Eliphaz’s Third Speech
1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered:
2 “Is it to God that a strong man is of benefit?
Is it to him that even a wise man is profitable?
3 Is it of any special benefit to the Almighty
that you should be righteous,
or is it any gain to him
that you make your ways blameless?
4 Is it because of your piety that he rebukes you
and goes to judgment with you?
5 Is not your wickedness great
and is there no end to your iniquity?
6 “For you took pledges from your brothers
for no reason,
and you stripped the clothing from the naked.
7 You gave the weary no water to drink
and from the hungry you withheld food.
8 Although you were a powerful man, owning land,
an honoured man living on it,
9 you sent widows away empty-handed,
and the arms of the orphans you crushed.
10 That is why snares surround you,
and why sudden fear terrifies you,
11 why it is so dark you cannot see,
and why a flood of water covers you.
12 “Is not God on high in heaven?
And see the lofty stars, how high they are!
13 But you have said, ‘What does God know?
Does he judge through such deep darkness?
14 Thick clouds are a veil for him, so he does not see us,
as he goes back and forth
in the vault of heaven.’
15 Will you keep to the old path
that evil men have walked –
16 men who were carried off before their time,
when the flood was poured out
on their foundations?
17 They were saying to God, ‘Turn away from us,’
and ‘What can the Almighty do to us?’
18 But it was he who filled their houses
with good things –
yet the counsel of the wicked
was far from me.
19 The righteous see their destruction and rejoice;
the innocent mock them scornfully, saying,
20 ‘Surely our enemies are destroyed,
and fire consumes their wealth.’
21 “Reconcile yourself with God,
and be at peace with him;
in this way your prosperity will be good.
22 Accept instruction from his mouth
and store up his words in your heart.
23 If you return to the Almighty, you will be built up;
if you remove wicked behaviour far from your tent,
24 and throw your gold in the dust –
your gold of Ophir
among the rocks in the ravines –
25 then the Almighty himself will be your gold,
and the choicest silver for you.
26 Surely then you will delight yourself in the Almighty,
and will lift up your face toward God.
27 You will pray to him and he will hear you,
and you will fulfil your vows to him.
28 Whatever you decide on a matter,
it will be established for you,
and light will shine on your ways.
29 When people are brought low and you say
‘Lift them up!’
then he will save the downcast;
30 he will deliver even someone who is not innocent,
who will escape through the cleanness of your hands.”