("Oh, that I had someone to hear me! I sign now my defense--let the Almighty answer me; let my accuser put his indictment in writing.
Surely I would wear it on my shoulder, I would put it on like a crown.
I would give him an account of my every step; like a prince I would approach him.)--
"if my land cries out against me and all its furrows are wet with tears,
if I have devoured its yield without payment or broken the spirit of its tenants,
then let briers come up instead of wheat and weeds instead of barley." The words of Job are ended.
So these three men stopped answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.
But Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became very angry with Job for justifying himself rather than God.
He was also angry with the three friends, because they had found no way to refute Job, and yet had condemned him.
Now Elihu had waited before speaking to Job because they were older than he.
But when he saw that the three men had nothing more to say, his anger was aroused.
So Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite said: "I am young in years, and you are old; that is why I was fearful, not daring to tell you what I know.
I thought, 'Age should speak; advanced years should teach wisdom.'
But it is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding.
It is not only the old who are wise, not only the aged who understand what is right.
"Therefore I say: Listen to me; I too will tell you what I know.
I waited while you spoke, I listened to your reasoning; while you were searching for words,
I gave you my full attention. But not one of you has proved Job wrong; none of you has answered his arguments.
Do not say, 'We have found wisdom; let God refute him, not man.'
But Job has not marshaled his words against me, and I will not answer him with your arguments.
"They are dismayed and have no more to say; words have failed them.
Must I wait, now that they are silent, now that they stand there with no reply?
I too will have my say; I too will tell what I know.
For I am full of words, and the spirit within me compels me;
inside I am like bottled-up wine, like new wineskins ready to burst.
I must speak and find relief; I must open my lips and reply.
I will show partiality to no one, nor will I flatter any man;
for if I were skilled in flattery, my Maker would soon take me away.
"But now, Job, listen to my words; pay attention to everything I say.
I am about to open my mouth; my words are on the tip of my tongue.
My words come from an upright heart; my lips sincerely speak what I know.
The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
Answer me then, if you can; prepare yourself and confront me.
I am just like you before God; I too have been taken from clay.
No fear of me should alarm you, nor should my hand be heavy upon you.
"But you have said in my hearing-- I heard the very words--
'I am pure and without sin; I am clean and free from guilt.
Yet God has found fault with me; he considers me his enemy.
He fastens my feet in shackles; he keeps close watch on all my paths.'
"But I tell you, in this you are not right, for God is greater than man.
Why do you complain to him that he answers none of man's words ?
For God does speak--now one way, now another-- though man may not perceive it.
In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men as they slumber in their beds,
he may speak in their ears and terrify them with warnings,
to turn man from wrongdoing and keep him from pride,
to preserve his soul from the pit, his life from perishing by the sword.
Or a man may be chastened on a bed of pain with constant distress in his bones,
so that his very being finds food repulsive and his soul loathes the choicest meal.
His flesh wastes away to nothing, and his bones, once hidden, now stick out.
His soul draws near to the pit, and his life to the messengers of death.
"Yet if there is an angel on his side as a mediator, one out of a thousand, to tell a man what is right for him,
to be gracious to him and say, 'Spare him from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom for him'--
then his flesh is renewed like a child's; it is restored as in the days of his youth.
He prays to God and finds favor with him, he sees God's face and shouts for joy; he is restored by God to his righteous state.
Then he comes to men and says, 'I sinned, and perverted what was right, but I did not get what I deserved.
He redeemed my soul from going down to the pit, and I will live to enjoy the light.'
"God does all these things to a man-- twice, even three times--
to turn back his soul from the pit, that the light of life may shine on him.
"Pay attention, Job, and listen to me; be silent, and I will speak.
If you have anything to say, answer me; speak up, for I want you to be cleared.
But if not, then listen to me; be silent, and I will teach you wisdom."