Eliphaz Says Job Presumes Much
1Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered [Job] and said,
“Should a wise man [such as you] utter such windy and vain knowledge [as we have just heard]
And fill himself with the east wind [of withering, parching, and violent accusations]?
“Should he rebuke and argue with useless talk?
Or with words in which there is no benefit?
“Indeed, you are doing away with fear,
And you are diminishing meditation before God.
“For your guilt teaches your mouth,
And you choose [to speak] the language of the crafty and cunning.
“Your own mouth condemns you, and not I;
Yes, your own lips testify against you.
“Were you the first man to be born [the original wise man],
Or were you created before the hills?
“Do you hear the secret counsel of God,
And do you limit [the possession of] wisdom to yourself?
“What do you know that we do not know?
What do you understand that is not equally clear to us?
“Among us are both the gray-haired and the aged,
Older than your father.
“Are the consolations of God [as we have interpreted them to you] too trivial for you,
[Or] were we too gentle toward you [in our first speech] to be effective?
“Why does your heart carry you away [allowing you to be controlled by emotion]?
And why do your eyes flash [in anger or contempt],
That you should turn your spirit against God
And let such words [as you have spoken] go out of your mouth?
“What is man, that he should be pure and clean,
Or he who is born of a woman, that he should be righteous and just?
“Behold, God puts no trust in His holy ones (angels);
Indeed, the heavens are not pure in His sight—
How much less [pure and clean is] the one who is repulsive and corrupt,
Man, who drinks unrighteousness and injustice like water!
What Eliphaz Has Seen of Life
“I will tell you, listen to me;
And what I have seen I will also declare;
What wise men have [freely] told,
And have not hidden [anything passed on to them] from their fathers,
To whom alone the land was given,
And no stranger passed among them [corrupting the truth].
“The wicked man writhes with pain all his days,
And numbered are the years stored up for him, the ruthless one.
“A [dreadful] sound of terrors is in his ears;
While at peace and in a time of prosperity the destroyer comes upon him [the tent of the robber is not at peace].
“He does not believe that he will return out of the darkness [for fear of being murdered],
And he is destined for the sword [of God’s vengeance].
“He wanders about for food, saying, ‘Where is it?’
He knows that the day of darkness and destruction is already at hand.
“Distress and anxiety terrify him,
They overpower him like a king ready for battle.
“Because he has stretched out his hand against God
And behaves arrogantly against [a]the Almighty,
Running and charging headlong against Him
With his ornamented and massive shield;
For he has covered his face with his fat,
Adding layers of fat to his thighs [giving himself up to pleasures],
And he has lived in desolate [God-forsaken] cities,
In houses which no one should inhabit,
Which were destined to become heaps [of ruins];
He will not become rich, nor will his wealth endure;
And his grain will not bend to the earth nor his possessions be extended on the earth.
“He will not escape from darkness [fleeing disaster];
The flame [of God’s wrath] will wither his branch,
And by the blast of His mouth he will go away.
“Let him not trust in vanity (emptiness, futility) and be led astray;
For emptiness will be his [b]reward [for such living].
“It will be fulfilled while he still lives,
And his branch will not be green [but shall wither away].
“He will fail to bring his grapes to maturity [leaving them to wither unnourished] on the vine,
And will cast off blossoms [and fail to bring forth fruit] like the olive tree.
“For the company of the godless is barren,
And fire consumes the tents of bribery (wrong and injustice).
“They conceive mischief and bring forth wickedness,
And their inmost soul prepares deceit and fraud.”