1 Then Elifaz the Teimani spoke up:
2 "If one tries to speak to you, will you mind? Yet who could keep from speaking?
3 You have given moral instruction to many, you have firmed up feeble hands,
4 your 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.
6 Isn'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?
8 What I see is that those who plow sin and sow trouble reap just that.
9 At a breath from God, they perish; at a blast from his anger, they are consumed.
10 The lion may growl, the king lion may roar, but that old lion's teeth are broken;
11 so 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.
13 In passing thoughts flashing through visions at night, when sleep lies heavy on people,
14 a shiver of horror came over me; it made all my bones tremble.
15 Then a spirit passed in front of my face; the hair of my flesh stood on end.
16 It 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;
19 much more those living in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust. They are crushed more easily than a worm;
20 shattered between morning and evening; they perish forever, and no one takes notice.
21 Their cord within them is pulled up; then they die, without ever gaining wisdom.'