Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:
"You are supposed to be a wise man, and yet you give us all this foolish talk. You are nothing but a windbag.
It isn't right to speak so foolishly. What good do such words do?
Have you no fear of God, no reverence for him?
Your sins are telling your mouth what to say. Your words are based on clever deception.
But why should I condemn you? Your own mouth does!
"Were you the first person ever born? Were you born before the hills were made?
Were you listening at God's secret council? Do you have a monopoly on wisdom?
What do you know that we don't? What do you understand that we don't?
On our side are aged, gray-haired men much older than your father!
"Is God's comfort too little for you? Is his gentle word not enough?
What has captured your reason? What has weakened your vision,
that you turn against God and say all these evil things?
Can a mortal be pure? Can a human be just?
Why, God doesn't even trust the angels a ! Even the heavens cannot be absolutely pure in his sight.
How much less pure is a corrupt and sinful person with a thirst for wickedness!
"If you will listen, I will answer you from my own experience.
And it is confirmed by the experience of wise men who have heard the same thing from their fathers,
those to whom the land was given long before any foreigners arrived.
"Wicked people are in pain throughout their lives.
They are surrounded by terrors, and even on good days they fear the attack of the destroyer.
They dare not go out into the darkness for fear they will be murdered.
They wander abroad for bread, saying, 'Where is it?' b They know their ruin is certain.
That dark day terrifies them. They live in distress and anguish, like a king preparing for an attack.
For they have clenched their fists against God, defying the Almighty.
Holding their strong shields, they defiantly charge against him.
"These wicked people are fat and rich,
but their cities will be ruined. They will live in abandoned houses that are ready to tumble down.
They will not continue to be rich. Their wealth will not endure, and their possessions will no longer spread across the horizon.
"They will not escape the darkness. The flame will burn them up, and the breath of God will destroy everything they have.
Let them no longer trust in empty riches. They are only fooling themselves, for emptiness will be their only reward.
They will be cut down in the prime of life, and all they counted on will disappear.
They will be like a vine whose grapes are harvested before they are ripe, like an olive tree that sheds its blossoms so the fruit cannot form.
For the godless are barren. Their homes, enriched through bribery, will be consumed by fire.
They conceive trouble and evil, and their hearts give birth only to deceit."
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)