’?
Remember to extol his work,
which people have praised in song.
All humanity has seen it;
mortals gaze on it from afar.
How great is God—beyond our understanding!
The number of his years is past finding out.
“He draws up the drops of water,
which distill as rain to the streams36:27 Or distill from the mist as rain;
the clouds pour down their moisture
and abundant showers fall on mankind.
Who can understand how he spreads out the clouds,
how he thunders from his pavilion?
See how he scatters his lightning about him,
bathing the depths of the sea.
This is the way he governs36:31 Or nourishes the nations
and provides food in abundance.
He fills his hands with lightning
and commands it to strike its mark.
His thunder announces the coming storm;
even the cattle make known its approach.36:33 Or announces his coming— / the One zealous against evil
“At this my heart pounds
and leaps from its place.
Listen! Listen to the roar of his voice,
to the rumbling that comes from his mouth.
He unleashes his lightning beneath the whole heaven
and sends it to the ends of the earth.
After that comes the sound of his roar;
he thunders with his majestic voice.
When his voice resounds,
he holds nothing back.
God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways;
he does great things beyond our understanding.
He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’
and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’
So that everyone he has made may know his work,
he stops all people from their labor.37:7 Or work, / he fills all people with fear by his power
The animals take cover;
they remain in their dens.
The tempest comes out from its chamber,
the cold from the driving winds.
The breath of God produces ice,
and the broad waters become frozen.
He loads the clouds with moisture;
he scatters his lightning through them.
At his direction they swirl around
over the face of the whole earth
to do whatever he commands them.
He brings the clouds to punish people,
or to water his earth and show his love.
“Listen to this, Job;
stop and consider God’s wonders.
Do you know how God controls the clouds
and makes his lightning flash?
Do you know how the clouds hang poised,
those wonders of him who has perfect knowledge?
You who swelter in your clothes
when the land lies hushed under the south wind,
can you join him in spreading out the skies,
hard as a mirror of cast bronze?
“Tell us what we should say to him;
we cannot draw up our case because of our darkness.
Should he be told that I want to speak?
Would anyone ask to be swallowed up?
Now no one can look at the sun,
bright as it is in the skies
after the wind has swept them clean.
Out of the north he comes in golden splendor;
God comes in awesome majesty.
The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power;
in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress.
Therefore, people revere him,
for does he not have regard for all the wise in heart?37:24 Or for he does not have regard for any who think they are wise.”