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Job 34 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

34 Then Elihu continued,[a] saying:

Hear my words, you wise men,
and listen to me, you knowledgeable ones.
Doesn’t the ear test words
as the palate tastes food?
Let us judge for ourselves what is right;
let us decide together what is good.
For Job has declared, “I am righteous,
yet God has deprived me of justice.
Would I lie about my case?
My wound[b] is incurable,
though I am without transgression.”
What man is like Job?
He drinks derision like water.
He keeps company with evildoers
and walks with wicked men.
For he has said, “A man gains nothing
when he becomes God’s friend.”

10 Therefore listen to me, you men of understanding.
It is impossible for God to do wrong,
and for the Almighty to act unjustly.
11 For He repays a person according to his deeds,
and He brings his ways on him.
12 Indeed, it is true that God does not act wickedly
and the Almighty does not pervert justice.
13 Who gave Him authority over the earth?
Who put Him in charge of the entire world?
14 If He put His mind to it
and withdrew the spirit and breath He gave,
15 every living thing would perish together
and mankind would return to the dust.

16 If you have understanding, hear this;
listen to what I have to say.
17 Could one who hates justice govern the world?
Will you condemn the mighty Righteous One,
18 who says to a king, “Worthless man!”
and to nobles, “Wicked men!”?
19 God is not partial to princes
and does not favor the rich over the poor,
for they are all the work of His hands.
20 They die suddenly in the middle of the night;
people shudder, then pass away.
Even the mighty are removed without effort.

21 For His eyes watch over a man’s ways,
and He observes all his steps.
22 There is no darkness, no deep darkness,
where evildoers can hide themselves.
23 God does not need to examine a person further,
that one should[c] approach Him in court.
24 He shatters the mighty without an investigation
and sets others in their place.
25 Therefore, He recognizes their deeds
and overthrows them by night, and they are crushed.
26 In full view of the public,[d]
He strikes them for their wickedness,
27 because they turned aside from following Him
and did not understand any of His ways
28 but caused the poor to cry out to Him,
and He heard the outcry of the afflicted.
29 But when God is silent, who can declare Him guilty?
When He hides His face, who can see Him?
Yet He watches over both individuals and nations,
30 so that godless men should not rule
or ensnare the people.

31 Suppose someone says to God,
“I have endured my punishment;
I will no longer act wickedly.
32 Teach me what I cannot see;
if I have done wrong, I won’t do it again.”
33 Should God repay you on your terms
when you have rejected His?
You must choose, not I!
So declare what you know.
34 Reasonable men will say to me,
along with the wise men who hear me,
35 “Job speaks without knowledge;
his words are without insight.”
36 If only Job were tested to the limit,
because his answers are like those of wicked men.
37 For he adds rebellion to his sin;
he scornfully claps in our presence,
while multiplying his words against God.


  1. Job 34:1 Lit answered
  2. Job 34:6 Lit arrow
  3. Job 34:23 Some emend to God has not appointed a time for man to
  4. Job 34:26 Lit In a place of spectators

Job 34 New International Version (NIV)

34 Then Elihu said:

“Hear my words, you wise men;
    listen to me, you men of learning.
For the ear tests words
    as the tongue tastes food.
Let us discern for ourselves what is right;
    let us learn together what is good.

“Job says, ‘I am innocent,
    but God denies me justice.
Although I am right,
    I am considered a liar;
although I am guiltless,
    his arrow inflicts an incurable wound.’
Is there anyone like Job,
    who drinks scorn like water?
He keeps company with evildoers;
    he associates with the wicked.
For he says, ‘There is no profit
    in trying to please God.’

10 “So listen to me, you men of understanding.
    Far be it from God to do evil,
    from the Almighty to do wrong.
11 He repays everyone for what they have done;
    he brings on them what their conduct deserves.
12 It is unthinkable that God would do wrong,
    that the Almighty would pervert justice.
13 Who appointed him over the earth?
    Who put him in charge of the whole world?
14 If it were his intention
    and he withdrew his spirit[a] and breath,
15 all humanity would perish together
    and mankind would return to the dust.

16 “If you have understanding, hear this;
    listen to what I say.
17 Can someone who hates justice govern?
    Will you condemn the just and mighty One?
18 Is he not the One who says to kings, ‘You are worthless,’
    and to nobles, ‘You are wicked,’
19 who shows no partiality to princes
    and does not favor the rich over the poor,
    for they are all the work of his hands?
20 They die in an instant, in the middle of the night;
    the people are shaken and they pass away;
    the mighty are removed without human hand.

21 “His eyes are on the ways of mortals;
    he sees their every step.
22 There is no deep shadow, no utter darkness,
    where evildoers can hide.
23 God has no need to examine people further,
    that they should come before him for judgment.
24 Without inquiry he shatters the mighty
    and sets up others in their place.
25 Because he takes note of their deeds,
    he overthrows them in the night and they are crushed.
26 He punishes them for their wickedness
    where everyone can see them,
27 because they turned from following him
    and had no regard for any of his ways.
28 They caused the cry of the poor to come before him,
    so that he heard the cry of the needy.
29 But if he remains silent, who can condemn him?
    If he hides his face, who can see him?
Yet he is over individual and nation alike,
30     to keep the godless from ruling,
    from laying snares for the people.

31 “Suppose someone says to God,
    ‘I am guilty but will offend no more.
32 Teach me what I cannot see;
    if I have done wrong, I will not do so again.’
33 Should God then reward you on your terms,
    when you refuse to repent?
You must decide, not I;
    so tell me what you know.

34 “Men of understanding declare,
    wise men who hear me say to me,
35 ‘Job speaks without knowledge;
    his words lack insight.’
36 Oh, that Job might be tested to the utmost
    for answering like a wicked man!
37 To his sin he adds rebellion;
    scornfully he claps his hands among us
    and multiplies his words against God.”


  1. Job 34:14 Or Spirit
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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