December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- Then Elihu continued and said:
- Hear, O wise men, my discourse, and you that have knowledge, hear me!
- For the ear tests words, as the taste does food.
- Let us discern for ourselves what is right; let us learn between us what is good.
- For Job has said, "I am innocent, but God has taken what is my due.
- Notwithstanding my right I am set at nought; in my wound the arrow rankles, sinless though I am."
- What man is like Job? He drinks in blasphemies like water,
- Keeps company with evildoers and goes along with wicked men,
- When he says, "It profits a man nought that he is pleasing to God."
- Therefore, men of understanding, hearken to me: far be it from God to do wickedness; far from the Almighty to do wrong!
- Rather, he requites men for their conduct, and brings home to a man his way of life.
- Surely, God cannot act wickedly, the Almighty cannot violate justice.
- Who gave him government over the earth, or who else set all the land in its place?
- If he were to take back his spirit to himself, withdraw to himself his breath,
- All flesh would perish together, and man would return to the dust.
- Now, do you, O Job, hear this! Hearken to the words I speak!
- Can an enemy of justice indeed be in control, or will you condemn the supreme Just One,
- Who says to a king, "You are worthless!" and to nobles, "You are wicked!"
- Who neither favors the person of princes, nor respects the rich more than the poor? For they are all the work of his hands;
- in a moment they die, even at midnight. He brings on nobles, and takes them away, removing the powerful without lifting a hand;
- For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he beholds all his steps.
- There is no darkness so dense that evildoers can hide in it.
- Therefore he discerns their works; he turns at night and crushes them.
- For he forewarns no man of his time to come before God in judgment.
- Without a trial he breaks the mighty, and sets others in their stead,
- Because they turned away from him and heeded none of his ways,
- But caused the cries of the poor to reach him, so that he heard the plea of the afflicted.
- 1 If he remains tranquil, who then can condemn? If he hides his face, who then can behold him?
- When anyone says to God, "I was misguided; I will offend no more.
- Teach me wherein I have sinned; if I have done wrong, I will do so no more,"
- Would you then say that God must punish, since you reject what he is doing? It is you who must choose, not I; speak, therefore, what you know.
- Men of understanding will say to me, every wise man who hears my views:
- "Job speaks without intelligence, and his words are without sense."
- Let Job be tried to the limit, since his answers are those of the impious;
- For he is adding rebellion to his sin by brushing off our arguments and addressing many words to God.
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1 [26, 29-30] The extant Hebrew text of these verses contains several added phrases which either represent duplication or are very obscure.
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