Chapter 11

  1. So these three men ceased to answer Job because he was righteous in his own eyes. Then was kindled the wrath of Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the kindred of Ram. Against Job was his wrath kindled, because he justified himself rather than God. Also against his three friends was his wrath kindled, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job. Now Elihu had waited until Job had spoken because they were older than he. When Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, then his wrath was kindled.
  2. And Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite, answered and said, I am young and you are very old; wherefore, I was afraid and dared not show you my opinion. I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom. But there is a spirit in man, and the inspiration of the Almighty gives them understanding. Great men are not always wise, neither do the aged understand judgment.
  3. Therefore, I said, Listen to me, I also will show my opinion. Behold, I waited for your words, I gave ear to your reasons while you searched out what to say. Yea, I paid attention to you, and behold, there was none of you that refuted Job or that answered his words, lest you should say, We have found out wisdom, God thrusts him down, not man. Now he has not directed his words against me, neither will I answer him with your speeches.
  4. They were dismayed, they answered no more, they left off speaking. When I had waited — for they spoke not, but stood still, and answered no more — I said, I will answer also my part. I also will show my opinion. For I am full of matter, the spirit within me constrains me. Behold, my belly is as wine which has no vent, it is ready to burst like new bottles. I will speak, that I may be refreshed. I will open my lips and answer. Let me not, I pray you, respect any man’s person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man. For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing, my Maker would soon take me away.
  5. Wherefore, Job, I pray you, hear my speeches and listen to all my words. Behold, now I have opened my mouth, my tongue has spoken in my mouth. My words shall be of the uprightness of my heart, and my lips shall utter knowledge clearly. The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty has given me life. If you can answer me, set your words in order before me, stand up. Behold, I am according to your wish in God’s stead. I also am formed out of the clay. Behold, my terror shall not make you afraid, neither shall my hand be heavy upon you.
  6. Surely you have spoken in my hearing, and I have heard the voice of your words, saying, I am clean, without transgression; I am innocent, neither is there iniquity in me. Behold, he finds accusations against me, he counts me for his enemy, he puts my feet in the stocks, he marks all my paths. Behold, in this you are not just.
  7. I will answer you that God is greater than man. Why do you quarrel against him? For he gives not account of all of his matters. For God speaks once — yea, twice — yet man perceives it not. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men in slumberings upon the bed, then he opens the ears of men and seals their instruction, that he may withdraw man from his purpose and hide pride from man. He keeps back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword.
  8. He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong pain, so that his life abhors bread and his soul dainty food. His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen, and his bones that were not seen stick out. Yea, his soul draws near unto the grave and his life to the destroyers.
  9. If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand to show unto man his uprightness, then he is gracious unto him and says, Deliver him from going down to the pit, I have found a ransom, his flesh shall be fresher than a child’s, he shall return to the days of his youth — he shall pray unto God, and he will be favorable unto him, and he shall see his face with joy; for he will render unto man his righteousness.
  10. He looks upon men, and if any say, I have sinned and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not — he will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light. Behold all these things God oftentimes works with man, to bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living.
  11. Mark well, O Job, listen unto me. Hold your peace and I will speak. If you have anything to say, answer me. Speak, for I desire to justify you. If not, listen unto me. Hold your peace and I shall teach you wisdom.
  12. Furthermore, Elihu answered and said, Hear my words, O you wise men, and give ear unto me, you that have knowledge; for the ear tries words as the mouth tastes food. Let us choose to us judgment. Let us know among ourselves what is good. For Job has said, I am righteous, and God has taken away my judgment. Should I lie against my right? My wound is incurable without transgression. What man is like Job, who drinks up scorning like water, who goes in company with the workers of iniquity and walks with wicked men? For he has said, It profits a man nothing that he should delight himself with God.
  13. Therefore, listen unto me you men of understanding. Far be it from God that he should do wickedness, and from the Almighty that he should commit iniquity; for the work of a man shall he render unto him, and cause every man to find according to his ways. Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment. Who has given him a charge over the earth? Or who has disposed the whole world? If he set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath, all flesh shall perish together and man shall return unto dust.
  14. If now you have understanding, hear this. Listen to the voice of my words. Shall even he that hates right govern? And will you condemn him that is most just? Is it fit to say to a king, You are wicked, and to princes, You are ungodly? How much less to him that accepts not the persons of princes, nor regards the rich more than the poor? For they all are the work of his hands. In a moment shall they die, and the people shall be troubled at midnight and pass away, and the mighty shall be taken away without hand.
  15. For his eyes are upon the ways of man and he sees all his goings. There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves. For he will not lay upon man more than right, that he should enter into judgment with God. He shall break in pieces mighty men without number, and set others in their stead. Therefore, he knows their works, and he overturns them in the night so that they are destroyed. He strikes them as wicked men in the open sight of others because they turned back from him and would not consider any of his ways, so that they cause the cry of the poor to come unto him; and he hears the cry of the afflicted.
  16. When he gives quietness, who then can make trouble? And when he hides his face, who then can behold him? Whether it be done against a nation, or against a man only, that the hypocrite reign not, lest the people be ensnared.
