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1Then Eliʹphaz the Teʹmanite answered:

2“Can a man be profitable to God?

Surely he who is wise is profitable to himself.

3Is it any pleasure to the Almighty if you are righteous,

or is it gain to him if you make your ways blameless?

4Is it for your fear of him that he reproves you,

and enters into judgment with you?

5Is not your wickedness great?

There is no end to your iniquities.

6For you have exacted pledges of your brothers for nothing,

and stripped the naked of their clothing.

7You have given no water to the weary to drink,

and you have withheld bread from the hungry.

8The man with power possessed the land,

and the favored man dwelt in it.

9You have sent widows away empty,

and the arms of the fatherless were crushed.

10Therefore snares are round about you,

and sudden terror overwhelms you;

11your light is darkened, so that you cannot see,

and a flood of water covers you.

12“Is not God high in the heavens?

See the highest stars, how lofty they are!

13Therefore you say, ‘What does God know?

Can he judge through the deep darkness?

14Thick clouds enwrap him, so that he does not see,

and he walks on the vault of heaven.’

15Will you keep to the old way

which wicked men have trod?

16They were snatched away before their time;

their foundation was washed away.

17They said to God, ‘Depart from us,’

and ‘What can the Almighty do to us?’

18Yet he filled their houses with good things—

but the counsel of the wicked is far from me.

19The righteous see it and are glad;

the innocent laugh them to scorn,

20saying, ‘Surely our adversaries are cut off,

and what they left the fire has consumed.’

21“Agree with God, and be at peace;

thereby good will come to you.

22Receive instruction from his mouth,

and lay up his words in your heart.

23If you return to the Almighty and humble yourself,

if you remove unrighteousness far from your tents,

24if you lay gold in the dust,

and gold of Ophir among the stones of the torrent bed,

25and if the Almighty is your gold,

and your precious silver;

26then you will delight yourself in the Almighty,

and lift up your face to God.

27You will make your prayer to him, and he will hear you;

and you will pay your vows.

28You will decide on a matter, and it will be established for you,

and light will shine on your ways.

29For God abases the proud,

but he saves the lowly.

30He delivers the innocent man;

you will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.”

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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