1Then Elifaz the Teimani spoke up:
2“If one tries to speak to you, will you mind?
Yet who could keep from speaking?
3You have given moral instruction to many,
you have firmed up feeble hands,
4your words have supported those who were stumbling,
and you have strengthened the weak-kneed.
5“But now it comes to you, and you are impatient;
at the first touch, you are in shock.
6Isn’t your fear of God your assurance,
and the integrity of your ways your hope?
7“Think back: what innocent person has perished?
Since when are the upright destroyed?
8What I see is that those who plow sin
and sow trouble reap just that.
9At a breath from God, they perish;
at a blast from his anger, they are consumed.
10The lion may growl, the king lion may roar,
but that old lion’s teeth are broken;
11so the lion succumbs from lack of prey,
and the lion’s cubs are scattered.
12“For a word was stealthily brought to me,
my ear caught only a whisper of it.
13In passing thoughts flashing through visions at night,
when sleep lies heavy on people,
14a shiver of horror came over me;
it made all my bones tremble.
15Then a spirit passed in front of my face;
the hair of my flesh stood on end.
16It stood still,
but I couldn’t make out its appearance;
yet the form stayed there before my eyes.
Then I heard a subdued voice:
17‘Can a human be seen by God as righteous?
Can a mortal be pure before his maker?
18[God] doesn’t trust his own servants,
he finds fault even with his angels;
19much more those living in houses of clay,
whose foundation is in the dust.
They are crushed more easily than a worm;
20shattered between morning and evening;
they perish forever, and no one takes notice.
21Their cord within them is pulled up;
then they die, without ever gaining wisdom.’