Wednesday, 29 March 2001

(Job 34) Then Elihu continued and said: 2 "Hear my words, you wise men, and give ear to me, you who know; 3 for the ear tests words as the palate tastes food. 4 Let us choose what is right; let us determine among ourselves what is good. 5 For Job has said, 'I am innocent, and God has taken away my right; 6 in spite of being right I am counted a liar; my wound is incurable, though I am without transgression.' 7 Who is there like Job, who drinks up scoffing like water, 8 who goes in company with evildoers and walks with the wicked? 9 For he has said, 'It profits one nothing to take delight in God.'

10 "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. 11 For according to their deeds he will repay them, and according to their ways he will make it befall them. 12 Of a truth, God will not do wickedly, and the Almighty will not pervert justice. 13 Who gave him charge over the earth and who laid on him the whole world? 14 If he should take back his spirit to himself, and gather to himself his breath, 15 all flesh would perish together, and all mortals return to dust.

16 "If you have understanding, hear this; listen to what I say. 17 Shall one who hates justice govern? Will you condemn one who is righteous and mighty, 18 who says to a king, 'You scoundrel!' and to princes, 'You wicked men!'; 19 who shows no partiality to nobles, nor regards the rich more than the poor, for they are all the work of his hands? 20 In a moment they die; at midnight the people are shaken and pass away, and the mighty are taken away by no human hand.

21 "For his eyes are upon the ways of mortals, and he sees all their steps. 22 There is no gloom or deep darkness where evildoers may hide themselves. 23 For he has not appointed a time for anyone to go before God in judgment. 24 He shatters the mighty without investigation, and sets others in their place. 25 Thus, knowing their works, he overturns them in the night, and they are crushed. 26 He strikes them for their wickedness while others look on, 27 because they turned aside from following him, and had no regard for any of his ways, 28 so that they caused the cry of the poor to come to him, and he heard the cry of the afflicted-- 29 When he is quiet, who can condemn? When he hides his face, who can behold him, whether it be a nation or an individual?-- 30 so that the godless should not reign, or those who ensnare the people.

31 "For has anyone said to God, 'I have endured punishment; I will not offend any more; 32 teach me what I do not see; if I have done iniquity, I will do it no more'? 33 Will he then pay back to suit you, because you reject it? For you must choose, and not I; therefore declare what you know. 34 Those who have sense will say to me, and the wise who hear me will say, 35 'Job speaks without knowledge, his words are without insight.' 36 Would that Job were tried to the limit, because his answers are those of the wicked. 37 For he adds rebellion to his sin; he claps his hands among us, and multiplies his words against God."

(Job 35) Elihu continued and said: 2 "Do you think this to be just? You say, 'I am in the right before God.' 3 If you ask, 'What advantage have I? How am I better off than if I had sinned?' 4 I will answer you and your friends with you. 5 Look at the heavens and see; observe the clouds, which are higher than you. 6 If you have sinned, what do you accomplish against him? And if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to him? 7 If you are righteous, what do you give to him; or what does he receive from your hand? 8 Your wickedness affects others like you, and your righteousness, other human beings.

9 "Because of the multitude of oppressions people cry out; they call for help because of the arm of the mighty. 10 But no one says, 'Where is God my Maker, who gives strength in the night, 11 who teaches us more than the animals of the earth, and makes us wiser than the birds of the air?' 12 There they cry out, but he does not answer, because of the pride of evildoers. 13 Surely God does not hear an empty cry, nor does the Almighty regard it. 14 How much less when you say that you do not see him, that the case is before him, and you are waiting for him! 15 And now, because his anger does not punish, and he does not greatly heed transgression, 16 Job opens his mouth in empty talk, he multiplies words without knowledge."


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