1Then answered Eliphaz the Temanite, and said, 2Should a wise man utter vain knowledge, and fill his belly with the east wind?15.2 vain…: Heb. knowledge of wind 3Should he reason with unprofitable talk? or with speeches wherewith he can do no good? 4Yea, thou castest off fear, and restrainest prayer before God.15.4 castest…: Heb. makest void15.4 prayer: or, speech 5For thy mouth uttereth thine iniquity, and thou choosest the tongue of the crafty.15.5 uttereth: Heb. teacheth 6Thine own mouth condemneth thee, and not I: yea, thine own lips testify against thee. 7Art thou the first man that was born? or wast thou made before the hills? 8Hast thou heard the secret of God? and dost thou restrain wisdom to thyself? 9What knowest thou, that we know not? what understandest thou, which is not in us? 10With us are both the grayheaded and very aged men, much elder than thy father. 11Are the consolations of God small with thee? is there any secret thing with thee? 12Why doth thine heart carry thee away? and what do thy eyes wink at, 13That thou turnest thy spirit against God, and lettest such words go out of thy mouth? 14What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous? 15Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight. 16How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?
17I will shew thee, hear me; and that which I have seen I will declare; 18Which wise men have told from their fathers, and have not hid it: 19Unto whom alone the earth was given, and no stranger passed among them. 20The wicked man travaileth with pain all his days, and the number of years is hidden to the oppressor. 21A dreadful sound is in his ears: in prosperity the destroyer shall come upon him.15.21 A dreadful…: Heb. A sound of fears 22He believeth not that he shall return out of darkness, and he is waited for of the sword. 23He wandereth abroad for bread, saying, Where is it? he knoweth that the day of darkness is ready at his hand. 24Trouble and anguish shall make him afraid; they shall prevail against him, as a king ready to the battle. 25For he stretcheth out his hand against God, and strengtheneth himself against the Almighty. 26He runneth upon him, even on his neck, upon the thick bosses of his bucklers: 27Because he covereth his face with his fatness, and maketh collops of fat on his flanks. 28And he dwelleth in desolate cities, and in houses which no man inhabiteth, which are ready to become heaps. 29He shall not be rich, neither shall his substance continue, neither shall he prolong the perfection thereof upon the earth. 30He shall not depart out of darkness; the flame shall dry up his branches, and by the breath of his mouth shall he go away. 31Let not him that is deceived trust in vanity: for vanity shall be his recompence. 32It shall be accomplished before his time, and his branch shall not be green.15.32 accomplished: or, cut off 33He shall shake off his unripe grape as the vine, and shall cast off his flower as the olive. 34For the congregation of hypocrites shall be desolate, and fire shall consume the tabernacles of bribery. 35They conceive mischief, and bring forth vanity, and their belly prepareth deceit.15.35 vanity: or, iniquity
1Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:
2‘Would a wise person answer with empty notions
or fill their belly with the hot east wind?
3Would they argue with useless words,
with speeches that have no value?
4But you even undermine piety
and hinder devotion to God.
5Your sin prompts your mouth;
you adopt the tongue of the crafty.
6Your own mouth condemns you, not mine;
your own lips testify against you.
7‘Are you the first man ever born?
Were you brought forth before the hills?
8Do you listen in on God’s council?
Do you have a monopoly on wisdom?
9What do you know that we do not know?
What insights do you have that we do not have?
10The grey-haired and the aged are on our side,
men even older than your father.
11Are God’s consolations not enough for you,
words spoken gently to you?
12Why has your heart carried you away,
and why do your eyes flash,
13so that you vent your rage against God
and pour out such words from your mouth?
14‘What are mortals, that they could be pure,
or those born of woman, that they could be righteous?
15If God places no trust in his holy ones,
if even the heavens are not pure in his eyes,
16how much less mortals, who are vile and corrupt,
who drink up evil like water!
17‘Listen to me and I will explain to you;
let me tell you what I have seen,
18what the wise have declared,
hiding nothing received from their ancestors
19(to whom alone the land was given
when no foreigners moved among them):
20all his days the wicked man suffers torment,
the ruthless man through all the years stored up for him.
21Terrifying sounds fill his ears;
when all seems well, marauders attack him.
22He despairs of escaping the realm of darkness;
he is marked for the sword.
23He wanders about for food like a vulture;
he knows the day of darkness is at hand.
24Distress and anguish fill him with terror;
troubles overwhelm him, like a king poised to attack,
25because he shakes his fist at God
and vaunts himself against the Almighty,
26defiantly charging against him
with a thick, strong shield.
27‘Though his face is covered with fat
and his waist bulges with flesh,
28he will inhabit ruined towns
and houses where no-one lives,
houses crumbling to rubble.
29He will no longer be rich and his wealth will not endure,
nor will his possessions spread over the land.
30He will not escape the darkness;
a flame will wither his shoots,
and the breath of God’s mouth will carry him away.
31Let him not deceive himself by trusting what is worthless,
for he will get nothing in return.
32Before his time he will wither,
and his branches will not flourish.
33He will be like a vine stripped of its unripe grapes,
like an olive tree shedding its blossoms.
34For the company of the godless will be barren,
and fire will consume the tents of those who love bribes.
35They conceive trouble and give birth to evil;
their womb fashions deceit.’