First Series of Speeches

Eliphaz Speaks

Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:
Should anyone try to speak with you

when you are exhausted?

Yet who can keep from speaking?

Indeed, you have instructed many

and have strengthened weak hands.

Your words have steadied the one who was stumbling

and braced the knees that were buckling.

But now that this has happened to you,

you have become exhausted.

It strikes you, and you are dismayed.

Isn’t your piety your confidence,

and the integrity of your life[a] your hope?

Consider: who has perished when he was innocent?

Where have the honest been destroyed?

In my experience, those who plow injustice

and those who sow trouble reap the same.

They perish at a single blast from God

and come to an end by the breath of His nostrils.

10 The lion may roar and the fierce lion growl,

but the fangs of young lions are broken.

11 The strong lion dies if it catches no prey,

and the cubs of the lioness are scattered.

12 A word was brought to me in secret;

my ears caught a whisper of it.

13 Among unsettling thoughts from visions in the night,

when deep sleep descends on men,

14 fear and trembling came over me

and made all my bones shake.

15 A wind[b] passed by me,

and I shuddered with fear.[c]

16 A figure stood there,

but I could not recognize its appearance;

a form loomed before my eyes.

I heard a quiet voice:

17 “Can a person be more righteous than God,

or a man more pure than his Maker?”

18 If God puts no trust in His servants

and He charges His angels with foolishness,[d]

19 how much more those who dwell in clay houses,

whose foundation is in the dust,

who are crushed like a moth!

20 They are smashed to pieces from dawn to dusk;

they perish forever while no one notices.

21 Are their tent cords not pulled up?

They die without wisdom.


  1. Job 4:6 Lit ways
  2. Job 4:15 Or A spirit
  3. Job 4:15 Or and the hair on my body stood up
  4. Job 4:18 Or error; Hb obscure