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Job 34 International Standard Version (ISV)

Elihu Continues Speaking

34 Elihu continued speaking, and said:

“Listen to what I have to say, you wise men!
    Pay attention to me, you educated people!
Since the ear tests words
    like a palate tastes food,
let’s choose what’s right for us.
    Let’s consider among ourselves what is good.”

Elihu Reviews Job’s Complaint against God’s Injustice

Now this is Job’s claim:

‘Even though I’m innocent,
    God has stopped treating me righteously.
Have I lied concerning the justice that I deserve?[a]
    My wound[b] is incurable,
        though transgression cannot be attributed to me.’

“What man is like Job,
    who drinks mockery like water,
traffics in those who practice evil,
    and walks with wicked people?
Because he says, ‘There’s no profit
    for a man to find joy with God.’”[c]

God is Just

10 “Therefore you men of understanding,[d] listen to me!
    Far be it for God to practice wickedness,
        or the Almighty to do what is wrong,
11 because he repays a person for his behavior;
    and according to a person’s[e] conduct,
        he lets it happen to[f] him.
12 Truly, God doesn’t practice wickedness,
    and the Almighty doesn’t pervert justice.
13 Who entrusted the earth to him?
    Who made him responsible for the entire inhabited world?
14 If he were to decide to do so,
    that is, to take back to himself[g] his spirit and breath of life,[h]
15 every living thing would die all at once,[i]
    and mankind would return to dust.”

God’s Rule is Just

16 If you have[j] understanding, listen to this!
    Pay attention to what I have to say:
17 Can one who hates justice really govern?
    And if God[k] is righteous and mighty, can you condemn him?[l]
18 Can one say to a king, ‘You’re vile!’
    or to nobles, ‘You’re wicked!’?
19 Who isn’t partial to[m] princes?
    Who doesn’t give preference to the nobles over the poor?
        Nevertheless, all of them are his handiwork.

20 “They die suddenly, in the middle of the night;
    people suffer seizures and pass away;
even valiant men can be taken away—
    and not by human hands.
21 Yes, Job,[n] his eyes constantly watch the behavior of human beings;
    he carefully observes their every step.
22 There’s no such thing as darkness to him—
    not even deep darkness—
        that can conceal those who practice evil.
23 He won’t examine mankind further,
    that they would go before God to judgment.
24 He shatters valiant men without a need to investigate,
    and he raises others in their place.
25 Thus he acknowledges their behavior, and overcomes them;
    when night time comes, they are crushed.

26 “He strikes[o] the wicked among them
    in a place where they can be seen
27 because they’ve abandoned their pursuit of him
    and had no respect for any of his ways.
28 As a result, the cries of the poor have reached him
    and he has heard the cry of the afflicted.

29 “If he remains silent, who will condemn him?
    If he conceals his face, who can see him?
        He watches over both nation and individual alike,
30 to keep the godless man from reigning
    or laying a snare for the people.”

Elihu’s Challenge to Job

31 “Has anyone ever really told God,
    ‘I’ve endured,[p] and I won’t act corruptly anymore.
32 What I don’t see, instruct me!
    If I’ve done anything evil, I won’t repeat it!’

33 “Should you not be paid back,
    since you have rejected him?
You do the choosing! I won’t!
    Tell us what you know!

Elihu’s Verdict: Job is not Wise

34 “Men of understanding, speak to me!
    Are any of you men wise? Then listen to me!
35 Job has been speaking from his own ignorance,
    and what he has to say lacks insight!
36 Oh, how Job needs to be given a full court trial,
    as a rebuke to those who practice evil,
37 because he has been adding rebellion to his sin;
    he claps his hands among us,[q]
        and keeps on ranting against God.”


  1. Job 34:6 Lit. concerning my justice
  2. Job 34:6 Or cut
  3. Job 34:9 Cf. Mal 3:14
  4. Job 34:10 Lit. heart
  5. Job 34:11 Lit. man
  6. Job 34:11 Lit. it find
  7. Job 34:14 The Heb. lacks to himself
  8. Job 34:14 The Heb. lacks of life
  9. Job 34:15 Lit. die together
  10. Job 34:16 The Heb. lacks you have
  11. Job 34:17 Lit. he
  12. Job 34:17 The Heb. lacks him
  13. Job 34:19 Lit. Who doesn’t lift the faces of
  14. Job 34:21 The Heb. lacks Job
  15. Job 34:26 Or slaps
  16. Job 34:31 Or carry
  17. Job 34:37 I.e. as a gesture of disrespect
International Standard Version (ISV)

Copyright © 1995-2014 by ISV Foundation. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED INTERNATIONALLY. Used by permission of Davidson Press, LLC.

Job 34 New International Version (NIV)

34 Then Elihu said:

“Hear my words, you wise men;
    listen to me, you men of learning.
For the ear tests words
    as the tongue tastes food.
Let us discern for ourselves what is right;
    let us learn together what is good.

“Job says, ‘I am innocent,
    but God denies me justice.
Although I am right,
    I am considered a liar;
although I am guiltless,
    his arrow inflicts an incurable wound.’
Is there anyone like Job,
    who drinks scorn like water?
He keeps company with evildoers;
    he associates with the wicked.
For he says, ‘There is no profit
    in trying to please God.’

10 “So listen to me, you men of understanding.
    Far be it from God to do evil,
    from the Almighty to do wrong.
11 He repays everyone for what they have done;
    he brings on them what their conduct deserves.
12 It is unthinkable that God would do wrong,
    that the Almighty would pervert justice.
13 Who appointed him over the earth?
    Who put him in charge of the whole world?
14 If it were his intention
    and he withdrew his spirit[a] and breath,
15 all humanity would perish together
    and mankind would return to the dust.

16 “If you have understanding, hear this;
    listen to what I say.
17 Can someone who hates justice govern?
    Will you condemn the just and mighty One?
18 Is he not the One who says to kings, ‘You are worthless,’
    and to nobles, ‘You are wicked,’
19 who shows no partiality to princes
    and does not favor the rich over the poor,
    for they are all the work of his hands?
20 They die in an instant, in the middle of the night;
    the people are shaken and they pass away;
    the mighty are removed without human hand.

21 “His eyes are on the ways of mortals;
    he sees their every step.
22 There is no deep shadow, no utter darkness,
    where evildoers can hide.
23 God has no need to examine people further,
    that they should come before him for judgment.
24 Without inquiry he shatters the mighty
    and sets up others in their place.
25 Because he takes note of their deeds,
    he overthrows them in the night and they are crushed.
26 He punishes them for their wickedness
    where everyone can see them,
27 because they turned from following him
    and had no regard for any of his ways.
28 They caused the cry of the poor to come before him,
    so that he heard the cry of the needy.
29 But if he remains silent, who can condemn him?
    If he hides his face, who can see him?
Yet he is over individual and nation alike,
30     to keep the godless from ruling,
    from laying snares for the people.

31 “Suppose someone says to God,
    ‘I am guilty but will offend no more.
32 Teach me what I cannot see;
    if I have done wrong, I will not do so again.’
33 Should God then reward you on your terms,
    when you refuse to repent?
You must decide, not I;
    so tell me what you know.

34 “Men of understanding declare,
    wise men who hear me say to me,
35 ‘Job speaks without knowledge;
    his words lack insight.’
36 Oh, that Job might be tested to the utmost
    for answering like a wicked man!
37 To his sin he adds rebellion;
    scornfully he claps his hands among us
    and multiplies his words against God.”


  1. Job 34:14 Or Spirit
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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