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 person 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,
men 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 man, that he should be pure,(G)
or one born of 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 was declared by wise men
and was not suppressed by their ancestors,(L)
19 the land was given to them alone
when no foreigner passed among them.
20 A wicked man writhes in pain all his days;
only a few[d] years are 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, saying, “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[e]
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[f] 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. Job 15:2 Lit windy; Jb 16:3
  2. Job 15:2 Lit his belly
  3. Job 15:13 Or spirit
  4. Job 15:20 Lit the number of
  5. Job 15:27 Lit with his fat
  6. Job 15:29 Text emended; MT reads their gain

Eliphaz

15 Then Eliphaz the Temanite(A) replied:

“Would a wise person answer with empty notions
    or fill their belly with the hot east wind?(B)
Would they argue with useless words,
    with speeches that have no value?(C)
But you even undermine piety
    and hinder devotion to God.(D)
Your sin(E) prompts your mouth;(F)
    you adopt the tongue of the crafty.(G)
Your own mouth condemns you, not mine;
    your own lips testify against you.(H)

“Are you the first man ever born?(I)
    Were you brought forth before the hills?(J)
Do you listen in on God’s council?(K)
    Do you have a monopoly on wisdom?(L)
What do you know that we do not know?
    What insights do you have that we do not have?(M)
10 The gray-haired and the aged(N) are on our side,
    men even older than your father.(O)
11 Are God’s consolations(P) not enough for you,
    words(Q) spoken gently to you?(R)
12 Why has your heart(S) carried you away,
    and why do your eyes flash,
13 so that you vent your rage(T) against God
    and pour out such words(U) from your mouth?(V)

14 “What are mortals, that they could be pure,
    or those born of woman,(W) that they could be righteous?(X)
15 If God places no trust in his holy ones,(Y)
    if even the heavens are not pure in his eyes,(Z)
16 how much less mortals, who are vile and corrupt,(AA)
    who drink up evil(AB) like water!(AC)

17 “Listen to me and I will explain to you;
    let me tell you what I have seen,(AD)
18 what the wise have declared,
    hiding nothing received from their ancestors(AE)
19 (to whom alone the land(AF) was given
    when no foreigners moved among them):
20 All his days the wicked man suffers torment,(AG)
    the ruthless man through all the years stored up for him.(AH)
21 Terrifying sounds fill his ears;(AI)
    when all seems well, marauders attack him.(AJ)
22 He despairs of escaping the realm of darkness;(AK)
    he is marked for the sword.(AL)
23 He wanders about(AM) for food like a vulture;(AN)
    he knows the day of darkness(AO) is at hand.(AP)
24 Distress and anguish(AQ) fill him with terror;(AR)
    troubles overwhelm him, like a king(AS) poised to attack,
25 because he shakes his fist(AT) at God
    and vaunts himself against the Almighty,(AU)
26 defiantly charging against him
    with a thick, strong shield.(AV)

27 “Though his face is covered with fat
    and his waist bulges with flesh,(AW)
28 he will inhabit ruined towns
    and houses where no one lives,(AX)
    houses crumbling to rubble.(AY)
29 He will no longer be rich and his wealth will not endure,(AZ)
    nor will his possessions spread over the land.(BA)
30 He will not escape the darkness;(BB)
    a flame(BC) will wither his shoots,(BD)
    and the breath of God’s mouth(BE) will carry him away.(BF)
31 Let him not deceive(BG) himself by trusting what is worthless,(BH)
    for he will get nothing in return.(BI)
32 Before his time(BJ) he will wither,(BK)
    and his branches will not flourish.(BL)
33 He will be like a vine stripped of its unripe grapes,(BM)
    like an olive tree shedding its blossoms.(BN)
34 For the company of the godless(BO) will be barren,
    and fire will consume(BP) the tents of those who love bribes.(BQ)
35 They conceive trouble(BR) and give birth to evil;(BS)
    their womb fashions deceit.”

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