The Bible – Old Testament
Elihu proceeded further and said:
Wait yet a little and I will instruct you, for there are still words to be said on God’s behalf.
I will bring my knowledge from afar, and to my Maker I will accord the right.
For indeed, my theme cannot fail me: the one perfect in knowledge I set before you.
1 Behold, God rejects the obstinate in heart; he preserves not the life of the wicked.
He withholds not the just man’s rights, but grants vindication to the oppressed,
And with kings upon thrones he sets them, exalted forever.
Or if they are bound with fetters and held fast by bonds of affliction,
Then he makes known to them what they have done and their sins of boastful pride.
He opens their ears to correction and exhorts them to turn back from evil.
If they obey and serve him, they spend their days in prosperity, their years in happiness.
2 But if they obey not, they perish; they die for lack of knowledge.
The impious in heart lay up anger for themselves; they cry not for help when he enchains them;
3 Therefore they expire in youth, and perish among the reprobate.
But he saves the unfortunate through their affliction, and instructs them through distress.
Take heed, turn not to evil; for you have preferred carousal to affliction.
Behold, God is sublime in his power. What teacher is there like him?
Who prescribes for him his conduct, or who can say, “You have done wrong”?
Remember, you should extol his work, which men have praised in song.
All men contemplate it; man beholds it from afar.
Lo, God is great beyond our knowledge; the number of his years is past searching out.
He holds in check the waterdrops that filter in rain through his mists,
Till the skies run with them and the showers rain down on mankind.
5 For by these he nourishes the nations, and gives them food in abundance.
6 Lo! he spreads the clouds in layers as the carpeting of his tent.
In his hands he holds the lightning, and he commands it to strike the mark.
His thunder speaks for him and incites the fury of the storm.
1 [5-21] Perhaps this section should be read between ⇒ Job 34:6 and 7.
2  Knowledge: practical wisdom in serving God, which they lack because they refused it when warned (cf ⇒ Job 36:10).
3  Reprobate: cf ⇒ Deut 23:18-19.
4 [16-20] The Hebrew text here is in disorder. The Vulgate has: “Therefore he will give you most ample salvation from the narrow mouth which has no foundations beneath it; but the repose of your table will be filled with fatness. (Job 36:17) Your case has been judged as that of the wicked; case and judgment you will receive. (Job 36:18) Let no wrath, then, overcome you, that you oppress anyone; nor let numerous gifts mislead you. (Job 36:19) Lay down your greatness without tribulation, and all who are mighty in strength. (⇒ Job 36:20) Do not draw out the night, that people may go in place of them.”
5  These: refers to the showers of ⇒ Job 36:28 if the verse order indicated above is correct.
6 [30-31] Because of the uncertaintiy of the text, no translation of these verses has received unanimous approval from exegetes.