Chapter 3

  1. Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said, If we attempt to speak with you, will you be grieved? But who can withhold himself from speaking? Behold, you have instructed many, and you have strengthened the weak hands. Your words have upheld him that was falling, and you have strengthened the feeble knees. But now it has come upon you, and you faint. It touches you, and you are troubled. Is not this your fear, your confidence, your hope, and the uprightness of your ways?
  2. Remember, I pray you: who perished, being innocent? Or where were the righteous cut off? Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity and sow wickedness reap the same. By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his nostrils are they consumed. The roaring of the lion, and the voice of the fierce lion, and the teeth of the young lions are broken. The old lion perishes for lack of prey, and the stout lion’s whelps are scattered abroad.
  3. Now a thing was secretly brought to me and my ear received a little thereof. In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on men, fear came upon me, and trembling which made all my bones to shake. Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up. It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof. An image was before my eyes. There was silence, and I heard a voice saying, Shall mortal man be more just than God? Shall a man be more pure than his Maker? Behold, he put no trust in his servants, and his angels he charged with folly. How much less them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, who are crushed before the moth! They are destroyed from morning to evening. They perish for ever without any regarding it. Does not their excellence in them go away? They die even without wisdom.
  4. Call now, if there be any that will answer you; and to which of the saints will you turn? For wrath kills the foolish man, and envy slays the silly one. I have seen the foolish taking root, but suddenly I cursed his habitation. His children are far from safety, and they are crushed in the gate. Neither is there any to deliver them whose harvest the hungry eats up and takes it even out of the thorns; and the robber swallows up their substance. Although affliction comes not forth of the dust, neither does trouble spring out of the ground. Yet man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward.
  5. I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause, who does great things, and unsearchable, marvelous things without number; who gives rain upon the earth and sends waters upon the fields; to set up on high those that be low, that those who mourn may be exalted to safety. He disappoints the devices of the crafty so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise. He takes the wise in their own craftiness, and the counsel of the froward is carried headlong. They meet with darkness in the daytime, and grope in the noonday as in the night. But he saves the poor from the sword, from their mouth, and from the hand of the mighty. So the poor has hope, and iniquity stops her mouth.
  6. Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; therefore, despise not the chastening of the Almighty. For he makes sore, and binds up; he wounds, and his hands make whole. He shall deliver you in six troubles, yea, in seven there shall no evil touch you. In famine he shall redeem you from death, and in war from the power of the sword. You shall be hidden from the scourge of the tongue, neither shall you be afraid of destruction when it comes. At destruction and famine you shall laugh, neither shall you be afraid of the beasts of the earth; for you shall be in league with the stones of the field, and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with you. And you shall know that your tabernacle shall be in peace, and you shall visit your habitation and shall not sin. You shall know also that your seed shall be great, and your offspring as the grass of the earth. You shall come to your grave in a full age, like a shock of grain comes in in his season.
  7. Behold this, we have examined it, so it is. Hear it and know it for your good.
  8. But Job answered and said, Oh that my grief were thoroughly weighed, and my calamity laid in the balances together, for now it would be heavier than the sand of the sea. Therefore, my words are swallowed up. For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinks up my spirit. The terrors of God do set themselves in array against me. Does the wild ass bray when he has grass? Or lows the ox over his fodder? Can that which is unsavory be eaten without salt? Or is there any taste in the white of an egg? The things that my soul refused to touch are as my sorrowful food.
  9. Oh that I might have my request, and that God would grant me the thing that I long for, even that it would please God to destroy me, that he would let loose his hand and cut me off. Then should I yet have comfort, yea, I would harden myself in sorrow. Let him not spare, for I have not concealed the words of the Holy One.
  10. What is my strength, that I should hope? And what is my end, that I should prolong my life? Is my strength the strength of stones? Or is my flesh of brass? Is not my help in me? And is wisdom driven quite from me?
  11. To him that is afflicted, pity should be shown from his friend, but he forsakes the fear of the Almighty. My brethren have dealt deceitfully as a brook, and as the stream of brooks they pass away, which are darkened by reason of the ice, and wherein the snow is hidden. When they wax warm, they vanish. When it is hot, they are consumed out of their place. The paths of their way are turned aside; they go to nothing and perish. The troops of Tema looked, the companies of Sheba waited for them. They were confounded because they had hoped; they came there and were ashamed. For now you are nothing; you see my casting down and are afraid. Did I say, Bring unto me? Or, Give a reward for me of your substance? Or, Deliver me from the enemy’s hand? Or, Redeem me from the hand of the mighty?
  12. Teach me, and I will hold my tongue; and cause me to understand wherein I have erred. How forcible are right words! But what does your arguing prove? Do you imagine to reprove words, and the speeches of one that is desperate, as wind? Yea, you overwhelm the fatherless, and you dig a pit for your friend.
  13. Now therefore be content; look upon me, for it is evident unto you if I lie. Return, I pray you, let it not be iniquity; yea, return again, my righteousness is in me. Is there iniquity in my tongue? Cannot my taste discern perverse things?
  14. Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? Are not his days also like the days of a hired hand? As a servant earnestly desires the shadow, and as a hired hand looks for the reward of his work, so am I made to possess months of vanity, and wearisome nights are appointed to me. When I lie down, I say, When shall I arise and the night be gone? And I am full of tossings to and fro unto the dawning of the day.
  15. My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust. My skin has broken and become loathsome. My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle and are spent without hope. O remember that my life is wind. My eye shall no more see good. The eye of him that has seen me shall see me no more; your eyes are upon me, and I am not. As the cloud is consumed and vanishes away, so he that goes down to the grave shall come up no more. He shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him anymore.
  16. Therefore, I will not restrain my mouth, I will speak in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. Am I a sea, or a whale, that you set a watch over me? When I say, My bed shall comfort me, my couch shall ease my complaint — then you scare me with dreams and terrify me through visions, so that my soul chooses strangling and death rather than my life. I loathe it. I would not live always. Let me alone, for my days are vanity.
  17. What is man that you should magnify him? And that you should set your heart upon him? And that you should visit him every morning and try him every moment? How long will you not depart from me, nor let me alone until I swallow down my spittle? I have sinned. What shall I do unto you, O you preserver of men? Why have you set me as a mark against you so that I am a burden to myself? And why do you not pardon my transgression and take away my iniquity? For now shall I sleep in the dust, and you shall seek me in the morning, but I shall not be.