Elihu Claims to Speak for God
33 “However, Job, please listen to my words,
And pay attention to everything I say.
“Behold, I have opened my mouth [to begin my speech];
My tongue in my mouth is going to speak.
“My words will express the uprightness of my heart,
And my lips will speak what they know with utter sincerity.
“The Spirit of God has made me,
And the breath of [a]the Almighty gives me life [which inspires me].
“Answer me, if you can;
Set yourselves before me, take your stand.
“Behold, I belong to God like you;
I too was formed out of the clay.
“Behold, I will not make you afraid or terrified of me [for I am only mortal and not God],
Nor should any pressure from me weigh heavily upon you.
“Surely you have spoken in my hearing,
And I have heard the sound of your words, saying:
‘I am pure, without transgression;
I am innocent and there is no guilt in me.
‘Behold, God finds pretexts against me;
He counts me as His enemy.
‘He puts my feet in the stocks [to hinder and humiliate me];
He [suspiciously] watches all my paths,’ [you say].
“Look, let me answer you, in this you are not right or just;
For God is greater and far superior to man.
“Why do you complain against Him?
That He does not answer [you with] all His doings.
“For God speaks once,
And even twice, yet no one notices it [including you, Job].
“In a dream, a vision of the night [one may hear God’s voice],
When deep sleep falls on men
While slumbering upon the bed,
Then He opens the ears of men
And seals their instruction,
That He may turn man aside from his conduct,
And keep him from pride;
He holds back his soul from the pit [of destruction],
And his life from passing over into Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead).
“Man is also disciplined with pain on his bed,
And with unceasing complaint in his bones,
So that his life makes him loathe food,
And his soul [loathe] even his favorite dishes.
“His flesh is so wasted away that it cannot be seen,
And his bones which were not seen now stick out.
“Then his soul draws near to the pit [of destruction],
And his life to those who bring death (the destroyers).
“If there is an angel as a mediator for him,
One out of a thousand,
To explain to a man what is right for him [that is, how to be in right standing with God],
Then [b]the angel is gracious to him, and says,
‘Spare him from going down to the pit [of destruction];
I have found a ransom [a consideration, or reason for redemption, an atonement]!’
“Let his flesh be restored and become fresher than in youth;
Let him return to the days of his youthful strength.
“He will pray to God, and He shall be favorable to him,
So that he looks at His face with joy;
For God restores to man His righteousness [that is, his right standing with God—with its joys].
“He sings out to other men,
‘I have sinned and perverted that which was right,
And it was not proper for me!
‘God has redeemed my life from going to the pit [of destruction],
And my life shall see the light.’”
[Elihu comments,] “Behold, God does all these things [c]twice, yes, three times, with a man,
To bring his life back from the pit [of destruction],
That he may be enlightened with the light of the living.
“Pay attention, Job, listen to me;
Keep silent, and I will speak.
“If you have anything to say, answer me;
Speak, for I desire to justify you.
“If not [and you have nothing to say], listen to me;
Keep silent, and I will teach you wisdom.”