1Then Elihu said:
2“Hear my words, you wise men;
listen to me, you who know a lot.
3The ear tests words
as the tongue tastes food.
4Let’s decide for ourselves what is right,
and let’s learn together what is good.
5“Job says, ‘I am not guilty,
and God has refused me a fair trial.
6Instead of getting a fair trial,
I am called a liar.
I have been seriously hurt,
even though I have not sinned.’
7There is no other man like Job;
he takes insults as if he were drinking water.
8He keeps company with those who do evil
and spends time with wicked men,
9because he says, ‘It is no use
to try to please God.’
10“So listen to me, you who can understand.
God can never do wrong!
It is impossible for the Almighty to do evil.
11God pays people back for what they have done
and gives them what their actions deserve.
12Truly God will never do wrong;
the Almighty will never twist what is right.
13No one chose God to rule over the earth
or put him in charge of the whole world.
14If God should decide
to take away life and breath,
15then everyone would die together
and turn back into dust.
16“If you can understand, hear this;
listen to what I have to say.
17Can anyone govern who hates what is right?
How can you blame God who is both fair and powerful?
18God is the one who says to kings, ‘You are worthless,’
or to important people, ‘You are evil.’
19He is not nicer to princes than other people,
nor kinder to rich people than poor people,
because he made them all with his own hands.
20They can die in a moment, in the middle of the night.
They are struck down, and then they pass away;
powerful people die without help.
21“God watches where people go;
he sees every step they take.
22There is no dark place or deep shadow
where those who do evil can hide from him.
23He does not set a time
for people to come before him for judging.
24Without asking questions, God breaks powerful people into pieces
and puts others in their place.
25Because God knows what people do,
he defeats them in the night, and they are crushed.
26He punishes them for the evil they do
so that everyone else can watch,
27because they stopped following God
and did not care about any of his ways.
28The cry of the poor comes to God;
he hears the cry of the needy.
29But if God keeps quiet, who can blame him?
If he hides his face, who can see him?
God still rules over both nations and persons alike.
30He keeps the wicked from ruling
and from trapping others.
31“But suppose someone says to God,
‘I am guilty, but I will not sin anymore.
32Teach me what I cannot see.
If I have done wrong, I will not do it again.’
33So, Job, should God reward you as you want
when you refuse to change?
You must decide, not I,
so tell me what you know.
34“Those who understand speak,
and the wise who hear me say,
35‘Job speaks without knowing what is true;
his words show he does not understand.’
36I wish Job would be tested completely,
because he answered like an evil man!
37Job now adds to his sin by turning against God.
He claps his hands in protest,
speaking more and more against God.”