1Then Job answered:2"Listen carefully to my words, and let this be the way you comfort me.3Be patient while I speak. After I have finished, you may continue to make fun of me.4"My complaint is not just against people; I have reason to be impatient.5Look at me and be shocked; put your hand over your mouth in shock.6When I think about this, I am terribly afraid and my body shakes.7Why do evil people live a long time? They grow old and become more powerful.8They see their children around them; they watch them grow up.9Their homes are safe and without fear; God does not punish them.10Their bulls never fail to mate; their cows have healthy calves.11They send out their children like a flock; their little ones dance about.12They sing to the music of tambourines and harps, and the sound of the flute makes them happy.13Evil people enjoy successful lives and then go peacefully to the grave.14They say to God, 'Leave us alone! We don't want to know your ways.15Who is the Almighty that we should serve him? What would we gain by praying to him?'16The success of the wicked is not their own doing. Their way of thinking is different from mine.17Yet how often are the lamps of evil people turned off? How often does trouble come to them?18How often are they like straw in the wind or like chaff that is blown away by a storm?19It is said, 'God saves up a person's punishment for his children.' But God should punish the wicked themselves so they will know it.20Their eyes should see their own destruction, and they should suffer the anger of the Almighty.21They do not care about the families they leave behind when their lives have come to an end.22"No one can teach knowledge to God; he is the one who judges even the most important people.23One person dies while he still has all his strength, feeling completely safe and comfortable.24His body was well fed, and his bones were strong and healthy.25But another person dies with an unhappy heart, never enjoying any happiness.26They are buried next to each other, and worms cover them both.27"I know very well your thoughts and your plans to wrong me.28You ask about me, 'Where is this great man's house? Where are the tents where the wicked live?'29Have you never asked those who travel? Have you never listened to their stories?30On the day of God's anger and punishment, it is the wicked who are spared.31Who will accuse them to their faces? Who will pay them back for the evil they have done?32They are carried to their graves, and someone keeps watch over their tombs.33The dirt in the valley seems sweet to them. Everybody follows after them, and many people go before them.34"So how can you comfort me with this nonsense? Your answers are only lies!"
1Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered:2"Can anyone be of real use to God? Can even a wise person do him good?3Does it help the Almighty for you to be good? Does he gain anything if you are innocent?4Does God punish you for respecting him? Does he bring you into court for this?5No! It is because your evil is without limits and your sins have no end.6You took your brothers' things for a debt they didn't owe; you took clothes from people and left them naked.7You did not give water to tired people, and you kept food from the hungry.8You were a powerful man who owned land; you were honored and lived in the land.9But you sent widows away empty-handed, and you mistreated orphans.10That is why traps are all around you and sudden danger frightens you.11That is why it is so dark you cannot see and a flood of water covers you.12"God is in the highest part of heaven. See how high the highest stars are!13But you ask, 'What does God know? Can he judge us through the dark clouds?14Thick clouds cover him so he cannot see us as he walks around high up in the sky.'15Are you going to stay on the old path where evil people walk?16They were carried away before their time was up, and their foundations were washed away by a flood.17They said to God, 'Leave us alone! The Almighty can do nothing to us.'18But it was God who filled their houses with good things. Their way of thinking is different from mine.19"Good people can watch and be glad; the innocent can laugh at them and say,20'Surely our enemies are destroyed, and fire burns up their wealth.'21"Obey God and be at peace with him; this is the way to happiness.22Accept teaching from his mouth, and keep his words in your heart.23If you return to the Almighty, you will be blessed again. So remove evil from your house.24Throw your gold nuggets into the dust and your fine gold among the rocks in the ravines.25Then the Almighty will be your gold and the best silver for you.26You will find pleasure in the Almighty, and you will look up to him.27You will pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will keep your promises to him.28Anything you decide will be done, and light will shine on your ways.29When people are made humble and you say, 'Have courage,' then the humble will be saved.30Even a guilty person will escape and be saved because your hands are clean."
1Then Job answered:2"My complaint is still bitter today. I groan because God's heavy hand is on me.3I wish I knew where to find God so I could go to where he lives.4I would present my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments5I would learn how he would answer me and would think about what he would say.6Would he not argue strongly against me? No, he would really listen to me.7Then an honest person could present his case to God, and I would be saved forever by my judge.8"If I go to the east, God is not there; if I go to the west, I do not see him.9When he is at work in the north, I catch no sight of him; when he turns to the south, I cannot see him.10But God knows the way that I take, and when he has tested me, I will come out like gold.11My feet have closely followed his steps; I have stayed in his way; I did not turn aside.12I have never left the commands he has spoken; I have treasured his words more than my own.13"But he is the only God. Who can come against him? He does anything he wants.14He will do to me what he said he would do, and he has many plans like this15That is why I am frightened of him; when I think of this, I am afraid of him.16God has made me afraid; the Almighty terrifies me.17But I am not hidden by the darkness, by the thick darkness that covers my face.