1Eliphaz of Teman spoke next. He said:
2Can a human being contribute anything to God, when even someone intel igent can benefit onlyhimself?
3Does Shaddai derive any benefit from your uprightness, or profit from your blameless conduct?
4Do you think he is punishing you for your piety and bringing you to justice for that?
5No, for your great wickedness, more likely, for your unlimited sins!
6You have exacted unearned pledges from your brothers, stripped people naked of their clothes,
7failed to give water to the thirsty and refused bread to the hungry;
8handed the land over to a strong man, for some favoured person to move in,
9sent widows away empty-handed and crushed the arms of orphans.
10No wonder, then, if snares are al around you, and sudden terrors make you afraid;
11if light has turned to darkness, so that you cannot see, and you have been submerged in the flood.
12Does not God live high in the heavens, does he not see the zenith of the stars?
13And because he is up there, you have said, 'What does God know? Can he judge through the darkcloud?
14The clouds, to him, are an impenetrable veil, as he goes his way on the rim of the heavens.'
15And wil you stil fol ow the ancient trail trodden by the wicked,
16those who were borne off before their time, whose foundations were swamped by a flood,
17for having said to God, 'Go away! What can Shaddai do to us?'
18Yet he himself had filled their houses with good things, although excluded from the plans of thewicked!
19At such a spectacle, the upright rejoice, and the innocent deride them:
20'See how our enemies have been destroyed! See how their wealth has perished in the flames!'
21Wel then! Make peace with him, be reconciled, and al your happiness will be restored to you.
22Welcome the teaching from his lips, and keep his words close to your heart.
23If you return, humbled, to Shaddai and drive wickedness far from your tent,
24if you lay your gold down on the dust, Ophir down among the pebbles of the torrent,
25Shaddai wil be bars of gold to you and silver piled in heaps.
26Then Shaddai will be al your delight, and you wil lift your face to God.
27You wil pray, and he wil hear; and you wil be able to fulfil your vows.
28Whatever you undertake wil go wel , and light will shine on your path;
29for he casts down the pride of the arrogant, but he saves those of downcast eyes.
30He rescues anyone who is innocent; have your hands clean, and you wil be saved.
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