Chapter 34

1Elihu said in reply:

אוַיַּעַן אֱלִיהוּא וַיֹּאמַר׃

2Listen, O wise men, to my words; You who have knowledge, give ear to me.

shim-U kha-kha-MEEM mi-LAI v'-yo-d'-EEM ha-a-ZEE-nu LEE

בשִׁמְעוּ חֲכָמִים מִלָּי וְיֹדְעִים הַאֲזִינוּ לִי׃

34:2   Listen, O wise men, to my words

Elihu calls on the wise men and those who have knowledge to ‘listen’ or ‘hear,’ and also to ‘give ear’. This pair of synonyms appear together in a number of places in the Bible, most prominently in Sefer Devarim 32:1. That verse introduces a song in which Hashem calls on heaven and earth to be the eternal witnesses to the covenant He has made with the Jewish people. If Israel follows His commandments, they will live peacefully in the land. If, however, they over-indulge, become morally corrupt and abandon the Lord, they will be sent into exile. The prophet Yeshayahu also calls on heaven and earth with these same words (Isaiah 1:2).

3For the ear tests arguments As the palate tastes food.

גכִּי־אֹזֶן מִלִּין תִּבְחָן וְחֵךְ יִטְעַם לֶאֱכֹל׃

4Let us decide for ourselves what is just; Let us know among ourselves what is good.

דמִשְׁפָּט נִבְחֲרָה־לָּנוּ נֵדְעָה בֵינֵינוּ מַה־טּוֹב׃

5For Iyov has said, “I am right; Hashem has deprived me of justice.

הכִּי־אָמַר אִיּוֹב צָדַקְתִּי וְאֵל הֵסִיר מִשְׁפָּטִי׃

6I declare the judgment against me false; My arrow-wound is deadly, though I am free from transgression.”

ועַל־מִשְׁפָּטִי אֲכַזֵּב אָנוּשׁ חִצִּי בְלִי־פָשַׁע׃

7What man is like Iyov, Who drinks mockery like water;

זמִי־גֶבֶר כְּאִיּוֹב יִשְׁתֶּה־לַּעַג כַּמָּיִם׃

8Who makes common cause with evildoers, And goes with wicked men?

חוְאָרַח לְחֶבְרָה עִם־פֹּעֲלֵי אָוֶן וְלָלֶכֶת עִם־אַנְשֵׁי־רֶשַׁע׃

9For he says, “Man gains nothing When he is in Hashem's favor.”

טכִּי־אָמַר לֹא יִסְכָּן־גָּבֶר בִּרְצֹתוֹ עִם־אֱלֹהִים׃

10Therefore, men of understanding, listen to me; Wickedness be far from Hashem, Wrongdoing, from Shaddai!

ילָכֵן אַנֲשֵׁי לֵבָב שִׁמְעוּ לִי חָלִלָה לָאֵל מֵרֶשַׁע וְשַׁדַּי מֵעָוֶל׃

11For He pays a man according to his actions, And provides for him according to his conduct;

יאכִּי פֹעַל אָדָם יְשַׁלֶּם־לוֹ וּכְאֹרַח אִישׁ יַמְצִאֶנּוּ׃

12For Hashem surely does not act wickedly; Shaddai does not pervert justice.

יבאַף־אָמְנָם אֵל לֹא־יַרְשִׁיעַ וְשַׁדַּי לֹא־יְעַוֵּת מִשְׁפָּט׃

13Who placed the earth in His charge? Who ordered the entire world?

יגמִי־פָקַד עָלָיו אָרְצָה וּמִי שָׂם תֵּבֵל כֻּלָּהּ׃

14If He but intends it, He can call back His spirit and breath;

ידאִם־יָשִׂים אֵלָיו לִבּוֹ רוּחוֹ וְנִשְׁמָתוֹ אֵלָיו יֶאֱסֹף׃

15All flesh would at once expire, And mankind return to dust.

טויִגְוַע כָּל־בָּשָׂר יָחַד וְאָדָם עַל־עָפָר יָשׁוּב׃

16If you would understand, listen to this; Give ear to what I say.

טזוְאִם־בִּינָה שִׁמְעָה־זֹּאת הַאֲזִינָה לְקוֹל מִלָּי׃

17Would one who hates justice govern? Would you condemn the Just Mighty One?

יזהַאַף שׂוֹנֵא מִשְׁפָּט יַחֲבוֹשׁ וְאִם־צַדִּיק כַּבִּיר תַּרְשִׁיעַ׃

18Would you call a king a scoundrel, Great men, wicked?

יחהַאֲמֹר לְמֶלֶךְ בְּלִיָּעַל רָשָׁע אֶל־נְדִיבִים׃

19He is not partial to princes; The noble are not preferred to the wretched; For all of them are the work of His hands.

