4

Eliphaz’s First Response to Job

Eliphaz’s First Response to Job

1Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied to Job:

2“Will you be patient and let me say a word?

For who could keep from speaking out?

3“In the past you have encouraged many people;

you have strengthened those who were weak.

4Your words have supported those who were falling;

you encouraged those with shaky knees.

5But now when trouble strikes, you lose heart.

You are terrified when it touches you.

6Doesn’t your reverence for God give you confidence?

Doesn’t your life of integrity give you hope?

7“Stop and think! Do the innocent die?

When have the upright been destroyed?

8My experience shows that those who plant trouble

and cultivate evil will harvest the same.

9A breath from God destroys them.

They vanish in a blast of his anger.

10The lion roars and the wildcat snarls,

but the teeth of strong lions will be broken.

11The fierce lion will starve for lack of prey,

and the cubs of the lioness will be scattered.

12“This truth was given to me in secret,

as though whispered in my ear.

13It came to me in a disturbing vision at night,

when people are in a deep sleep.

14Fear gripped me,

and my bones trembled.

15A spirit*4:15a Or wind; also in 4:16.  swept past my face,

and my hair stood on end.*4:15b Or its wind sent shivers up my spine. 

16The spirit stopped, but I couldn’t see its shape.

There was a form before my eyes.

In the silence I heard a voice say,

17‘Can a mortal be innocent before God?

Can anyone be pure before the Creator?’

18“If God does not trust his own angels

and has charged his messengers with foolishness,

19how much less will he trust people made of clay!

They are made of dust, crushed as easily as a moth.

20They are alive in the morning but dead by evening,

gone forever without a trace.

21Their tent-cords are pulled and the tent collapses,

and they die in ignorance.