Eliphaz Answers Job
1 Then Eliphaz from Teman answered Job:
2 “If you were really wise,
you would not answer with your worthless personal opinions!
A wise man would not be so full of hot air.
3 Do you think a wise man would use empty words
and meaningless speeches to win his arguments?
4 If you had your way,
no one would respect God and pray to him.
5 What you say clearly shows your sin.
Job, you are trying to hide your sin by using clever words.
6 I don’t need to prove to you that you are wrong.
The words from your own mouth show that you are wrong.
Your own lips speak against you.
7 “Do you think you were the first person ever to be born?
Were you born before the hills?
8 Did you listen to God’s secret plans?
Do you think you are the only wise person?
9 We know as much as you do!
We understand as well as you.
10 The old, gray-haired men agree with us.
People older than your father are on our side.
11 God tries to comfort you, but that is not enough for you.
We have spoken his message to you in a gentle way.
12 Why will you not understand?
Why can you not see the truth?
13 You are expressing your anger against God
when you say these things.
14 “People cannot really be pure.
They cannot be more right than God!
15 God does not even trust his angels.
He does not even think the sky is pure.
16 People are even worse.
They are disgusting and dirty.
They drink up evil like water.
17 “Listen to me, and I will explain it to you.
Let me tell you what I have seen.
18 I will tell you what wise men would say,
things they heard from their fathers and then freely passed on.
They didn’t hide any secrets from me.
19 These are important people in our country!
Everyone knows who they are.
20 And they said that an evil man suffers all his life.
A cruel man suffers all his numbered years.
21 Every noise scares him.
His enemy will attack him when he thinks he is safe.
22 An evil man has no hope of escaping the darkness.
There is a sword somewhere waiting to kill him.
23 He wanders from place to place, looking for food.
But he knows a dark day is coming, which he brought on himself.
24 He lives in fear, with worry and suffering threatening him
like a king ready to attack.
25 That is because that evil man shook his fist at God, refusing to obey.
He dared to attack God All-Powerful,
26 like a soldier with a thick, strong shield
who runs at his enemy to strike him in the neck.
27 He might be rich and fat,
28 but his town will be ruined;
his home will be destroyed;
his house will be empty.
29 He will not be rich for long.
His wealth will not last.
His crops will not grow large.
30 He will not escape the darkness.
He will be like a tree whose leaves die from disease
and are blown away by the wind.
31 That evil man should not fool himself by trusting in worthless things,
because he will keep nothing.
32 He will die before his time,
like a tree whose top branches have already begun to die.
33 He will be like a vine that loses its grapes before they ripen.
He will be like an olive tree that loses its buds.
34 That is because people without God have nothing.
Those who take bribes will have their homes destroyed by fire.
35 They are always thinking of ways to do evil and cause trouble.
They are always planning how they might cheat others.”