1 THEN Eliphaz the Temanite answered:
2Would a sensible person give vent to such hot-air arguments or puff himself up with an east wind? 3Would he bandy useless words and speeches so unprofitable? 4Why! You even banish the fear of God from your mind, cutting off all communication with him. 5Your iniquity dictates what you say, and deceit is your chosen language. 6You are condemned out of your own mouth, not by me; your own lips testify against you.
7Were you the firstborn of mankind, brought forth before the hills? 8Do you listen in God's secret council or usurp all wisdom for yourself alone? 9What do you know that we do not know? What insight have you that we do not share? 10We have age and white hairs in our company, men older than your father. 11Does not consolation from God suffice you, a word whispered quietly in your ear? 12What makes you so bold at heart, and why do your eyes flash, 13that you vent your anger on God and pour out such mouthfuls of words? 14What is any human being, that he should be innocent, or any child of woman, that he should be justified? 15If God puts no trust in his holy ones, and the heavens are not innocent in his sight, 16how much less so are human beings, who are loathsome and corrupt and lap up evil like water!
17I shall tell you, if only you will listen; I shall recount what I have seen— 18what has been handed down by wise men and was not concealed from them by their forefathers, 19to whom alone the land was given, and no foreigner moved among them: 20the wicked through all their days are racked with anxiety; so it is with the tyrant through all the years allotted to him. 21The noise of the hunter's scare rings in his ears; even in time of peace the marauder swoops down on him; 22he cannot hope to escape from dark death; he is marked down for the sword; 23he is flung out as food for vultures; he knows that his destruction is certain. 24Suddenly a black day comes upon him, distress and anxiety overwhelm him like a king about to fall; 25for he has lifted his hand against God and pits himself against the Almighty, 26running at him head lowered, with the full weight of his bossed shield.
27Heavy though his jowl is and gross, and though his sides bulge with fat, 28the city where he lives will lie in ruins, his house will be deserted, destined to crumble in a heap of rubble. 29He will be rich no longer, his wealth will not endure, and he will strike no root a 15:29 root: prob. rdg, cp. Lat.; Heb. unintelligible. in the earth b in the earth: prob. rdg; Heb. adds he will not escape from darkness. ; 30scorching heat will shrivel his shoots, and his blossom c 15:30 blossom: so Gk; Heb. mouth. will be shaken off by the wind. 31He deceives himself, trusting in his high rank, for all his dealings will come to nothing. 32His palm trees d 15:32 His palm trees: prob. rdg, cp. Gk; Heb. omits. will wither e wither: so Gk; Heb. be filled. unseasonably, and his branches will not be luxuriant; 33he will be like a vine that sheds its grapes unripened, like an olive tree that drops its blossom. 34For the godless, one and all, are barren, and their homes, enriched through bribery, are destroyed by fire; 35they conceive mischief and give birth to trouble, and the child of their womb is deceit.