1 THEN Eliphaz the Temanite answered:
2Can anyone be any benefit to God? Can he benefit even from the wise? 3Is it an advantage to the Almighty if you are righteous? What gain to him if your conduct is perfect? 4Does he arraign you for your piety — is it on this count he brings you to trial? 5No: it is because your wickedness is so great, and your depravity passes all bounds.
6Without cause you exact pledges from your brothers, leaving them stripped of their clothes and naked. 7To the weary you give no water to drink and you withhold bread from the starving. 8Is the earth, then, the preserve of the strong, a domain for the favoured few? 9You have sent widows away empty-handed, the fatherless you have left without support. 10No wonder there are pitfalls in your path, scares to fill you with sudden terror! 11No wonder light a 22:11 light: so Gk; Heb. or. is turned to darkness, so that you cannot see, and a deluge of rain envelops you!
12Surely God is at the zenith of the heavens and looks down on the topmost stars, high as they are. 13Yet you say, ‘What can God know? Can he see through thick darkness to judge? 14His eyes cannot pierce the curtain of the clouds as he moves to and fro on the vault of heaven.’ 15Consider the course of the wicked, the path the miscreants tread; 16see how they are snatched off before their time, their very foundation flowing away like a river. 17They said to God, ‘Leave us alone. What can the Almighty do to us b 22:17 to us: so Gk; Heb. to them. ?’ 18Yet it was he who filled their houses with good things, although their purposes and his c 22:18 his: so Gk; Heb. mine. were very different. 19The righteous see and exult, the innocent make game of them; 20for their riches d 22:20 riches: so Gk; Heb. word unknown. are swept away, the profusion of their wealth is consumed by fire.
21Come to terms with God and you will prosper; that is the way to mend your fortune. 22Accept instruction from his lips and take his words to heart. 23If you come back to the Almighty in sincerity, if you banish wrongdoing from your home, 24if you treat your precious metal as dust e 22:24 If … dust: prob. rdg; Heb. if you put your precious metal on dust. and the gold of Ophir as stones from the stream, 25then the Almighty himself will be your precious metal; he will be your silver in double measure. 26Then, with sure trust in f 22:26 with … in: or delighting in. the Almighty, you will raise your face to God; 27you will pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will fulfil your vows. 28In all your decisions you will have success, and on your path light will shine; 29but God brings down the pride of the haughty g 22:29 but … haughty: prob. rdg; Heb. obscure. and keeps safe those who are humble. 30He will deliver the innocent h 22:30 the innocent: prob. rdg; Heb. the not innocent. , and you will be delivered, because your hands are pure.
a 22:11 light: so Gk; Heb. or.
b 22:17 to us: so Gk; Heb. to them.
c 22:18 his: so Gk; Heb. mine.
d 22:20 riches: so Gk; Heb. word unknown.
e 22:24 If … dust: prob. rdg; Heb. if you put your precious metal on dust.
f 22:26 with … in: or delighting in.
g 22:29 but … haughty: prob. rdg; Heb. obscure.
h 22:30 the innocent: prob. rdg; Heb. the not innocent.