15 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered:
2 “Does a wise man answer with blustery knowledge, 1
or fill his belly 2 with the east wind? 3
3 Does he argue 4 with useless 5 talk,
with words that have no value in them?
4 But you even break off 6 piety, 7
and hinder 8 meditation 9 before God.
5 Your sin inspires 10 your mouth;
you choose the language 11 of the crafty. 12
6 Your own mouth condemns 13 you, not I;
your own lips testify against 14 you.
7 “Were you the first man ever born?
Were you brought forth before the hills?
8 Do you listen in on God’s secret council? 15
Do you limit 16 wisdom to yourself?
9 What do you know that we don’t know?
What do you understand that we don’t understand? 17
10 The gray-haired 18 and the aged are on our side, 19
men far older than your father. 20
11 Are God’s consolations 21 too trivial for you; 22
or a word spoken 23 in gentleness to you?
12 Why 24 has your heart carried you away, 25
and why do your eyes flash, 26
13 when you turn your rage 27 against God
and allow such words to escape 28 from your mouth?
14 What is man that he should be pure,
or one born of woman, that he should be righteous?
15 If God places no trust in his holy ones, 29
if even the heavens 30 are not pure in his eyes,
16 how much less man, who is abominable and corrupt, 31
who drinks in evil like water! 32
17 “I will explain to you;
listen to me,
and what 33 I have seen, I will declare, 34
18 what wise men declare,
from the tradition of 35 their ancestors, 36
19 to whom alone the land was given
when no foreigner passed among them. 37
20 All his days 38 the wicked man suffers torment, 39
throughout the number of the years
that 40 are stored up for the tyrant. 41
21 Terrifying sounds fill 42 his ears;
in a time of peace marauders 43 attack him.
22 He does not expect 44 to escape from darkness; 45
he is marked for the sword; 46
23 he wanders about – food for vultures; 47
he knows that the day of darkness is at hand. 48
24 Distress and anguish 49 terrify him;
they prevail against him
like a king ready to launch an attack, 50
25 for he stretches out his hand against God, 51
and vaunts himself 52 against the Almighty,
26 defiantly charging against him 53
with a thick, strong shield! 54
27 Because he covered his face with fat, 55
and made 56 his hips bulge with fat, 57
28 he lived in ruined towns 58
and in houses where 59 no one lives,
where they are ready to crumble into heaps. 60
29 He will not grow rich,
and his wealth will not endure,
nor will his possessions 61 spread over the land.
30 He will not escape the darkness; 62
a flame will wither his shoots
and he will depart
by the breath of God’s mouth. 63
31 Let him not trust in what is worthless, 64
for worthlessness will be his reward. 65
32 Before his time 66 he will be paid in full, 67
and his branches will not flourish. 68
33 Like a vine he will let his sour grapes fall, 69
and like an olive tree
he will shed his blossoms. 70
34 For the company of the godless is barren, 71
and fire 72 consumes the tents of those who accept bribes. 73
35 They conceive 74 trouble and bring forth evil;
their belly 75 prepares deception.”
16 Then Job replied:
2 “I have heard many things like these before.
What miserable comforters 1 are you all!
3 Will 2 there be an end to your 3 windy words? 4
Or what provokes 5 you that you answer? 6
4 I also could speak 7 like you,
if 8 you were in my place;
I could pile up 9 words against you
and I could shake my head at you. 10
5 But 11 I would strengthen 12 you with my words; 13
comfort from my lips would bring 14 you relief.
6 “But 15 if I speak, my pain is not relieved, 16
and if I refrain from speaking
– how 17 much of it goes away?
7 Surely now he 18 has worn me out,
you have devastated my entire household.
8 You have seized me, 19
and it 20 has become a witness;
my leanness 21 has risen up against me
and testifies against me.
9 His 22 anger has torn me 23 and persecuted 24 me;
he has gnashed at me with his teeth;
my adversary locks 25 his eyes on me.
10 People 26 have opened their mouths against me,
they have struck my cheek in scorn; 27
they unite 28 together against me.
11 God abandons me to evil 29 men, 30
and throws 31 me into the hands of wicked men.
12 I was in peace, and he has shattered me. 32
He has seized me by the neck and crushed me. 33
He has made me his target;
13 his archers 34 surround me.
Without pity 35 he pierces 36 my kidneys
and pours out my gall 37 on the ground.
14 He breaks through against me, time and time again; 38
he rushes 39 against me like a warrior.
15 I have sewed sackcloth on my skin, 40
and buried 41 my horn 42 in the dust;
16 my face is reddened 43 because of weeping, 44
and on my eyelids there is a deep darkness, 45
17 although 46 there is no violence in my hands
and my prayer is pure.
18 “O earth, do not cover my blood, 47
nor let there be a secret 48 place for my cry.
19 Even now my witness 49 is in heaven;
my advocate 50 is on high.
20 My intercessor is my friend 51
as my eyes pour out 52 tears to God;
21 and 53 he contends with God on behalf of man
as a man 54 pleads 55 for his friend.
22 For the years that lie ahead are few, 56
and then I will go on the way of no return. 57
17 My spirit is broken, 1
my days have faded out, 2
the grave 3 awaits me.
2 Surely mockery 4 is with me; 5
my eyes must dwell on their hostility. 6
3 Make then my pledge 7 with you.
Who else will put up security for me? 8
4 Because 9 you have closed their 10 minds to understanding,
therefore you will not exalt them. 11
5 If a man denounces his friends for personal gain, 12
the eyes of his children will fail.
6 He has made me 13 a byword 14 to people,
I am the one in whose face they spit. 15
7 My eyes have grown dim 16 with grief;
my whole frame 17 is but a shadow.
8 Upright men are appalled 18 at this;
the innocent man is troubled 19 with the godless.
9 But the righteous man holds to his way,
and the one with clean hands grows stronger. 20
10 “But turn, all of you, 21 and come 22 now! 23
I will not find a wise man among you.
11 My days have passed, my plans 24 are shattered,
even 25 the desires 26 of my heart.
12 These men 27 change 28 night into day;
they say, 29 ‘The light is near
in the face of darkness.’ 30
13 If 31 I hope for the grave to be my home,
if I spread out my bed in darkness,
14 If I cry 32 to corruption, 33 ‘You are my father,’
and to the worm, ‘My Mother,’ or ‘My sister,’
15 where then 34 is my hope?
And my hope, 35 who sees it?
16 Will 36 it 37 go down to the barred gates 38 of death?
Will 39 we descend 40 together into the dust?”