Job 4:1-21

Job's friend Eliphaz speaks to him

4:1Now Job's friend Eliphaz tries to explain to Job why bad things have happened. He says that God is kind to good people. And he punishes people who are bad. So if bad things have happened, Job must have done wrong things. But this is not right. Many bad things happen, even if we live our lives in the right way.

1 Job's friend Eliphaz lived in a place called Teman. He said this to Job:

2 ‘You might not like the things that I want to say.

But I have to say something because this is important.

3 Think about this:

You have taught many people.

And you have helped weak people.

4 By your words, you have saved people from great dangers.

And you have helped weak people to hope.

5 But now you have many troubles.

And you feel sad and weak because of your troubles.

6 But you can still hope that your troubles will stop.

Go on being afraid to make God angry.

And try to live the right way.

7 Think about this:

Many people live the right way. They do not die while they are young.

God does not kill people who only do good things.

8 I will tell you what I have seen.

Bad people have trouble in their lives.

In fact they have troubles that they cause for themselves.

They are like a farmer.

The things that he has planted grow in his field.

9 God is angry with people who are like that.

And he will kill them.

When God is angry it is like a strong wind.

When he is angry bad people die. They die like they would in a bad storm.

10 Think about lions. They are strong animals.

But if God breaks a lion's teeth, it cannot eat.

11 So it is hungry and, in the end, it dies.

And the young lions will run away to find their food.

Bad people may be strong too.

But, if God is angry, they cannot fight him.

12 One night I heard a quiet voice.

Someone spoke to me and told me a secret.

13 I was asleep, but my dreams woke me.

14 I was very afraid.

Even my bones were shaking.

15 Then a spirit passed my face.

My hairs stood up.

16 The spirit did not have a shape that I recognized.

Everything was quiet and then I heard the voice. I heard a voice say:

17 “God made us all. And he sees the things that we do.

He knows that no one is completely good.

18 He says that even his servants and his angels do wrong things.

19 God made us all from clay.

And we are as weak as insects that fly.

So we cannot hope to have lives with no troubles.

20 All our lives are very short.

Insects are born after dawn and they die before the end of the day.

No one will ever see them again.

Our lives are so short that they seem like that.

21 Our lives are like tents.

There are pegs that keep a tent in the right place.

When you remove the pegs, you can take the tent away.

So a small thing can cause us to die.

And often people learn nothing during their lives.” ’