Second Series of Speeches

Eliphaz Speaks

Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:

Does a wise man answer with empty[a] counsel

or fill himself[b] with the hot east wind?

Should he argue with useless talk

or with words that serve no good purpose?

But you even undermine the fear of God

and hinder meditation before Him.

Your iniquity teaches you what to say,

and you choose the language of the crafty.

Your own mouth condemns you, not I;

your own lips testify against you.

Were you the first person ever born,

or were you brought forth before the hills?

Do you listen in on the council of God,

or have a monopoly on wisdom?

What do you know that we don’t?

What do you understand that is not clear to us?

10 Both the gray-haired and the elderly are with us,

men older than your father.

11 Are God’s consolations not enough for you,

even the words that deal gently with you?

12 Why has your heart misled you,

and why do your eyes flash

13 as you turn your anger[c] against God

and allow such words to leave your mouth?

14 What is man, that he should be pure,

or one born of woman, that he should be righteous?

15 If God puts no trust in His holy ones

and the heavens are not pure in His sight,

16 how much less one who is revolting and corrupt,

who drinks injustice like water?

17 Listen to me and I will inform you.

I will describe what I have seen,

18 what was declared by wise men

and was not suppressed by their ancestors,

19 the land was given to them alone

when no foreigner passed among them.

20 A wicked man writhes in pain all his days;

only a few[d] years are reserved for the ruthless.

21 Dreadful sounds fill his ears;

when he is at peace, a robber attacks him.

22 He doesn’t believe he will return from darkness;

he is destined for the sword.

23 He wanders about for food, saying, “Where is it?”

He knows the day of darkness is at hand.

24 Trouble and distress terrify him,

overwhelming him like a king prepared for battle.

25 For he has stretched out his hand against God

and has arrogantly opposed the Almighty.

26 He rushes headlong at Him

with his thick, studded shields.

27 Though his face is covered with fat[e]

and his waistline bulges with it,

28 he will dwell in ruined cities,

in abandoned houses destined to become piles of rubble.

29 He will no longer be rich; his wealth will not endure.

His possessions[f] will not increase in the land.

30 He will not escape from the darkness;

flames will wither his shoots,

and by the breath of God’s mouth, he will depart.

31 Let him not put trust in worthless things, being led astray,

for what he gets in exchange will prove worthless.

32 It will be accomplished before his time,

and his branch will not flourish.

33 He will be like a vine that drops its unripe grapes

and like an olive tree that sheds its blossoms.

34 For the company of the godless will have no children,

and fire will consume the tents of those who offer bribes.

35 They conceive trouble and give birth to evil;

their womb prepares deception.


  1. Job 15:2 Lit windy; Jb 16:3
  2. Job 15:2 Lit his belly
  3. Job 15:13 Or spirit
  4. Job 15:20 Lit the number of
  5. Job 15:27 Lit with his fat
  6. Job 15:29 Text emended; MT reads their gain