321Because Job was convinced of his own innocence, the three men gave up trying to answer him. 2But a bystander named Elihu could not control his anger any longer, because Job was justifying himself and blaming God. (Elihu was the son of Barakel, a descendant of Buz, and belonged to the clan of Ram.) 3He was also angry with Job's three friends. They could find no way to answer Job, and this made it appear that God was in the wrong. 4Because Elihu was the youngest one there, he had waited until everyone finished speaking. 5When he saw that the three men could not answer Job, he was angry 6and began to speak.
I am young, and you are old,
so I was afraid to tell you what I think.
7I told myself that you ought to speak,
that you older men should share your wisdom.
8But it is the Spirit of Almighty God
that comes to human beings and gives them wisdom.
9It is not growing old that makes people wise
or helps them to know what is right.
10So now I want you to listen to me;
let me tell you what I think.
11I listened patiently while you were speaking
and waited while you searched for wise phrases.
12I paid close attention and heard you fail;
you have not disproved what Job has said.
13How can you claim you have discovered wisdom?
God must answer Job, for you have failed.
14Job was speaking to you, not to me,
but I would never answer as you did.
15Words have failed them, Job;
they have no answer for you.
16Shall I go on waiting when they are silent?
They stand there with nothing more to say.
17No, I will give my own answer now
and tell you what I think.
18I can hardly wait to speak.
I can't hold back the words.
19If I don't get a chance to speak,
I will burst like a wineskin full of new wine.
20I can't stand it; I have to speak.
21I will not take sides in this debate;
I am not going to flatter anyone.
22I don't know how to flatter,
and God would quickly punish me if I did.
331And now, Job, listen carefully
to all that I have to say.
2I am ready to say what's on my mind.
3All my words are sincere,
and I am speaking the truth.
4God's Spirit made me and gave me life.
5Answer me if you can. Prepare your arguments.
6You and I are the same in God's sight,
both of us were formed from clay.
7So you have no reason to fear me;
I will not overpower you.
8Now this is what I heard you say:
9“I am not guilty; I have done nothing wrong.
I am innocent and free from sin.
10But God finds excuses for attacking me
and treats me like an enemy.
He binds chains on my feet;
he watches every move I make.”
12But I tell you, Job, you are wrong.
God is greater than any human being.
13Why do you accuse God
of never answering our complaints?
14Although God speaks again and again,
no one pays attention to what he says.
At night when people are asleep,
God speaks in dreams and visions.
16He makes them listen to what he says,
and they are frightened at his warnings.
17God speaks to make them stop their sinning
and to save them from becoming proud.
18He will not let them be destroyed;
he saves them from death itself.
19God corrects people by sending sickness
and filling their bodies with pain.
20Those who are sick lose their appetites,
and even the finest food looks revolting.
21Their bodies waste away to nothing;
you can see all their bones;
22they are about to go to the world of the dead.
23Perhaps an angel may come to their aid —
one of God's thousands of angels,
who remind us of our duty.
24In mercy the angel will say, “Release them!
They are not to go down to the world of the dead.
Here is the ransom to set them free.”
25Their bodies will grow young and strong again;
26when they pray, God will answer;
they will worship God with joy;
God will set things right for them again.
27Each one will say in public, “I have sinned.
I have not done right, but God spared me.
28He kept me from going to the world of the dead,
and I am still alive.”
29God does all this again and again;
30he saves a person's life,
and gives him the joy of living.
31Now, Job, listen to what I am saying;
be quiet and let me speak.
32But if you have something to say, let me hear it;
I would gladly admit you are in the right.
33But if not, be quiet and listen to me,
and I will teach you how to be wise.
341-2You men are so wise, so clever;
listen now to what I am saying.
You know good food when you taste it,
but not wise words when you hear them.
4It is up to us to decide the case.
5Job claims that he is innocent,
that God refuses to give him justice.
6He asks, “How could I lie and say I am wrong?
I am fatally wounded, but I am sinless.”
7Have you ever seen anyone like this man Job?
He never shows respect for God.
8He likes the company of evil people
and goes about with sinners.
9He says that it never does any good
to try to follow God's will.
10Listen to me, you men who understand!
Will Almighty God do what is wrong?
He rewards people for what they do
and treats them as they deserve.
12Almighty God does not do evil;
he is never unjust to anyone.
13Did God get his power from someone else?
Did someone put him in charge of the world?
14If God took back the breath of life,
15then everyone living would die
and turn into dust again.
16Now listen to me, if you are wise.
17Are you condemning the righteous God?
Do you think that he hates justice?
18God condemns kings and rulers
when they are worthless or wicked.
19He does not take the side of rulers
nor favour the rich against the poor,
for he created everyone.
20Someone may suddenly die at night.
God strikes people down and they perish;
he kills the mighty with no effort at all.
21He watches every step we take.
22There is no darkness dark enough
to hide a sinner from God.
23God does not need to set a time34.23 Probable text a time; Hebrew yet.
for us to go and be judged by him.
24He does not need an investigation
to remove leaders and replace them with others.
25Because he knows what they do
he overthrows them and crushes them by night.
26He punishes sinners where all can see it,
27because they have stopped following him
and ignored all his commands.
28They forced the poor to cry out to God,
and he heard their calls for help.
29If God decided to do nothing at all,
no one could criticize him.
If he hid his face, we would be helpless.
30There would be nothing that nations could do
to keep godless oppressors from ruling them.
31Job, have you confessed your sins to God
and promised not to sin again?
32Have you asked God to show you your faults,
and have you agreed to stop doing evil?
33Since you object to what God does,
can you expect him to do what you want?
The decision is yours, not mine;
tell us now what you think.
34Any sensible person will surely agree;
and the wise who hear me will say
35that Job is speaking from ignorance
and that nothing he says makes sense.
36Think through everything that Job says;
you will see that he talks like an evil man.
37To his sins he adds rebellion;
in front of us all he mocks God.