  17. Surely it is meet to be said unto God, I have borne chastisement, I will not offend anymore. That which I see not, teach me; if I have done iniquity, I will do no more. Should it be according to your mind? He will recompense it, whether you refuse or whether you choose, and not I. Therefore, speak what you know.
  18. Let men of understanding tell me, and let a wise man listen unto me. Job has spoken without knowledge and his words were without wisdom. My desire is that Job may be tried unto the end because of his answers for wicked men, for he adds rebellion unto his sin. He claps his hands among us and multiplies his words against God.
  19. Elihu spoke moreover and said, Do you think this to be right that you said: My righteousness is more than God’s? For you said, What advantage will it be unto you? — and, What profit shall I have if I be cleansed from my sin? I will answer you, and your companions with you.
  20. Look unto the heavens and see, and behold the clouds which are higher than you. If you sin, what do you do against him? Or if your transgressions be multiplied, what do you do unto him? If you are righteous, what do you give him? Or what does he receive of your hand? Your wickedness may hurt a man as you are, and your righteousness may profit the son of man.
  21. By reason of the multitude of oppressions, they make the oppressed to cry; they cry out by reason of the arm of the mighty. But none says, Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night, who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the fowls of heaven? There they cry, but none gives answer because of the pride of evil men. Surely God will not hear vanity, neither will the Almighty regard it. Although you say you shall not see him, yet judgment is before him. Therefore, trust in him. But now, because it is not so, he has visited in his anger. Yet he knows it not in great extremity; therefore does Job open his mouth in vain, he multiplies words without knowledge.
  22. Elihu also proceeded and said, Suffer me a little and I will show you that I have yet to speak on God’s behalf. I will fetch my knowledge from afar and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker; for truly my words shall not be false. He that is perfect in knowledge is with you.
  23. Behold, God is mighty and despises not any. He is mighty in strength and wisdom. He preserves not the life of the wicked, but gives right to the poor. He withdraws not his eyes from the righteous, but with kings on the throne, yea, he does establish them for ever and they are exalted. And if they be bound in fetters and be held in cords of affliction, then he shows them their work and their transgressions, that they have exceeded. He opens also their ear to discipline and commands that they return from iniquity. If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity and their years in pleasures. But if they obey not, they shall perish by the sword and they shall die without knowledge.
  24. But the hypocrites in heart heap up wrath, they cry not when he binds them. They die in youth and their life is among the unclean. He delivers the poor in his affliction and opens their ears in oppression.
  25. Even so would he have removed you out of the tight place into a broad place where there is no confinement, and that which should be set on your table should be full of fatness. But you have fulfilled the judgment of the wicked; judgment and justice take hold on you. Because there is wrath, beware lest he take you away with his stroke; then a great ransom cannot deliver you. Will he esteem your riches? No, not gold, nor all the forces of strength. Desire not the night when people are cut off in their place. Take heed, regard not iniquity, for this you have chosen rather than affliction.
  26. Behold, God exalts by his power. Who teaches like him? Who has enjoined him his way? Or who can say, You have wrought iniquity? Remember that you magnify his work, which men behold. Every man may see it, man may behold it afar off. Behold, God is great and we know him not, neither can the number of his years be searched out.
  27. For he makes small the drops of water, they pour down rain according to the vapor thereof, which the clouds do drop and distill upon man abundantly. Also, can any understand the spreadings of the clouds or the noise of his tabernacle? Behold, he spreads his light upon it and covers the bottom of the sea. For by them he judges the people. He gives food in abundance. With clouds he covers the light, and commands it not to shine by the cloud that comes between. The noise thereof shows concerning it; the cattle also, concerning the vapor.
  28. At this also my heart trembles and is moved out of his place. Hear attentively the noise of his voice and the sound that goes out of his mouth. He directs it under the whole heaven, and his lightning unto the ends of the earth. After it a voice roars, he thunders with the voice of his excellence, and he will not restrain them when his voice is heard. God thunders marvelously with his voice.
  29. Great things does he which we cannot comprehend. For he says to the snow, Be on the earth; likewise to the small rain and to the great rain of his strength. He seals up the hand of every man, that all men may know his work. Then the beasts go into dens and remain in their places. Out of the south comes the whirlwind, and cold out of the north. By the breath of God, frost is given and the breadth of the waters is narrowed. Also by watering, he wearies the thick cloud. He scatters his bright cloud and it is turned round about by his counsels, that they may do whatever he commands them upon the face of the world in the earth. He causes it to come — whether for correction, or for his land, or for mercy.
  30. Listen unto this, O Job. Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God. Do you know when God disposed them and caused the light of his cloud to shine? Do you know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of him who is perfect in knowledge? How your garments are warm when he quiets the earth by the south wind? Have you, with him, spread out the sky, which is strong and as a molten mirror?
  31. Teach us what we shall say unto him, for we cannot order our speech by reason of darkness. Shall it be told him that I speak? If a man speak, surely he shall be swallowed up. And now men see not the bright light which is in the clouds, but the wind passes and cleanses them. Fair weather comes out of the north; with God is terrible majesty. Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out. He is excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice. He will not afflict. Men do therefore fear him. He respects not any that are wise of heart.