Job 34
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1  Moreover Elihu answered and said:

א  וַיַּעַן אֱלִיהוּא וַיֹּאמַר.

2  Hear my words, ye wise men; and give ear unto me, ye that have knowledge.

shim-U kha-kha-MEEM mi-LAI v’-yo-d’-EEM ha-a-ZEE-nu lee

ב  שִׁמְעוּ חֲכָמִים מִלָּי וְיֹדְעִים הַאֲזִינוּ לִי.

34:2   Hear my words, ye wise men; and give ear unto me

Elihu calls on the wise men and those that have knowledge to both ‘hear’ and ‘give ear’. This pair of synonyms appear together in a number of places in the Bible, most famously in Deuteronomy 32:1. That verse introduces a song in which the Lord 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 Isaiah also calls on heaven and earth with these same words (Isaiah 1:2).


3  For the ear trieth words, as the palate tasteth food.

ג  כִּי אֹזֶן מִלִּין תִּבְחָן וְחֵךְ יִטְעַם לֶאֱכֹל.

4  Let us choose for us that which is right; let us know among ourselves what is good.

ד  מִשְׁפָּט נִבְחֲרָה לָּנוּ נֵדְעָה בֵינֵינוּ מַה טּוֹב.

5  For Iyov hath said: ‘I am righteous, and God hath taken away my right;

ה  כִּי אָמַר אִיּוֹב צָדַקְתִּי וְאֵל הֵסִיר מִשְׁפָּטִי.

6  Notwithstanding my right I am accounted a liar; my wound is incurable, though I am without transgression.’

ו  עַל מִשְׁפָּטִי אֲכַזֵּב אָנוּשׁ חִצִּי בְלִי פָשַׁע.

7  What man is like Iyov, who drinketh up scorning like water?

ז  מִי גֶבֶר כְּאִיּוֹב יִשְׁתֶּה לַּעַג כַּמָּיִם.

8  Who goeth in company with the workers of iniquity, and walketh with wicked men.

ח  וְאָרַח לְחֶבְרָה עִם פֹּעֲלֵי אָוֶן וְלָלֶכֶת עִם אַנְשֵׁי רֶשַׁע.

9  For he hath said: ‘It profiteth a man nothing that he should be in accord with God.’

ט  כִּי אָמַר לֹא יִסְכָּן גָּבֶר בִּרְצֹתוֹ עִם אֱלֹהִים.

10  Therefore hearken unto me, ye men of understanding: Far be it from God, that He should do wickedness; and from the Almighty, that He should commit iniquity.

י  לָכֵן אַנְשֵׁי לֵבָב שִׁמְעוּ לִי חָלִלָה לָאֵל מֵרֶשַׁע וְשַׁדַּי מֵעָוֶל.

11  For the work of a man will He requite unto him, and cause every man to find according to his ways.

יא  כִּי פֹעַל אָדָם יְשַׁלֶּם לוֹ וּכְאֹרַח אִישׁ יַמְצִאֶנּוּ.

12  Yea, of a surety, God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert justice.

יב  אַף אָמְנָם אֵל לֹא יַרְשִׁיעַ וְשַׁדַּי לֹא יְעַוֵּת מִשְׁפָּט.

13  Who gave Him a charge over the earth? Or who hath disposed the whole world?

יג  מִי פָקַד עָלָיו אָרְצָה וּמִי שָׂם תֵּבֵל כֻּלָּהּ.

14  If He set His heart upon man, if He gather unto Himself his spirit and his breath;

יד  אִם יָשִׂים אֵלָיו לִבּוֹ רוּחוֹ וְנִשְׁמָתוֹ אֵלָיו יֶאֱסֹף.

15  All flesh shall perish together, and man shall return unto dust.

טו  יִגְוַע כָּל בָּשָׂר יָחַד וְאָדָם עַל עָפָר יָשׁוּב.

16  If now thou hast understanding, hear this; hearken to the voice of my words.

טז  וְאִם בִּינָה שִׁמְעָה זֹּאת הַאֲזִינָה לְקוֹל מִלָּי.

17  Shall even one that hateth right govern? And wilt thou condemn Him that is just and mighty–

יז  הַאַף שׂוֹנֵא מִשְׁפָּט יַחֲבוֹשׁ וְאִם צַדִּיק כַּבִּיר תַּרְשִׁיעַ.

18  Is it fit to say to a king: ‘Thou art base’? Or to nobles: ‘Ye are wicked’?–

יח  הַאֲמֹר לְמֶלֶךְ בְּלִיָּעַל רָשָׁע אֶל נְדִיבִים.

19  That respecteth not the persons of princes, nor regardeth the rich more than the poor? For they all are the work of His hands.

