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1Then Eliʹphaz the Teʹmanite answered:

2“Should a wise man answer with windy knowledge,

and fill himself with the east wind?

3Should he argue in unprofitable talk,

or in words with which he 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 first man that was born?

Or 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?

10Both the gray-haired and the aged are among us,

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,

13that you turn your spirit against God,

and let such words go out of your mouth?

14What is man, that he can be clean?

Or he that is born of a woman, that he can be righteous?

15Behold, God puts no trust in his holy ones,

and the heavens are not clean in his sight;

16how much less one who is abominable and corrupt,

a man who drinks iniquity like water!

17“I will show you, hear me;

and what I have seen I will declare

18(what wise men have told,

and their fathers have not hidden,

19to whom alone the land was given,

and no stranger passed among them).

20The wicked man writhes in pain all his days,

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

21Terrifying sounds are in his ears;

in prosperity the destroyer will come upon him.

22He does not believe that he will return out of darkness,

and he is destined for the sword.

23He wanders abroad for bread, saying, ‘Where is it?’

He knows that a day of darkness is ready at his hand;

24distress and anguish terrify him;

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

25Because he has stretched forth his hand against God,

and bids defiance to the Almighty,

26running stubbornly against him

with a thick-bossed shield;

27because he has covered his face with his fat,

and gathered fat upon his loins,

28and has lived in desolate cities,

in houses which no man should inhabit,

which were destined to become heaps of ruins;

29he will not be rich, and his wealth will not endure,

nor will he strike root in the earth;

30he will not escape from darkness;

the flame will dry up his shoots,

and his blossom will be swept away by the wind.

31Let him not trust in emptiness, deceiving himself;

for emptiness will be his recompense.

32It will be paid in full before his time,

and his branch will not be green.

33He will shake off his unripe grape, like the vine,

and cast off his blossom, 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.”

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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