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1 ELIPHAZ THE TEMANITE REPLIED:

2 »Should a wise man answer with empty notions or be filled with the hot east wind?

3 »Would he reason with useless words, with speeches that have no value?

4 »You even undermine piety and hinder prayer to God.

5 »Your sin inspires your mouth. You choose the tongue of the crafty.

6 »Your own mouth condemns you, not mine! Your own lips testify against you.

7 »Are you the first man ever born? Were you created before the hills?

8 »Have you heard God’s council? Do you limit wisdom to yourself?

9 »What do you know that we do not know? What insights do you have that we do not have?

10 »The gray-haired and the aged are on our side, men even older than your father.

11 »Are God’s consolations not enough for you, words spoken gently to you?

12 »Why does your heart carry you away? Why do your eyes flash?

13 »Why do you vent your rage against God and pour out such words from your mouth?

14 »What is man, that he could be pure? Or he who is born of woman, that he could be righteous?

15 »If God places no trust in his holy ones, if even the heavens are not pure in his eyes,

16 how much less man, who is vile and corrupt, who drinks up evil like water!

17 »Listen to me and I will explain to you what I have seen.

18 »What have wise men declared, hiding nothing received from their fathers,

19 to whom alone the land was given when no alien passed among them?

20 »All his days the wicked man suffers torment and the ruthless through all the years stored up for him.

21 »Terrifying sounds fill his ears. When all seems well, marauders attack him.

22 »He despairs of escaping the darkness; he is marked for the sword.

23 »He wanders about as food for vultures and he knows the day of darkness is at hand.

24 »Distress and anguish fill him with terror. They overwhelm him, like a king poised to attack.

25 »He shakes his fist at God and vaunts bragsshows off himself against the Almighty,

26 »He defiantly charges against him with a thick, strong shield.

27 »His face is covered with fat and his waist bulges with flesh.

28 »He will inhabit ruined towns and houses where no one lives, houses crumbling to rubble.

29 »He will no longer be rich and his wealth will not endure, nor will his possessions spread over the land.

30 »He will not escape the darkness; a flame will wither his shoots, and the breath of God’s mouth will carry him away.

31 »Let him not deceive himself by trusting what is worthless. He will get nothing in return.

32 »Before his time he will be paid in full, and his branches will not flourish.

33 »He will be like a vine stripped of its unripe grapes, like an olive tree shedding its blossoms.

34 »The company of the godless will be barren. And fire will consume the tents of those who love bribes.

35 »They conceive trouble and give birth to evil. Their womb fashions deceit.«