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Job 34 English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

Elihu Asserts God's Justice

34 Then Elihu answered and said:

“Hear my words, you wise men,
    and give ear to me, you who know;
for the ear tests words
    as the palate tastes food.
Let us choose what is right;
    let us know among ourselves what is good.
For Job has said, ‘I am in the right,
    and God has taken away my right;
in spite of my right I am counted a liar;
    my wound is incurable, though I am without transgression.’
What man is like Job,
    who drinks up scoffing like water,
who travels in company with evildoers
    and walks with wicked men?
For he has said, ‘It profits a man nothing
    that he should take delight in God.’
10 “Therefore, hear me, you men of understanding:
    far be it from God that he should do wickedness,
    and from the Almighty that he should do wrong.
11 For according to the work of a man he will repay him,
    and according to his ways he will make it befall him.
12 Of a truth, God will not do wickedly,
    and the Almighty will not pervert justice.
13 Who gave him charge over the earth,
    and who laid on him[a] the whole world?
14 If he should set his heart to it
    and gather to himself his spirit and his breath,
15 all flesh would perish together,
    and man would return to dust.
16 “If you have understanding, hear this;
    listen to what I say.
17 Shall one who hates justice govern?
    Will you condemn him who is righteous and mighty,
18 who says to a king, ‘Worthless one’,
    and to nobles, ‘Wicked man’,
19 who shows no partiality to princes,
    nor regards the rich more than the poor,
    for they are all the work of his hands?
20 In a moment they die;
    at midnight the people are shaken and pass away,
    and the mighty are taken away by no human hand.
21 “For his eyes are on the ways of a man,
    and he sees all his steps.
22 There is no gloom or deep darkness
    where evildoers may hide themselves.
23 For God[b] has no need to consider a man further,
    that he should go before God in judgement.
24 He shatters the mighty without investigation
    and sets others in their place.
25 Thus, knowing their works,
    he overturns them in the night, and they are crushed.
26 He strikes them for their wickedness
    in a place for all to see,
27 because they turned aside from following him
    and had no regard for any of his ways,
28 so that they caused the cry of the poor to come to him,
    and he heard the cry of the afflicted—
29 When he is quiet, who can condemn?
    When he hides his face, who can behold him,
    whether it be a nation or a man?—
30 that a godless man should not reign,
    that he should not ensnare the people.
31 “For has anyone said to God,
    ‘I have borne punishment; I will not offend any more;
32 teach me what I do not see;
    if I have done iniquity, I will do it no more’?
33 Will he then make repayment to suit you,
    because you reject it?
For you must choose, and not I;
    therefore declare what you know.[c]
34 Men of understanding will say to me,
    and the wise man who hears me will say:
35 ‘Job speaks without knowledge;
    his words are without insight.’
36 Would that Job were tried to the end,
    because he answers like wicked men.
37 For he adds rebellion to his sin;
    he claps his hands among us
    and multiplies his words against God.”

Footnotes:

  1. Job 34:13 Hebrew lacks on him
  2. Job 34:23 Hebrew he
  3. Job 34:33 The meaning of the Hebrew in verses 29-33 is uncertain
English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

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.”

Footnotes:

  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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