Then Bildad the Shuhite answered:
“How long will you say these things,
and the words of your mouth be a great wind?
Does God pervert justice?
Or does the Almighty pervert the right?
If your children sinned against him,
he delivered them into the power of their transgression.
If you will seek God
and make supplication to the Almighty,
if you are pure and upright,
surely then he will rouse himself for you
and restore to you your rightful place.
Though your beginning was small,
your latter days will be very great.
“For inquire now of bygone generations,
and consider what their ancestors have found;
for we are but of yesterday, and we know nothing,
for our days on earth are but a shadow.
Will they not teach you and tell you
and utter words out of their understanding?
“Can papyrus grow where there is no marsh?
Can reeds flourish where there is no water?
While yet in flower and not cut down,
they wither before any other plant.
Such are the paths of all who forget God;
the hope of the godless shall perish.
Their confidence is gossamer,
a spider’s house their trust.
If one leans against its house, it will not stand;
if one lays hold of it, it will not endure.
The wicked thrive before the sun,
and their shoots spread over the garden.
Their roots twine around the stoneheap;
they live among the rocks.
If they are destroyed from their place,
then it will deny them, saying, ‘I have never seen you.’
See, these are their happy ways,
and out of the earth still others will spring.
“See, God will not reject a blameless person,
nor take the hand of evildoers.
He will yet fill your mouth with laughter,
and your lips with shouts of joy.
Those who hate you will be clothed with shame,
and the tent of the wicked will be no more.”
Then Job answered:
“Indeed I know that this is so;
but how can a mortal be just before God?
“A mortal, born of woman, few of days and full of trouble,
comes up like a flower and withers,
flees like a shadow and does not last.
Do you fix your eyes on such a one?
Do you bring me into judgment with you?
Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?
No one can.
Since their days are determined,
and the number of their months is known to you,
and you have appointed the bounds that they cannot pass,
look away from them, and desist,
that they may enjoy, like laborers, their days.
“For there is hope for a tree,
if it is cut down, that it will sprout again,
and that its shoots will not cease.
Though its root grows old in the earth,
and its stump dies in the ground,
yet at the scent of water it will bud
and put forth branches like a young plant.
But mortals die, and are laid low;
humans expire, and where are they?
As waters fail from a lake,
and a river wastes away and dries up,
so mortals lie down and do not rise again;
until the heavens are no more, they will not awake
or be roused out of their sleep.
O that you would hide me in Sheol,
that you would conceal me until your wrath is past,
that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me!
If mortals die, will they live again?
All the days of my service I would wait
until my release should come.
You would call, and I would answer you;
you would long for the work of your hands.
For then you would not number my steps,
you would not keep watch over my sin;
my transgression would be sealed up in a bag,
and you would cover over my iniquity.
“But the mountain falls and crumbles away,
and the rock is removed from its place;
the waters wear away the stones;
the torrents wash away the soil of the earth;
so you destroy the hope of mortals.
You prevail forever against them, and they pass away;
you change their countenance, and send them away.
Their children come to honor, and they do not know it;
they are brought low, and it goes unnoticed.
They feel only the pain of their own bodies,
and mourn only for themselves.”
Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered:
“Should the wise answer with windy knowledge,
and fill themselves with the east wind?
Should they argue in unprofitable talk,
or in words with which they can do no good?
But you are doing away with the fear of God,
and hindering meditation before God.
For your iniquity teaches your mouth,
and you choose the tongue of the crafty.
Your own mouth condemns you, and not I;
your own lips testify against you.
“Are you the firstborn of the human race?
Were you brought forth before the hills?
Have you listened in the council of God?
And do you limit wisdom to yourself?
What do you know that we do not know?
What do you understand that is not clear to us?
The gray-haired and the aged are on our side,
those older than your father.
Are the consolations of God too small for you,
or the word that deals gently with you?
Why does your heart carry you away,
and why do your eyes flash,
so that you turn your spirit against God,
and let such words go out of your mouth?
