Eliphaz of Teman spoke a second time:
"If you were truly wise, would you sound so much like a windbag, belching hot air?
Would you talk nonsense in the middle of a serious argument, babbling baloney?
Look at you! You trivialize religion, turn spiritual conversation into empty gossip.
It's your sin that taught you to talk this way. You chose an education in fraud.
Your own words have exposed your guilt. It's nothing I've said - you've incriminated yourself!
Do you think you're the first person to have to deal with these things? Have you been around as long as the hills?
Were you listening in when God planned all this? Do you think you're the only one who knows anything?
What do you know that we don't know? What insights do you have that we've missed?
Gray beards and white hair back us up - old folks who've been around a lot longer than you.
Are God's promises not enough for you, spoken so gently and tenderly?
Why do you let your emotions take over, lashing out and spitting fire,
Pitting your whole being against God by letting words like this come out of your mouth?
Do you think it's possible for any mere mortal to be sinless in God's sight, for anyone born of a human mother to get it all together?
Why, God can't even trust his holy angels. He sees the flaws in the very heavens themselves,
So how much less we humans, smelly and foul, who lap up evil like water?
"I've a thing or two to tell you, so listen up! I'm letting you in on my views;
It's what wise men and women have always taught, holding nothing back from what they were taught
By their parents, back in the days when they had this land all to themselves:
Those who live by their own rules, not God's, can expect nothing but trouble, and the longer they live, the worse it gets.
Every little sound terrifies them. Just when they think they have it made, disaster strikes.
They despair of things ever getting better - they're on the list of people for whom things always turn out for the worst.
They wander here and there, never knowing where the next meal is coming from - every day is doomsday!
They live in constant terror, always with their backs up against the wall
Because they insist on shaking their fists at God, defying God Almighty to his face,
Always and ever at odds with God, always on the defensive.
"Even if they're the picture of health, trim and fit and youthful,
They'll end up living in a ghost town sleeping in a hovel not fit for a dog, a ramshackle shack.
They'll never get ahead, never amount to a hill of beans.
And then death - don't think they'll escape that! They'll end up shriveled weeds, brought down by a puff of God's breath.
There's a lesson here: Whoever invests in lies, gets lies for interest,
Paid in full before the due date. Some investment!
They'll be like fruit frost-killed before it ripens, like buds sheared off before they bloom.
The godless are fruitless - a barren crew; a life built on bribes goes up in smoke.
They have sex with sin and give birth to evil. Their lives are wombs for breeding deceit."
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)