Then Elihu continued his speech:
“Listen to what I say, you wise men.
Pay attention, you who know so much.
Your tongue tastes the food it touches,
and your ear tests the words it hears.
So let us test these arguments and decide for ourselves what is right.
Together we will learn what is good.
Job says, ‘I am innocent,
and God is not being fair to me.
I am right, but I am judged to be a liar.
I have done no wrong, but I am badly hurt.’
“Would anyone but Job say such things?
He has more thirst for insulting God than for water.
He is a friend of evil people.
He likes to spend time with the wicked.
I know this because he says,
‘You will gain nothing if you try to please God.’
10 “You men can understand, so listen to me.
God would never do what is evil!
God All-Powerful would never do wrong.
11 He pays us back for what we have done.
He gives us what we deserve.
12 The truth is that God does no wrong.
God All-Powerful is always fair.
13 No one chose God to be in charge of the earth.
No one gave him responsibility for the whole world.
14 If God decided to take away his spirit
and the breath of life he gave us,
15 then everything on earth would die.
We would all become dust again.
16 “If you men are wise,
you will listen to what I say.
17 Can someone be a ruler if he hates justice?
Job, God is not only powerful, but he is fair.
Do you think you can judge him guilty?
18 God is the one who says to kings, ‘You are worthless!’
He says to leaders, ‘You are evil!’
19 He does not respect leaders more than other people.
And he does not respect the rich more than the poor.
God made everyone.
20 Any of us can die suddenly, in the middle of the night.
Anyone can get sick and pass away.
Even powerful people die for no reason we can see.
21 “God watches what people do.
He sees every step they take.
22 There is no place dark enough
for evil people to hide from God.
23 God does not need to set a time
for people to come before him and be judged.
24 He does not have to ask questions when people do wrong,
even if they are powerful leaders.
He simply destroys them
and chooses others to take their place.
25 When he learns what people have done,
he defeats them, and overnight they are gone.
26 He will punish them for the evil they have done,
and he will do it where everyone can see.
27 He will do this because they rebelled against him
and ignored what he wanted.
28 They hurt the poor and made them cry to God for help.
And he hears their cry!
29 But if God decides not to help them,
no one can judge him guilty.
If he hides himself, no one can find him.
He is the ruler over every person and nation.
30 He keeps the wicked from ruling
so that they will not bring harm to the people.
31 “A person should say to God,
‘I am guilty; I will not sin anymore.
32 Show me the sins I am not able to see.
If I have done wrong, I will not do it again.’
33 Job, you want God to reward you,
but you refuse to change.
It is your decision, not mine.
Tell me what you think.
34 A wise person would listen to me.
A wise person would say,
35 ‘Job talks like an ignorant person.
What he says doesn’t make sense!’
36 I think Job should be punished even more,
because he answers us like someone who is evil!
37 He adds rebellion to his other sins.
He sits there insulting us and arguing with God!”