What are mortals, that they can be clean?
Or those born of woman, that they can be righteous?
God puts no trust even in his holy ones,
and the heavens are not clean in his sight;
how much less one who is abominable and corrupt,
one who drinks iniquity like water!
“I will show you; listen to me;
what I have seen I will declare—
what sages have told,
and their ancestors have not hidden,
to whom alone the land was given,
and no stranger passed among them.
The wicked writhe in pain all their days,
through all the years that are laid up for the ruthless.
Terrifying sounds are in their ears;
in prosperity the destroyer will come upon them.
They despair of returning from darkness,
and they are destined for the sword.
They wander abroad for bread, saying, ‘Where is it?’
They know that a day of darkness is ready at hand;
distress and anguish terrify them;
they prevail against them, like a king prepared for battle.
Because they stretched out their hands against God,
and bid defiance to the Almighty,
running stubbornly against him
with a thick-bossed shield;
because they have covered their faces with their fat,
and gathered fat upon their loins,
they will live in desolate cities,
in houses that no one should inhabit,
houses destined to become heaps of ruins;
they will not be rich, and their wealth will not endure,
nor will they strike root in the earth;
they will not escape from darkness;
the flame will dry up their shoots,
and their blossom will be swept away by the wind.
Let them not trust in emptiness, deceiving themselves;
for emptiness will be their recompense.
It will be paid in full before their time,
and their branch will not be green.
They will shake off their unripe grape, like the vine,
and cast off their blossoms, like the olive tree.
For the company of the godless is barren,
and fire consumes the tents of bribery.
They conceive mischief and bring forth evil
and their heart prepares deceit.”
Then Job answered:
“I have heard many such things;
miserable comforters are you all.
Have windy words no limit?
Or what provokes you that you keep on talking?
I also could talk as you do,
if you were in my place;
I could join words together against you,
and shake my head at you.
I could encourage you with my mouth,
and the solace of my lips would assuage your pain.
“If I speak, my pain is not assuaged,
and if I forbear, how much of it leaves me?
Surely now God has worn me out;
he has made desolate all my company.
And he has shriveled me up,
which is a witness against me;
my leanness has risen up against me,
and it testifies to my face.
He has torn me in his wrath, and hated me;
he has gnashed his teeth at me;
my adversary sharpens his eyes against me.
They have gaped at me with their mouths;
they have struck me insolently on the cheek;
they mass themselves together against me.
God gives me up to the ungodly,
and casts me into the hands of the wicked.
I was at ease, and he broke me in two;
he seized me by the neck and dashed me to pieces;
he set me up as his target;
his archers surround me.
He slashes open my kidneys, and shows no mercy;
he pours out my gall on the ground.
He bursts upon me again and again;
he rushes at me like a warrior.
I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin,
and have laid my strength in the dust.
My face is red with weeping,
and deep darkness is on my eyelids,
though there is no violence in my hands,
and my prayer is pure.
“O earth, do not cover my blood;
let my outcry find no resting place.
Even now, in fact, my witness is in heaven,
and he that vouches for me is on high.
My friends scorn me;
my eye pours out tears to God,
that he would maintain the right of a mortal with God,
as one does for a neighbor.
For when a few years have come,
I shall go the way from which I shall not return.
Then Job answered:
“How long will you torment me,
and break me in pieces with words?
These ten times you have cast reproach upon me;
are you not ashamed to wrong me?
And even if it is true that I have erred,
my error remains with me.
If indeed you magnify yourselves against me,
and make my humiliation an argument against me,
know then that God has put me in the wrong,
and closed his net around me.
Even when I cry out, ‘Violence!’ I am not answered;
I call aloud, but there is no justice.
He has walled up my way so that I cannot pass,
and he has set darkness upon my paths.
He has stripped my glory from me,
and taken the crown from my head.
He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone,
he has uprooted my hope like a tree.
He has kindled his wrath against me,
and counts me as his adversary.
