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Job 34 - Elihu Proclaims God’s Justice

Then Elihu continued 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 determine among ourselves what is good. For Job has said, ‘I am innocent, and God has taken away my right; in spite of being right I am counted a liar; my wound is incurable, though I am without transgression.’ Who is there like Job, who drinks up scoffing like water, who goes in company with evildoers and walks with the wicked? For he has said, ‘It profits one nothing to take delight in God.’

10 “Therefore, hear me, you who have sense, far be it from God that he should do wickedness, and from the Almighty[a] that he should do wrong. 11 For according to their deeds he will repay them, and according to their ways he will make it befall them. 12 Of a truth, God will not do wickedly, and the Almighty[b] will not pervert justice. 13 Who gave him charge over the earth and who laid on him[c] the whole world? 14 If he should take back his spirit[d] to himself, and gather to himself his breath, 15 all flesh would perish together, and all mortals 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 one who is righteous and mighty, 18 who says to a king, ‘You scoundrel!’ and to princes, ‘You wicked men!’; 19 who shows no partiality to nobles, 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 upon the ways of mortals, and he sees all their steps. 22 There is no gloom or deep darkness where evildoers may hide themselves. 23 For he has not appointed a time[e] for anyone to go before God in judgment. 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 while others look on, 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 an individual?— 30 so that the godless should not reign, or those who ensnare the people.

31 “For has anyone said to God, ‘I have endured 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 pay back to suit you, because you reject it? For you must choose, and not I; therefore declare what you know.[f] 34 Those who have sense will say to me, and the wise who hear me will say, 35 ‘Job speaks without knowledge, his words are without insight.’ 36 Would that Job were tried to the limit, because his answers are those of the wicked. 37 For he adds rebellion to his sin; he claps his hands among us, and multiplies his words against God.”


a. Job 34:10 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai

b. Job 34:12 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai

c. Job 34:13 Heb lacks on him

d. Job 34:14 Heb his heart his spirit

e. Job 34:23 Cn: Heb yet

f. Job 34:33 Meaning of Heb of verses 29–33 uncertain

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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