34 1ELIHU ANSWERED (continued his discourse) and said, 2Hear my words, you wise men, and give ear to me, you who have [so much] knowledge. 3For the ear tries words as the palate tastes food. 4Let us choose for ourselves that which is right; let us know among ourselves what is good. 5For Job has said, I am [innocent and uncompromisingly] righteous, but God has taken away my right; 6Would I lie against my right? Yet, notwithstanding my right, I am counted a liar. My wound is incurable, though I am without transgression. 7What man is like Job, who drinks up scoffing and scorning like water, 8Who goes in company with the workers of iniquity and walks with wicked men? 9For he has said, It profits a man nothing that he should delight himself with God and consent to Him. 10Therefore hear me, you men of understanding. Far be it from God that He should do wickedness, and from the Almighty that He should commit iniquity. 11For according to the deeds of a man God will [exactly] proportion his pay, and He will cause every man to find [recompense] according to his ways. 12Truly God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert justice. 13Who put [God] in charge over the earth? Or who laid on Him the whole world? 14If [God] should set His heart upon him [man] and withdraw His [life-giving] spirit and His breath [from man] to Himself, 15All flesh would perish together, and man would turn again to dust. 16If now you have understanding, hear this; listen to my words. 17Is it possible that an enemy of right should govern? And will you condemn Him Who is just and mighty? 18[God] Who says to a king, You are worthless and vile, or to princes and nobles, You are ungodly and evil? 19[God] is not partial to princes, nor does He regard the rich more than the poor, for they all are the work of His hands. 20In a moment they die; even at midnight the people are shaken and pass away, and the mighty are taken away by no [human] hand. 21For [God’s] eyes are upon the ways of a man, and He sees all his steps. 22There is no darkness nor thick gloom where the evildoers may hide themselves. 23[God] sets before man no appointed time, that he should appear before [Him] in judgment. 24He breaks in pieces mighty men without inquiry [before a jury] and in ways past finding out and sets others in their stead. 25Therefore He takes knowledge of their works, and He overturns them in the night, so that they are crushed and destroyed. 26God strikes them down as wicked men in the open sight of beholders, 27Because they turned aside from Him and would not consider or show regard for any of His ways, 28So that they caused the cry of the poor to come to Him, and He heard the cry of the afflicted. 29When He gives quietness (peace and security from oppression), who then can condemn? When He hides His face [withdrawing His favor and help], who then can behold Him [and make Him gracious], whether it be a nation or a man by himself?-- 30That the godless man may not reign, that there be no one to ensnare the people. 31For has anyone said to God, I have borne my chastisement; I will not offend any more; 32Teach me what I do not see [in regard to how I have sinned]; if I have done iniquity, I will do it no more? 33Should [God’s] recompense [for your sins] be as you will it, when you refuse to accept it? For you must do the choosing, and not I; therefore say what is your truthful conclusion. 34Men of understanding will tell me, indeed, every wise man who hears me [will agree], 35That Job speaks without knowledge, and his words are without wisdom and insight. 36[Would that Job’s afflictions be continued and] he be tried to the end because of his answering like wicked men! 37For he adds rebellion [in his unsubmissive, defiant attitude toward God] to his unacknowledged sin; he claps his hands [in open mockery and contempt of God] among us, and he multiplies his words of accusation against God.
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