His troops come on together;
they have thrown up siegeworks against me,
and encamp around my tent.
“He has put my family far from me,
and my acquaintances are wholly estranged from me.
My relatives and my close friends have failed me;
the guests in my house have forgotten me;
my serving girls count me as a stranger;
I have become an alien in their eyes.
I call to my servant, but he gives me no answer;
I must myself plead with him.
My breath is repulsive to my wife;
I am loathsome to my own family.
Even young children despise me;
when I rise, they talk against me.
All my intimate friends abhor me,
and those whom I loved have turned against me.
My bones cling to my skin and to my flesh,
and I have escaped by the skin of my teeth.
Have pity on me, have pity on me, O you my friends,
for the hand of God has touched me!
Why do you, like God, pursue me,
never satisfied with my flesh?
“O that my words were written down!
O that they were inscribed in a book!
O that with an iron pen and with lead
they were engraved on a rock forever!
For I know that my Redeemer lives,
and that at the last he will stand upon the earth;
and after my skin has been thus destroyed,
then in my flesh I shall see God,
whom I shall see on my side,
and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
My heart faints within me!
If you say, ‘How we will persecute him!’
and, ‘The root of the matter is found in him’;
be afraid of the sword,
for wrath brings the punishment of the sword,
so that you may know there is a judgment.”
Then Zophar the Naamathite answered:
“Pay attention! My thoughts urge me to answer,
because of the agitation within me.
I hear censure that insults me,
and a spirit beyond my understanding answers me.
Do you not know this from of old,
ever since mortals were placed on earth,
that the exulting of the wicked is short,
and the joy of the godless is but for a moment?
Even though they mount up high as the heavens,
and their head reaches to the clouds,
they will perish forever like their own dung;
those who have seen them will say, ‘Where are they?’
They will fly away like a dream, and not be found;
they will be chased away like a vision of the night.
The eye that saw them will see them no more,
nor will their place behold them any longer.
Their children will seek the favor of the poor,
and their hands will give back their wealth.
Their bodies, once full of youth,
will lie down in the dust with them.
“Though wickedness is sweet in their mouth,
though they hide it under their tongues,
though they are loath to let it go,
and hold it in their mouths,
yet their food is turned in their stomachs;
it is the venom of asps within them.
They swallow down riches and vomit them up again;
God casts them out of their bellies.
They will suck the poison of asps;
the tongue of a viper will kill them.
They will not look on the rivers,
the streams flowing with honey and curds.
They will give back the fruit of their toil,
and will not swallow it down;
from the profit of their trading
they will get no enjoyment.
For they have crushed and abandoned the poor,
they have seized a house that they did not build.
“They knew no quiet in their bellies;
in their greed they let nothing escape.
There was nothing left after they had eaten;
therefore their prosperity will not endure.
In full sufficiency they will be in distress;
all the force of misery will come upon them.
To fill their belly to the full
God will send his fierce anger into them,
and rain it upon them as their food.
They will flee from an iron weapon;
a bronze arrow will strike them through.
It is drawn forth and comes out of their body,
and the glittering point comes out of their gall;
terrors come upon them.
Utter darkness is laid up for their treasures;
a fire fanned by no one will devour them;
what is left in their tent will be consumed.
The heavens will reveal their iniquity,
and the earth will rise up against them.
The possessions of their house will be carried away,
dragged off in the day of God’s wrath.
This is the portion of the wicked from God,
the heritage decreed for them by God.”
So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Then Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became angry. He was angry at Job because he justified himself rather than God; he was angry also at Job’s three friends because they had found no answer, though they had declared Job to be in the wrong. Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job, because they were older than he. But when Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouths of these three men, he became angry.
Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite answered:
“I am young in years,
and you are aged;
therefore I was timid and afraid
to declare my opinion to you.
I said, ‘Let days speak,
and many years teach wisdom.’
But truly it is the spirit in a mortal,
the breath of the Almighty, that makes for understanding.
