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Job - Chapter 34

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1 Elihu continued his speech. He said:

2 And now, you sages, listen to what I say, lend me your ears, you learned men.

3 The ear distinguishes the value of what is said, just as the palate can tell one food from another.

4 Let us consider together God's ruling and decide what we all mean by good.

5 Job has been saying, 'I am upright and God denies me fair judgement.

6 My judge is treating me cruelly, my wound is incurable, for no fault of mine.'

7 Can anyone else exist like Job, who laps up mockery like water,

8 who consorts with evil-doers and marches in step with the wicked?

9 Did he not say, 'No one derives any benefit from enjoying the society of God'?

10 Listen to me then, like intelligent people. Far be evil from God or injustice from Shaddai!

11 For he pays people back for what they do, treating each as his own conduct deserves.

12 Be sure of it: God never does wrong, Shaddai does not pervert what is just.

13 Did someone else entrust the world to his care was he given charge of the universe by someone else?

14 If he were to recall his spirit, to concentrate his breath back in himself,

15 all flesh would instantly perish and all people would return to dust.

16 If you have any intelligence, listen to this, lend your ear to the sound of my words.

17 Could an enemy of fair judgement ever govern? Would you dare condemn the Upright One, the Almighty,

18 who says to a king, 'You are a scoundrel!' and to nobles, 'You are wicked!',

19 who is unimpressed by princes and makes no distinction between rich and poor, since all alike have been made by him?

20 They die suddenly, at dead of night, they perish -- these great ones -- and disappear: it costs him no effort to remove a tyrant.

21 For his eyes keep watch on human ways, and he observes every step.

22 No darkness, no shadow dark as death where wrong-doers can hide!

23 He serves no writ on anyone, no summons to appear before God's court:

24 he breaks the powerful without enquiry and sets up others in their places.

25 He knows the sort of things they do! He overthrows them at night, to be trampled on.

26 He beats them like criminals chained up for all to see,

27 since they have turned their backs on him, having understood so little of his ways

28 as to make the cries of the weak rise to him and let him hear the appeal of the afflicted.

29 But if he is still silent and no one can move him, if he veils his face, so that no one can see him, he is taking pity on nations and individuals,

30 is setting some wrong-doer free from the meshes of affliction.

31 When such a one says to God, 'I was misled, I shall not do wrong any more;

32 although I have sinned, instruct me; although I did wrong, I will not do it again,'

33 in your opinion, should he punish such a one -- you who have rejected his decisions? This is for you to decide -- not for me!- so kindly enlighten us!

34 Ordinary sensible people, however, will say to me, and so will any sage who has been listening to me,

35 'Job's words are spoken without any knowledge, what he says shows no intelligence.

36 Kindly examine him thoroughly, since his answers imply that he is a criminal.

37 For to his sin he now adds rebellion, bringing law to an end among us and heaping abuse on God.'

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