יטאֲשֶׁר לֹא־נָשָׂא פְּנֵי שָׂרִים וְלֹא נִכַּר־שׁוֹעַ לִפְנֵי־דָל כִּי־מַעֲשֵׂה יָדָיו כֻּלָּם׃

20Some die suddenly in the middle of the night; People are in turmoil and pass on; Even great men are removed—not by human hands.

כרֶגַע יָמֻתוּ וַחֲצוֹת לָיְלָה יְגֹעֲשׁוּ עָם וְיַעֲבֹרוּ וְיָסִירוּ אַבִּיר לֹא בְיָד׃

21For His eyes are upon a man's ways; He observes his every step.

כאכִּי־עֵינָיו עַל־דַּרְכֵי־אִישׁ וְכָל־צְעָדָיו יִרְאֶה׃

22Neither darkness nor gloom offers A hiding-place for evildoers.

כבאֵין־חֹשֶׁךְ וְאֵין צַלְמָוֶת לְהִסָּתֶר שָׁם פֹּעֲלֵי אָוֶן׃

23He has no set time for man To appear before Hashem in judgment.

כגכִּי לֹא עַל־אִישׁ יָשִׂים עוֹד לַהֲלֹךְ אֶל־אֵל בַּמִּשְׁפָּט׃

24He shatters mighty men without number And sets others in their place.

כדיָרֹעַ כַּבִּירִים לֹא־חֵקֶר וַיַּעֲמֵד אֲחֵרִים תַּחְתָּם׃

25Truly, He knows their deeds; Night is over, and they are crushed.

כהלָכֵן יַכִּיר מַעְבָּדֵיהֶם וְהָפַךְ לַיְלָה וְיִדַּכָּאוּ׃

26He strikes them down with the wicked Where people can see,

כותַּחַת־רְשָׁעִים סְפָקָם בִּמְקוֹם רֹאִים׃

27Because they have been disloyal to Him And have not understood any of His ways;

כזאֲשֶׁר עַל־כֵּן סָרוּ מֵאַחֲרָיו וְכָל־דְּרָכָיו לֹא הִשְׂכִּילוּ׃

28Thus He lets the cry of the poor come before Him; He listens to the cry of the needy.

כחלְהָבִיא עָלָיו צַעֲקַת־דָּל וְצַעֲקַת עֲנִיִּים יִשְׁמָע׃

29When He is silent, who will condemn? If He hides His face, who will see Him, Be it nation or man?

כטוְהוּא יַשְׁקִט וּמִי יַרְשִׁעַ וְיַסְתֵּר פָּנִים וּמִי יְשׁוּרֶנּוּ וְעַל־גּוֹי וְעַל־אָדָם יָחַד׃

30The impious man rule no more, Nor do those who ensnare the people.

למִמְּלֹךְ אָדָם חָנֵף מִמֹּקְשֵׁי עָם׃

31Has he said to Hashem, “I will bear [my punishment] and offend no more.

לאכִּי־אֶל־אֵל הֶאָמַר נָשָׂאתִי לֹא אֶחְבֹּל׃

32What I cannot see You teach me. If I have done iniquity, I shall not do so again”?

לבבִּלְעֲדֵי אֶחֱזֶה אַתָּה הֹרֵנִי אִם־עָוֶל פָּעַלְתִּי לֹא אֹסִיף׃

33Should He requite as you see fit? But you have despised [Him]! You must decide, not I; Speak what you know.

לגהַמֵעִמְּךָ יְשַׁלְמֶנָּה כִּי־מָאַסְתָּ כִּי־אַתָּה תִבְחַר וְלֹא־אָנִי וּמַה־יָדַעְתָּ דַבֵּר׃

34Men of understanding say to me, Wise men who hear me,

לדאַנְשֵׁי לֵבָב יֹאמְרוּ לִי וְגֶבֶר חָכָם שֹׁמֵעַ לִי׃

35Iyov does not speak with knowledge; His words lack understanding.”

להאִיּוֹב לֹא־בְדַעַת יְדַבֵּר וּדְבָרָיו לֹא בְהַשְׂכֵּיל׃

36Would that Iyov were tried to the limit For answers which befit sinful men.

לואָבִי יִבָּחֵן אִיּוֹב עַד־נֶצַח עַל־תְּשֻׁבֹת בְּאַנְשֵׁי־אָוֶן׃

37He adds to his sin; He increases his transgression among us; He multiplies his statements against Hashem.

לזכִּי יֹסִיף עַל־חַטָּאתוֹ פֶשַׁע בֵּינֵינוּ יִסְפּוֹק וְיֶרֶב אֲמָרָיו לָאֵל׃