They have only a few days to live. Their lives are full of trouble.
They grow like flowers, and then they dry up. They are like shadows that quickly disappear.
"God, why do you keep looking at someone like me? Are you planning to take me to court?
Who can bring what is pure from something that isn't pure? No one!
You decide how long anyone will live. You have established the number of his months. You have set a limit to the number of his days.
So look away from him. Leave him alone. Let him put in his time like a hired worker.
"At least there is hope for a tree. If it's cut down, it will begin to grow again. New branches will appear on it.
Its roots may grow old in the ground. Its stump may die in the soil.
But when it smells water, it will begin to grow. It will send out new growth like a plant.
No man is like that. When he dies, he is buried in a grave. He takes his last breath. Then he is gone.
Water disappears from lakes. Riverbeds become empty and dry.
In the same way, a man lies down and never gets up. He won't wake up or rise from his sleep until the heavens are gone.
"I wish you would hide me in a grave! I wish you would cover me up until your anger passes by! I wish you would set the time for me to spend in the grave and then bring me back up!
If a man dies, will he live again? All the days of my hard work I will wait for the time when you give me new life.
You will call out to me, and I will answer you. Your hands created me. So you will long for me.
Then you will count every step I take. But you won't keep track of my sin.
The wrong things I've done will be sealed up in a bag. You will wipe out my sins by forgiving them.
"A mountain wears away and crumbles. A rock is moved from its place.
Water wears stones away. Storms wash soil away. In the same way, you destroy our hope.
You overpower us completely, and then we're gone. You change the way we look and send us to our graves.
If our children are honored, we don't even know it. If they are dishonored, we don't even see it.
All we feel is the pain of our own bodies. We are full of sadness only for ourselves."
Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied,
"Job, if you were wise, would you answer us with a lot of meaningless talk? Would you fill your stomach with the hot east wind?
Would you argue with useless words? Would you give worthless speeches?
But you even cause others to lose their respect for God. You make it hard for them to be faithful to him.
Your sin makes you say evil things. You talk like people who twist the truth.
Your own mouth judges you, not mine. Your own lips witness against you.
"Are you the first man who was ever born? Were you created before the hills?
Do you listen in when God speaks with his angels? Do you think you are the only wise person?
What do you know that we don't know? What understanding do you have that we don't have?
People who are old and gray are on our side. And they are even older than your parents!
Aren't God's words of comfort enough for you? He speaks them to you gently.
Why have you let your wild ideas carry you away? Why do your eyes flash with anger?
Why do you get so angry with God? Why do words like those pour out of your mouth?
"Can human beings really be pure? Can mere men really be right with God?
God doesn't trust his holy angels. Even the heavens aren't pure in his sight.
So he'll certainly find fault with human beings. After all, they are evil and sinful. They drink up evil as if it were water.
"Listen to me. I'll explain things to you. Let me tell you what I've seen.
I'll tell you what those who are wise have said. They don't hide anything they've received from their people of long ago.
The land was given only to those people. Their wisdom didn't come from outsiders. And here's what those who are wise have said.
Sinful people always suffer pain. Mean people suffer all their lives.
Terrifying sounds fill their ears. When everything seems to be going well, robbers attack them.
They lose all hope of escaping the darkness of death. They will certainly be killed with swords.
They wander around. They are like food for vultures. They know that the day they will die is near.
Suffering and pain terrify them. Their troubles overpower them, like a king ready to attack his enemies.
They shake their fists at God. They brag about themselves and oppose the Mighty One.
They boldly charge against him with their thick, strong shields.
"Their faces are very fat. Their stomachs hang out.
They'll live in towns that have been destroyed. They'll live in houses where no one else lives. The houses will crumble to pieces.
They won't be rich anymore. Their wealth won't last. Their property will no longer spread out over the land.
They won't escape the darkness of death. A flame will dry up everything they have. The breath of God will blow them away.
Don't let them fool themselves by trusting in what is worthless. They won't get anything out of it.
Even before they die, they'll be paid back in full. No matter what they do, it won't succeed.
They'll be like vines that are stripped of their unripe grapes. They'll be like olive trees that drop their flowers.
People who are ungodly won't have any children. Fire will burn up the tents of people who accept money from those who want special favors.
Instead of having children, ungodly people create suffering. All they produce is evil. They are full of lies."
"I've heard many of those things before. You are terrible at comforting me!
Your speeches go on forever. Won't they ever end? What's wrong with you? Why do you keep on arguing?
If you and I changed places, I could say the same things you are saying. I could make fine speeches against you. I could shake my head at you.
But what I might say would give you hope. My words of comfort would help you.
"If I speak, it doesn't help me. And if I keep quiet, my pain doesn't go away.
God has worn me out completely. He has destroyed my whole family.
People can see the condition he has put me in. My thin body stands as a witness against me.
God is angry with me. He attacks me and tears me up. He grinds his teeth at me. He stares at me as if he were my enemy.
People make fun of me. They slap my face and laugh at me. All of them join together against me.
God has turned me over to sinful people. He has handed me over to them.
Everything was going well with me. But he broke me into pieces like a clay pot. He grabbed me by the neck and crushed me. He has taken aim at me.
He shoots his arrows at me from all sides. Without pity, he stabs me in the kidneys. He spills my insides on the ground.
He smashes through me as if I were a wall. He rushes at me like a fighting man.
"I've sewed black cloth over my skin. All I can do is sit here in the dust.
My face is red from crying. I have deep circles under my eyes.
But I haven't harmed anyone. My prayers to God are pure.
"Earth, please don't cover up my blood! May God always hear my cry for help!
Even now my witness is in heaven. The one who speaks up for me is there.
My go-between is my friend as I pour out my tears to God.
He makes his appeal to God to help me as a man begs someone to help his friend.
"Only a few years will pass by. Then I'll go on a journey I won't return from.