It is not the old that are wise,
nor the aged that understand what is right.
Therefore I say, ‘Listen to me;
let me also declare my opinion.’
“See, I waited for your words,
I listened for your wise sayings,
while you searched out what to say.
I gave you my attention,
but there was in fact no one that confuted Job,
no one among you that answered his words.
Yet do not say, ‘We have found wisdom;
God may vanquish him, not a human.’
He has not directed his words against me,
and I will not answer him with your speeches.
“They are dismayed, they answer no more;
they have not a word to say.
And am I to wait, because they do not speak,
because they stand there, and answer no more?
I also will give my answer;
I also will declare my opinion.
For I am full of words;
the spirit within me constrains me.
My heart is indeed like wine that has no vent;
like new wineskins, it is ready to burst.
I must speak, so that I may find relief;
I must open my lips and answer.
I will not show partiality to any person
or use flattery toward anyone.
For I do not know how to flatter—
or my Maker would soon put an end to me!
“But now, hear my speech, O Job,
and listen to all my words.
See, I open my mouth;
the tongue in my mouth speaks.
My words declare the uprightness of my heart,
and what my lips know they speak sincerely.
The spirit of God has made me,
and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
Answer me, if you can;
set your words in order before me; take your stand.
See, before God I am as you are;
I too was formed from a piece of clay.
No fear of me need terrify you;
my pressure will not be heavy on you.
“Surely, you have spoken in my hearing,
and I have heard the sound of your words.
You say, ‘I am clean, without transgression;
I am pure, and there is no iniquity in me.
Look, he finds occasions against me,
he counts me as his enemy;
he puts my feet in the stocks,
and watches all my paths.’
“But in this you are not right. I will answer you:
God is greater than any mortal.
Why do you contend against him,
saying, ‘He will answer none of my words’?
For God speaks in one way,
and in two, though people do not perceive it.
In a dream, in a vision of the night,
when deep sleep falls on mortals,
while they slumber on their beds,
then he opens their ears,
and terrifies them with warnings,
that he may turn them aside from their deeds,
and keep them from pride,
to spare their souls from the Pit,
their lives from traversing the River.
They are also chastened with pain upon their beds,
and with continual strife in their bones,
so that their lives loathe bread,
and their appetites dainty food.
Their flesh is so wasted away that it cannot be seen;
and their bones, once invisible, now stick out.
Their souls draw near the Pit,
and their lives to those who bring death.
Then, if there should be for one of them an angel,
a mediator, one of a thousand,
one who declares a person upright,
and he is gracious to that person, and says,
‘Deliver him from going down into the Pit;
I have found a ransom;
let his flesh become fresh with youth;
let him return to the days of his youthful vigor’;
then he prays to God, and is accepted by him,
he comes into his presence with joy,
and God repays him for his righteousness.
That person sings to others and says,
‘I sinned, and perverted what was right,
and it was not paid back to me.
He has redeemed my soul from going down to the Pit,
and my life shall see the light.’
“God indeed does all these things,
twice, three times, with mortals,
to bring back their souls from the Pit,
so that they may see the light of life.
Pay heed, Job, listen to me;
be silent, and I will speak.
If you have anything to say, answer me;
speak, for I desire to justify you.
If not, listen to me;
be silent, and I will teach you wisdom.”
Then Elihu continued and said:
“Hear my words, you wise men,
and give ear to me, you who know;
for the ear tests words
as the palate tastes food.
Let us choose what is right;
let us determine among ourselves what is good.
For Job has said, ‘I am innocent,
and God has taken away my right;
in spite of being right I am counted a liar;
my wound is incurable, though I am without transgression.’
Who is there like Job,
who drinks up scoffing like water,
who goes in company with evildoers
and walks with the wicked?
For he has said, ‘It profits one nothing
to take delight in God.’
“Therefore, hear me, you who have sense,
far be it from God that he should do wickedness,
and from the Almighty that he should do wrong.
