Second Series of Speeches

Eliphaz Speaks

15 Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:

Does a wise man answer with empty[a] counsel(A)
or fill himself[b] with the hot east wind?
Should he argue(B) with useless talk
or with words that serve no good purpose?
But you even undermine the fear of God
and hinder meditation before him.
Your iniquity(C) teaches you what to say,
and you choose the language of the crafty.
Your own mouth condemns you, not I;
your own lips testify against you.(D)

Were you the first human ever born,
or were you brought forth before the hills?(E)
Do you listen in on the council of God,
or have a monopoly on wisdom?(F)
What do you know that we don’t?
What do you understand that is not clear to us?
10 Both the gray-haired and the elderly are with us—
older than your father.
11 Are God’s consolations not enough for you,
even the words that deal gently with you?
12 Why has your heart misled you,
and why do your eyes flash
13 as you turn your anger[c] against God
and allow such words to leave your mouth?

14 What is a mere human, that he should be pure,(G)
or one born of a woman, that he should be righteous?
15 If God puts no trust in his holy ones(H)
and the heavens are not pure in his sight,(I)
16 how much less one who is revolting and corrupt,(J)
who drinks injustice(K) like water?

17 Listen to me and I will inform you.
I will describe what I have seen,
18 what the wise have declared and not concealed,
that came from their ancestors,(L)
19 to whom alone the land was given
when no foreigner passed among them.
20 A wicked person writhes in pain all his days,
throughout the number of years reserved for the ruthless.
21 Dreadful sounds fill his ears;
when he is at peace, a robber attacks him.
22 He doesn’t believe he will return from darkness;
he is destined for the sword.(M)
23 He wanders about for food, asking, “Where is it?”
He knows the day of darkness is at hand.
24 Trouble(N) and distress terrify him,
overwhelming him like a king prepared for battle.
25 For he has stretched out his hand(O) against God
and has arrogantly opposed the Almighty.
26 He rushes headlong at him
with his thick, studded shields.
27 Though his face is covered with fat[d]
and his waistline bulges with it,
28 he will dwell in ruined cities,
in abandoned houses destined to become piles of rubble.(P)
29 He will no longer be rich; his wealth will not endure.
His possessions[e] will not increase in the land.
30 He will not escape from the darkness;
flames will wither his shoots,
and by the breath of God’s mouth, he will depart.(Q)
31 Let him not put trust in worthless things, being led astray,
for what he gets in exchange will prove worthless.
32 It will be accomplished before his time,
and his branch will not flourish.
33 He will be like a vine that drops its unripe grapes(R)
and like an olive tree that sheds its blossoms.
34 For the company of the godless(S) will have no children,
and fire will consume the tents of those who offer bribes.
35 They conceive trouble(T) and give birth to evil;
their womb(U) prepares deception.(V)

Footnotes

  1. 15:2 Lit windy; Jb 16:3
  2. 15:2 Lit his belly
  3. 15:13 Or spirit
  4. 15:27 Lit with his fat
  5. 15:29 Text emended; MT reads Their gain

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