יט  אֲשֶׁר לֹא נָשָׂא פְּנֵי שָׂרִים וְלֹא נִכַּר שׁוֹעַ לִפְנֵי דָל כִּי מַעֲשֵׂה יָדָיו כֻּלָּם.

20  In a moment they die, even at midnight; the people are shaken and pass away, and the mighty are taken away without hand.

כ  רֶגַע יָמֻתוּ וַחֲצוֹת לָיְלָה יְגֹעֲשׁוּ עָם וְיַעֲבֹרוּ וְיָסִירוּ אַבִּיר לֹא בְיָד.

21  For His eyes are upon the ways of a man, and He seeth all his goings.

כא  כִּי עֵינָיו עַל דַּרְכֵי אִישׁ וְכָל צְעָדָיו יִרְאֶה.

22  There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.

כב  אֵין חֹשֶׁךְ וְאֵין צַלְמָוֶת לְהִסָּתֶר שָׁם פֹּעֲלֵי אָוֶן.

23  For He doth not appoint a time unto any man, when he should go before God in judgment.

כג  כִּי לֹא עַל אִישׁ יָשִׂים עוֹד לַהֲלֹךְ אֶל אֵל בַּמִּשְׁפָּט.

24  He breaketh in pieces mighty men without inquisition, and setteth others in their stead.

כד  יָרֹעַ כַּבִּירִים לֹא חֵקֶר וַיַּעֲמֵד אֲחֵרִים תַּחְתָּם.

25  Therefore He taketh knowledge of their works; and He overturneth them in the night, so that they are crushed.

כה  לָכֵן יַכִּיר מַעְבָּדֵיהֶם וְהָפַךְ לַיְלָה וְיִדַּכָּאוּ.

26  He striketh them as wicked men in the open sight of others;

כו  תַּחַת רְשָׁעִים סְפָקָם בִּמְקוֹם רֹאִים.

27  Because they turned aside from following Him, and would not have regard to any of His ways;

כז  אֲשֶׁר עַל כֵּן סָרוּ מֵאַחֲרָיו וְכָל דְּרָכָיו לֹא הִשְׂכִּילוּ.

28  So that they cause the cry of the poor to come unto Him, and He heareth the cry of the afflicted.

כח  לְהָבִיא עָלָיו צַעֲקַת דָּל וְצַעֲקַת עֲנִיִּים יִשְׁמָע.

29  When He giveth quietness, who then can condemn? And when He hideth His face, who then can behold Him? whether it be done unto a nation, or unto a man, alike;

כט  וְהוּא יַשְׁקִט וּמִי יַרְשִׁעַ וְיַסְתֵּר פָּנִים וּמִי יְשׁוּרֶנּוּ וְעַל גּוֹי וְעַל אָדָם יָחַד.

30  That the godless man reign not, that there be none to ensnare the people.

ל  מִמְּלֹךְ אָדָם חָנֵף מִמֹּקְשֵׁי עָם.

31  For hath any said unto God: ‘I have borne chastisement, though I offend not;

לא  כִּי אֶל אֵל הֶאָמַר נָשָׂאתִי לֹא אֶחְבֹּל.

32  That which I see not teach Thou me; if I have done iniquity, I will do it no more’?

לב  בִּלְעֲדֵי אֶחֱזֶה אַתָּה הֹרֵנִי אִם עָוֶל פָּעַלְתִּי לֹא אֹסִיף.

33  Shall His recompense be as thou wilt? For thou loathest it, so that thou must choose, and not I; therefore speak what thou knowest.

לג  הֲמֵעִמְּךָ יְשַׁלְּמֶנָּה כִּי מָאַסְתָּ כִּי אַתָּה תִבְחַר וְלֹא אָנִי וּמַה יָּדַעְתָּ דַבֵּר.

34  Men of understanding will say unto me, yea, every wise man that heareth me:

לד  אַנְשֵׁי לֵבָב יֹאמְרוּ לִי וְגֶבֶר חָכָם שֹׁמֵעַ לִי.

35  ‘Iyov speaketh without knowledge, and his words are without discernment.’

לה  אִיּוֹב לֹא בְדַעַת יְדַבֵּר וּדְבָרָיו לֹא בְהַשְׂכֵּיל.

36  Would that Iyov were tried unto the end, because of his answering like wicked men.

לו  אָבִי יִבָּחֵן אִיּוֹב עַד נֶצַח עַל תְּשֻׁבֹת בְּאַנְשֵׁי אָוֶן.

37  For he addeth rebellion unto his sin, he clappeth his hands among us, and multiplieth his words against God.

לז  כִּי יֹסִיף עַל חַטָּאתוֹ פֶשַׁע בֵּינֵינוּ יִשְׂפּוֹק וְיֶרֶב אֲמָרָיו לָאֵל.

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Job 34