The Bible – Old Testament
Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:
Can a man be profitable to God? Though to himself a wise man be profitable!
Is it of advantage to the Almighty if you are just? Or is it a gain to him if you make your ways perfect?
Is it because of your piety that he reproves you – that he enters with you into judgment?
Is not your wickedness manifold? Are not your iniquities endless?
1 You have unjustly kept your kinsmen’s goods in pawn, left them stripped naked of their clothing.
To the thirsty you have given no water to drink, and from the hungry you have withheld bread;
As if the land belonged to the man of might, and only the privileged were to dwell in it.
You have sent widows away empty-handed, and the resources of orphans you have destroyed.
Therefore snares are round about you, and a sudden terror causes you dismay,
Or darkness, in which you cannot see; a deluge of waters covers you.
Does not God, in the heights of the heavens, behold the stars, high though they are?
Yet you say, “What does God know? Can he judge through the thick darkness?
Clouds hide him so that he cannot see; he walks upon the vault of the heavens!”
Do you indeed keep to the ancient way trodden by worthless men,
Who were snatched away before their time; whose foundations a flood swept away?
These men said to God, “Depart from us!” and, “What can the Almighty do to us?”
2 (Yet he had filled their houses with good things! But far be from me the mind of the impious!)
The just look on and are gladdened, and the innocent deride them:
“Truly these have been destroyed where they stood, and such as were left, fire has consumed!”
Come to terms with him to be at peace. In this shall good come to you:
Receive instruction from his mouth, and lay up his words in your heart.
If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored; if you put iniquity far from your tent,
3 And treat raw gold like dust, and the fine gold of Ophir as pebbles from the brook,
Then the Almighty himself shall be your gold and your sparkling silver.
For then you shall delight in the Almighty and you shall lift up your face toward God.
You shall entreat him and he will hear you, and your vows you shall fulfill.
When you make a decision, it shall succeed for you, and upon your ways the light shall shine.
For he brings down the pride of the haughty, but the man of humble mien he saves.
God delivers him who is innocent; you shall be delivered through cleanness of hands.
1 [6-8] This criticism of Job by Eliphaz is altogether untrue, but it is made to dramatize the latter’s argument that God always acts justly when he causes someone to suffer. ⇒ Job 22:8 is misplaced.
2  A gloss, taken partly from ⇒ Job 21:16.
3  Ophir: cf note to ⇒ Psalm 45:10.