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Eliphaz Speaks: Job Undermines Religion

1Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered:

2“Should the wise answer with windy knowledge,

and fill themselves with the east wind?

3Should they argue in unprofitable talk,

or in words with which they can do no good?

4But you are doing away with the fear of God,

and hindering meditation before God.

5For your iniquity teaches your mouth,

and you choose the tongue of the crafty.

6Your own mouth condemns you, and not I;

your own lips testify against you.

7“Are you the firstborn of the human race?

Were you brought forth before the hills?

8Have you listened in the council of God?

And do you limit wisdom to yourself?

9What do you know that we do not know?

What do you understand that is not clear to us?

10The gray-haired and the aged are on our side,

those older than your father.

11Are the consolations of God too small for you,

or the word that deals gently with you?

12Why does your heart carry you away,

and why do your eyes flash,

13so that you turn your spirit against God,

and let such words go out of your mouth?

14What are mortals, that they can be clean?

Or those born of woman, that they can be righteous?

15God puts no trust even in his holy ones,

and the heavens are not clean in his sight;

16how much less one who is abominable and corrupt,

one who drinks iniquity like water!

17“I will show you; listen to me;

what I have seen I will declare—

18what sages have told,

and their ancestors have not hidden,

19to whom alone the land was given,

and no stranger passed among them.

20The wicked writhe in pain all their days,

through all the years that are laid up for the ruthless.

21Terrifying sounds are in their ears;

in prosperity the destroyer will come upon them.

22They despair of returning from darkness,

and they are destined for the sword.

23They wander abroad for bread, saying, ‘Where is it?’

They know that a day of darkness is ready at hand;

24distress and anguish terrify them;

they prevail against them, like a king prepared for battle.

25Because they stretched out their hands against God,

and bid defiance to the Almighty,

26running stubbornly against him

with a thick-bossed shield;

27because they have covered their faces with their fat,

and gathered fat upon their loins,

28they will live in desolate cities,

in houses that no one should inhabit,

houses destined to become heaps of ruins;

29they will not be rich, and their wealth will not endure,

nor will they strike root in the earth;

30they will not escape from darkness;

the flame will dry up their shoots,

and their blossom will be swept away by the wind.

31Let them not trust in emptiness, deceiving themselves;

for emptiness will be their recompense.

32It will be paid in full before their time,

and their branch will not be green.

33They will shake off their unripe grape, like the vine,

and cast off their blossoms, like the olive tree.

34For the company of the godless is barren,

and fire consumes the tents of bribery.

35They conceive mischief and bring forth evil

and their heart prepares deceit.”

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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