Job 32-34

Posted on October 10, 2011 by

(Based upon the ESV chronological Bible reading plan.)

Job 32

Elihu Rebukes Job’s Three Friends

1So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. 2Then Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, burned with anger. He burned with anger at Job because he justified himself rather than God. 3He burned with anger also at Job’s three friends because they had found no answer, although they had declared Job to be in the wrong. 4Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job because they were older than he. 5And when Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, he burned with anger.

6And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said:

“I am young in years,
and you are aged;
therefore I was timid and afraid
to declare my opinion to you.
7I said, ‘Let days speak,
and many years teach wisdom.’
8But it is the spirit in man,
the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand.
9 It is not the old[a] who are wise,
nor the aged who understand what is right.
10Therefore I say, ‘Listen to me;
let me also declare my opinion.’

11“Behold, I waited for your words,
I listened for your wise sayings,
while you searched out what to say.
12I gave you my attention,
and, behold, there was none among you who refuted Job
or who answered his words.
13Beware lest you say, ‘We have found wisdom;
God may vanquish him, not a man.’
14He has not directed his words against me,
and I will not answer him with your speeches.

15“They are dismayed; they answer no more;
they have not a word to say.
16And shall I wait, because they do not speak,
because they stand there, and answer no more?
17I also will answer with my share;
I also will declare my opinion.
18For I am full of words;
the spirit within me constrains me.
19Behold, my belly is like wine that has no vent;
like new wineskins ready to burst.
20 I must speak, that I may find relief;
I must open my lips and answer.
21I will not show partiality to any man
or use flattery toward any person.
22For I do not know how to flatter,
else my Maker would soon take me away.

Job 33

Elihu Rebukes Job

1“But now, hear my speech, O Job,
and listen to all my words.
2Behold, I open my mouth;
the tongue in my mouth speaks.
3My words declare the uprightness of my heart,
and what my lips know they speak sincerely.
4 The Spirit of God has made me,
and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
5 Answer me, if you can;
set your words in order before me; take your stand.
6Behold, I am toward God as you are;
I too was pinched off from a piece of clay.
7Behold, no fear of me need terrify you;
my pressure will not be heavy upon you.

8“Surely you have spoken in my ears,
and I have heard the sound of your words.
9You say, ‘I am pure, without transgression;
I am clean, and there is no iniquity in me.
10Behold, he finds occasions against me,
he counts me as his enemy,
11he puts my feet in the stocks
and watches all my paths.’

12“Behold, in this you are not right. I will answer you,
for God is greater than man.
13Why do you contend against him,
saying, ‘He will answer none of man’s[b] words’?[c]
14For God speaks in one way,
and in two, though man does not perceive it.
15In a dream, in a vision of the night,
when deep sleep falls on men,
while they slumber on their beds,
16then he opens the ears of men
and terrifies them with warnings,
17that he may turn man aside from his deed
and conceal pride from a man;
18he keeps back his soul from the pit,
his life from perishing by the sword.

19“Man is also rebuked with pain on his bed
and with continual strife in his bones,
20so that his life loathes bread,
and his appetite the choicest food.
21His flesh is so wasted away that it cannot be seen,
and his bones that were not seen stick out.
22His soul draws near the pit,
and his life to those who bring death.
23If there be for him an angel,
a mediator, one of the thousand,
to declare to man what is right for him,
24and he is merciful to him, and says,
‘Deliver him from going down into the pit;
I have found a ransom;
25let his flesh become fresh with youth;
let him return to the days of his youthful vigor’;
26then man[d] prays to God, and he accepts him;
he sees his face with a shout of joy,
and he restores to man his righteousness.
27He sings before men and says:
‘I sinned and perverted what was right,
and it was not repaid to me.
28He has redeemed my soul from going down into the pit,
and my life shall look upon the light.’

29“Behold, God does all these things,
twice, three times, with a man,
30to bring back his soul from the pit,
that he may be lighted with the light of life.
31Pay attention, O Job, listen to me;
be silent, and I will speak.
32If you have any words, answer me;
speak, for I desire to justify you.
33If not, listen to me;
be silent, and I will teach you wisdom.”

Job 34

Elihu Asserts God’s Justice

1Then Elihu answered and said:
2“Hear my words, you wise men,
and give ear to me, you who know;
3for the ear tests words
as the palate tastes food.
4Let us choose what is right;
let us know among ourselves what is good.
5For Job has said, ‘I am in the right,
and God has taken away my right;
6in spite of my right I am counted a liar;
my wound is incurable, though I am without transgression.’
7What man is like Job,
who drinks up scoffing like water,
8who travels in company with evildoers
and walks with wicked men?
9For he has said, ‘It profits a man nothing
that he should take delight in God.’

10“Therefore, hear me, you men of understanding:
far be it from God that he should do wickedness,
and from the Almighty that he should do wrong.
11For according to the work of a man he will repay him,
and according to his ways he will make it befall him.
12Of a truth, God will not do wickedly,
and the Almighty will not pervert justice.
13Who gave him charge over the earth,
and who laid on him[e] the whole world?
14If he should set his heart to it
and gather to himself his spirit and his breath,
15all flesh would perish together,
and man would return to dust.

16“If you have understanding, hear this;
listen to what I say.
17 Shall one who hates justice govern?
Will you condemn him who is righteous and mighty,
18who says to a king, ‘Worthless one,’
and to nobles, ‘Wicked man,’
19who shows no partiality to princes,
nor regards the rich more than the poor,
for they are all the work of his hands?
20In a moment they die;
at midnight the people are shaken and pass away,
and the mighty are taken away by no human hand.

21“For his eyes are on the ways of a man,
and he sees all his steps.
22There is no gloom or deep darkness
where evildoers may hide themselves.
23For God[f] has no need to consider a man further,
that he should go before God in judgment.
24He shatters the mighty without investigation
and sets others in their place.
25Thus, knowing their works,
he overturns them in the night, and they are crushed.
26He strikes them for their wickedness
in a place for all to see,
27because they turned aside from following him
and had no regard for any of his ways,
28so that they caused the cry of the poor to come to him,
and he heard the cry of the afflicted—
29When he is quiet, who can condemn?
When he hides his face, who can behold him,
whether it be a nation or a man?—
30that a godless man should not reign,
that he should not ensnare the people.

31“For has anyone said to God,
‘I have borne punishment; I will not offend any more;
32 teach me what I do not see;
if I have done iniquity, I will do it no more’?
33Will he then make repayment to suit you,
because you reject it?
For you must choose, and not I;
therefore declare what you know.[g]
34Men of understanding will say to me,
and the wise man who hears me will say:
35‘Job speaks without knowledge;
his words are without insight.’
36Would that Job were tried to the end,
because he answers like wicked men.
37For he adds rebellion to his sin;
he claps his hands among us
and multiplies his words against God.”

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