December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- Then spoke Eliphaz the Temanite, who said:
- If someone attempts a word with you, will you mind? For how can anyone refrain from speaking?
- Behold, you have instructed many, and have made firm their feeble hands.
- Your words have upheld the stumbler; you have strengthened his faltering knees.
- But now that it comes to you, you are impatient; when it touches yourself, you are dismayed.
- Is not your piety a source of confidence, and your integrity of life your hope?
- Reflect now, what innocent person perishes? Since when are the upright destroyed?
- As I see it, those who plow for mischief and sow trouble, reap the same.
- By the breath of God they perish, and by the blast of his wrath they are consumed.
- 1 Though the lion roars, though the king of beasts cries out, yet the teeth of the young lions are broken;
- The old lion perishes for lack of prey, and the cubs of the lioness are scattered.
- 2 For a word was stealthily brought to me, and my ear caught a whisper of it.
- In my thoughts during visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on men,
- Fear came upon me, and shuddering, that terrified me to the bones.
- Then a spirit passed before me, and the hair of my flesh stood up.
- It paused, but its likeness I could not discern; a figure was before my eyes, and I heard a still voice:
- "Can a man be righteous as against God? Can a mortal be blameless against his Maker?
- Lo, he puts no trust in his servants, and with his angels he can find fault.
- How much more with those that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, who are crushed more easily than the moth!
- Morning or evening they may be shattered; with no heed paid to it, they perish forever.
- The pegs of their tent are plucked up; they die without knowing wisdom."
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1  The lion: used figuratively here for the violent, rapacious sinner who cannot prevail against God.
2 [12-21] A dramatic presentation of the idea of man's nothingness in contrast to God's greatness.
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