I have made a covenant with my eyes. How then could I look at a young woman?
For what portion [would I have] from God above, or [what] inheritance from the Almighty on high?
Doesn't disaster come to the wicked and misfortune to evildoers?
Does He not see my ways and number all my steps?
If I have walked in falsehood or my foot has rushed to deceit,
let God weigh me with an accurate balance, and He will recognize my integrity.
If my step has turned from the way, my heart has followed my eyes, or impurity has stained my hands,
let someone else eat what I have sown, and let my crops be uprooted.
If my heart has been seduced by [my neighbor's] wife or I have lurked at his door,
let my own wife grind [grain] for another man, and let other men sleep with her.
For that would be a disgrace; it would be a crime deserving punishment.
For it is a fire that consumes down to Abaddon; it would destroy my entire harvest.
If I have dismissed the case of my male or female servants when they made a complaint against me,
what could I do when God stands up [to judge]? How should I answer Him when He calls [me] to account?
Did not the One who made me in the womb also make them? Did not the same God form us both in the womb?
If I have refused the wishes of the poor or let the widow's eyes go blind,
if I have eaten my few crumbs alone without letting the fatherless eat any of it--
for from my youth, I raised him as [his] father, and since the day I was born I guided the widow--
if I have seen anyone dying for lack of clothing or a needy person without a cloak,
if he did not bless me while warming himself with the fleece from my sheep,
if I ever cast my vote against a fatherless child when I saw that I had support in the [city] gate,
then let my shoulder blade fall from my back, and my arm be pulled from its socket.
For disaster from God terrifies me, and because of His majesty I could not do [these things].
If I placed my confidence in gold or called fine gold my trust,
if I have rejoiced because my wealth is great or because my own hand has acquired [so] much,
if I have gazed at the sun when it was shining or at the moon moving in splendor,
so that my heart was secretly enticed and I threw them a kiss,
this would also be a crime deserving punishment, for I would have denied God above.
Have I rejoiced over my enemy's distress, or become excited when trouble came his way?
I have not allowed my mouth to sin by asking for his life with a curse.
Haven't the members of my household said, "Who is there who has not had enough to eat at Job's table?"
No stranger had to spend the night on the street, for I opened my door to the traveler.
Have I covered my transgressions as others do by hiding my guilt in my heart,
because I greatly feared the crowds, and the contempt of the clans terrified me, so I grew silent and would not go outside?
If only I had someone to hear my [case]! Here is my signature; let the Almighty answer me. Let my Opponent compose [His] indictment.
I would surely carry it on my shoulder and wear it like a crown.
I would give Him an account of all my steps; I would approach Him like a prince.
If my land cries out against me and its furrows join in weeping,
if I have consumed its produce without payment or shown contempt for its tenants,
then let thorns grow instead of wheat and stinkweed instead of barley. The words of Job are concluded.
So these three men quit answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.
Then Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite from the family of Ram became angry. He was angry at Job because he had justified himself rather than God.
He was also angry at Job's three friends because they had failed to refute [him], and yet had condemned him.
Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job because they were [all] older than he.
But when he saw that the three men could not answer Job, he became angry.
So Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite replied: I am young in years, while you are old; therefore I was timid and afraid to tell you what I know.
I thought that age should speak and maturity should teach wisdom.
But it is a spirit in man and the breath of the Almighty that give him understanding.
It is not [only] the old who are wise or the elderly who understand how to judge.
Therefore I say, "Listen to me. I too will declare what I know."
Look, I waited for your conclusions; I listened to your insights as you sought for words.
I paid close attention to you. Yet no one proved Job wrong; not one of you refuted his arguments.
So do not claim, "We have found wisdom; let God deal with him, not man."
But Job has not directed his argument to me, and I will not respond to him with your arguments.
Job's friends are dismayed and can no longer answer; words have left them.
Should I continue to wait now that they are silent, now that they stand [there] and no longer answer?
I too will answer; yes, I will tell what I know.
For I am full of words, and my spirit compels me [to speak].
My heart is like unvented wine; it is about to burst like new wineskins.
I must speak so that I can find relief; I must open my lips and respond.
I will be partial to no one, and I will not give anyone an [undeserved] title.
For I do not know how to give [such] titles; otherwise, my Maker would remove me in an instant.
But now, Job, pay attention to my speech, and listen to all my words.
I am going to open my mouth; my tongue will form words on my palate.
My words [come from] my upright heart, and my lips speak what they know with sincerity.
The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
Refute me if you can. Prepare your case against me; take your stand.
I am just like you before God; I was also pinched off from [a piece of] clay.
Fear of me should not terrify you; the pressure I exert against you will be light.
Surely you have spoken in my hearing, and I have heard these very words:
"I am pure, without transgression; I am clean and have no guilt.
But He finds reasons to oppose me; He regards me as his enemy.
He puts my feet in the stocks; He stands watch over all my paths."
But I tell you that you are wrong in this [matter], since God is greater than man.
Why do you take Him to court for not answering anything a person asks?
For God speaks time and again, but a person may not notice it.
In a dream, a vision in the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they slumber on [their] beds,
He uncovers their ears at that time and terrifies them with warnings,
in order to turn a person [from his] actions and suppress his pride.
God spares his soul from the Pit, his life from crossing the river [of death].
A person may be disciplined on his bed with pain and constant distress in his bones,
so that he detests bread, and his soul [despises his] favorite food.
His flesh wastes away to nothing, and his unseen bones stick out.
He draws near the Pit, and his life to the executioners.
If there is an angel on his side, one mediator out of a thousand, to tell a person what is right for him
and to be gracious to him and say, "Spare him from going down to the Pit; I have found a ransom,"
then his flesh will be healthier than in his youth, and he will return to the days of his youthful vigor.
He will pray to God, and God will delight in him. That man will behold His face with a shout of joy, and God will restore his righteousness to him.
He will look at men and say, "I have sinned and perverted what was right; yet I did not get what I deserved.
He redeemed my soul from going down to the Pit, and I will continue to see the light."
God certainly does all these things two or three times to a man
in order to turn him back from the Pit, so he may shine with the light of life.
Pay attention, Job, and listen to me. Be quiet, and I will speak.
But if you have something to say, answer me; speak, for I would like to justify you.
If not, then listen to me; be quiet, and I will teach you wisdom.