Job 35

Elihu’s Third Speech[a]

Chapter 35

How Does Human Conduct Affect God? 1 Then Elihu continued his speech, saying:

2 “Do you think that you can defend your uprightness
by claiming that you are just before God?
3 For you said: ‘What does it mean to you?
Or what would you gain if I sinned?’
4 I will provide an answer for you
and your three friends as well.
5 “Look up to the skies and see;
observe the clouds towering above you.
6 If you sin, how can that affect God?
And if your offenses are multiplied, how do you hurt him?
7 If you are righteous, what do you give him?
What does he receive from your hand?
8 Your wickedness affects only someone like you,
and your righteousness affects only your fellow men.

No One Asks, “Where Is God?”

9 “People cry out under the weight of oppression;
they cry for help against the power of the mighty.
10 But not one of them asks, ‘Where is God, my Maker,
who protects me during the night,
11 who gave us greater intelligence than the animals of the earth
and made us wiser than the birds of the air?’
12 Although they cry out, God does not answer
because of the pride of the wicked.
13 “But it is foolish to say that God does not hear
or that the Almighty does not pay attention.
14 Even though you do not see him,
he is aware of your plight,
and you must wait for his decision.
15 But now, because God does not grow angry and punish
and because he allows transgressions to go unheeded,
16 Job gives vent to his anger with empty talk
and babbles a stream of utter nonsense.”

Footnotes

  1. Job 35:1 The silence of God is what upsets human beings. Is the Eternal One perhaps indifferent to human tragedies? Elihu looks for a different explanation: God is silent because unhappy human beings lack faith in their prayers, and they sin through pride. But the entire passage is obscure in its development.

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