Elihu continues to speak
34:1The things that Elihu says in this chapter do not help Job. Elihu may be speaking to Job's friends (verse 2). He says some bad things about Job (verses 7 to 9). Then he says things about God that do not help Job. God cannot do anything wrong (verse 12). God is powerful but he is always fair (verse 17). God knows everything (verses 21 to 23). And Job has not said sorry to God. So Elihu says that God will not forgive him. None of these things helps Job to understand why bad things have happened to him.
1 Then Elihu said this:
2 ‘Hear the words that I speak, you wise men.
Listen to me, you men who have learned many things.
3 You recognize nice food when you eat it.
And you ought to understand the words that you hear.
4 We should decide what is right.
And we should agree together what is true.
5 Job has said, “I am an honest man.
But God does not agree with me.
6 I am right.
But nobody believes me.
I have not done anything wrong.
But I am like a man who has his last illness.”
7 There has never been a man like Job.
He laughs at God as easily as a man drinks water.
8 He meets with men who do wrong things.
And his friends are bad people.
9 Job says that people should not try to obey God.
If they do, they will not get anything back.
10 So listen to me, you men who understand everything.
Almighty God will not do anything that is wrong.
11 If a man has been kind to other people, God is kind to him.
But God will do to a bad man the things that he has done to other people.
12 No one thinks that God could ever do anything wrong.
All the things that he does, he does fairly.
13 God is the ruler of the whole world.
And nobody gave that job to him!
14 God gave us our lives.
So he can decide if he wants to take them from us.
15 If he did that, everyone would die together.
And people would become dirt again.
16 If you can understand my words, then hear me.
And listen to me when I speak to you.
17 God could not rule fairly if he were not a good God.
He is powerful and he is always fair. So you cannot say that he has been cruel to you.
18 It is God who removes kings and rulers.
He may do this if they have been bad kings or bad rulers.
19 God made us all. So it does matter to him that someone is a king's son.
And he is no kinder to a rich person than he is to a poor person.
20 Anyone can die in a moment, in the middle of the night.
People die, even if no person has tried to kill them.
21 He watches the way that people live.
They can go anywhere that they want. But he will always be able to see them.
22 There is no place dark enough for people to hide from God.
It does not matter where they are. He can always see them.
23 In the end, people will have to explain to God how they have lived their lives.
But God does not need to tell them when they will have to do that.
24 God does not need to ask what rulers have done. He may decide to remove them.
And he will make other men rulers instead of them.
25 He knows that the bad rulers have done wrong things.
So, in the night, he kills them.
26 He punishes them where everyone can see them.
He does this because they have done wrong things.
27 They have not lived in the way that he wanted them to live.
And they have not done the things that he told them to do.
28 Because of the things that they did, poor people had to ask God for help.
And God heard those poor people and he helped them.
29 But God might have decided not to help those poor people.
And no one could say that he was wrong to decide that.
If he hides himself, no one can see him.
But he rules over men and countries.
30 He does not let bad people rule.
In this way, he saves the people from bad rulers.
31 Someone may say to God, “I have done wrong things.
But I am sorry and I will not do them again.
32 I may not have understood that some things were wrong.
Tell me about such things and I will not do them again either.”
33 But Job, you refuse to say that you are sorry.
So there is no reason why God should forgive you.
You must decide what you will do. I cannot decide for you.
So give me a true answer – what have you decided?
34 Wise men agree with the things that I say.
This is what they will say to me.
35 “Job speaks like a fool.
He does not understand the things that he says.”
36 Job, it is right that bad things should happen to you.
You have spoken like a bad man would speak.
37 You have done wrong things. And now you are refusing to obey God.
You are playing games with us. And you have now said many bad things against God.’