For according to their deeds he will repay them,
and according to their ways he will make it befall them.
Of a truth, God will not do wickedly,
and the Almighty will not pervert justice.
Who gave him charge over the earth
and who laid on him the whole world?
If he should take back his spirit to himself,
and gather to himself his breath,
all flesh would perish together,
and all mortals return to dust.
“If you have understanding, hear this;
listen to what I say.
Shall one who hates justice govern?
Will you condemn one who is righteous and mighty,
who says to a king, ‘You scoundrel!’
and to princes, ‘You wicked men!’;
who shows no partiality to nobles,
nor regards the rich more than the poor,
for they are all the work of his hands?
In a moment they die;
at midnight the people are shaken and pass away,
and the mighty are taken away by no human hand.
“For his eyes are upon the ways of mortals,
and he sees all their steps.
There is no gloom or deep darkness
where evildoers may hide themselves.
For he has not appointed a time for anyone
to go before God in judgment.
He shatters the mighty without investigation,
and sets others in their place.
Thus, knowing their works,
he overturns them in the night, and they are crushed.
He strikes them for their wickedness
while others look on,
because they turned aside from following him,
and had no regard for any of his ways,
so that they caused the cry of the poor to come to him,
and he heard the cry of the afflicted—
When he is quiet, who can condemn?
When he hides his face, who can behold him,
whether it be a nation or an individual?—
so that the godless should not reign,
or those who ensnare the people.
“For has anyone said to God,
‘I have endured punishment; I will not offend any more;
teach me what I do not see;
if I have done iniquity, I will do it no more’?
Will he then pay back to suit you,
because you reject it?
For you must choose, and not I;
therefore declare what you know.
Those who have sense will say to me,
and the wise who hear me will say,
‘Job speaks without knowledge,
his words are without insight.’
Would that Job were tried to the limit,
because his answers are those of the wicked.
For he adds rebellion to his sin;
he claps his hands among us,
and multiplies his words against God.”
Elihu continued and said:
“Do you think this to be just?
You say, ‘I am in the right before God.’
If you ask, ‘What advantage have I?
How am I better off than if I had sinned?’
I will answer you
and your friends with you.
Look at the heavens and see;
observe the clouds, which are higher than you.
If you have sinned, what do you accomplish against him?
And if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to him?
If you are righteous, what do you give to him;
or what does he receive from your hand?
Your wickedness affects others like you,
and your righteousness, other human beings.
“Because of the multitude of oppressions people cry out;
they call for help because of the arm of the mighty.
But no one says, ‘Where is God my Maker,
who gives strength in the night,
who teaches us more than the animals of the earth,
and makes us wiser than the birds of the air?’
There they cry out, but he does not answer,
because of the pride of evildoers.
Surely God does not hear an empty cry,
nor does the Almighty regard it.
How much less when you say that you do not see him,
that the case is before him, and you are waiting for him!
And now, because his anger does not punish,
and he does not greatly heed transgression,
Job opens his mouth in empty talk,
he multiplies words without knowledge.”
Published: 10/23/2017 10:15 AM
Elizabeth does not take no for an answer. She's determined, driven, and does not give up. If you need someone in your corner, I'd suggest Elizabeth. She goes to bat for the things and people she believes in, and she's notorious for getting things done. She's loud but listens well. She's sarcastic but supportive, confident but willing to learn. Elizabeth is a pastor, preacher, teacher and in her spare time a wife and mother to three kids. She loves to share a good meal, but be forewarned, she'll definitely be late.
He brings his own french press coffee with him wherever he goes, but happily shares it with anyone who needs a pick me up. His dreads have a power all their own. He'll call you on your BS, but in a way that makes you grateful for his wisdom. He's the guy you want to hang out with over any kind of beverage. His favorite non-holiday is Pentecost, and the Holy Spirit is his jam. He's a pastor, a wise-man, a husband, a father of two girls, a caffeine addict, a native Missourian, and an advocate for justice. He hates wearing shoes.
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