Job 4
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1  Then Eliphaz the Temanite said in reply:

va-YA-an e-lee-FAZ ha-tay-ma-NEE va-yo-MAR

א  וַיַּעַן אֱלִיפַז הַתֵּימָנִי וַיֹּאמַר׃

4:1   Then Eliphaz the Temanite said in reply

Eliphaz the Temanite is the first of Iyov’s friends to respond to his suffering. He asserts that Hashem would not punish those who are free of sin, as Iyov seems to believe; since all people sin, Iyov must not be an exception. He urges Iyov to confess his secret sins in order to alleviate his suffering. Though he means well, Eliphaz’s view of divine justice is criticized by God Himself at the end of the book (42:7). Eliphaz is called a Temanite, presumably because he is from the city called Teman, which belonged to the descendants of Esau, the Edomites, and is mentioned in Sefer Ovadya (1:9). Eliphaz was also the name of Esau’s firstborn son (Genesis 36:4). Many therefore assume that Eliphaz is an Edomite, and in Sefer Iyov represents Edomite wisdom, which was well-known in biblical times (see Jeremiah 49:7).2 comments

2  If one ventures a word with you, will it be too much? But who can hold back his words?

ב  הֲנִסָּה דָבָר אֵלֶיךָ תִּלְאֶה וַעְצֹר בְּמִלִּין מִי יוּכָל׃

3  See, you have encouraged many; You have strengthened failing hands.

ג  הִנֵּה יִסַּרְתָּ רַבִּים וְיָדַיִם רָפוֹת תְּחַזֵּק׃

4  Your words have kept him who stumbled from falling; You have braced knees that gave way.

ד  כּוֹשֵׁל יְקִימוּן מִלֶּיךָ וּבִרְכַּיִם כֹּרְעוֹת תְּאַמֵּץ׃

5  But now that it overtakes you, it is too much; It reaches you, and you are unnerved.

ה  כִּי עַתָּה תָּבוֹא אֵלֶיךָ וַתֵּלֶא תִּגַּע עָדֶיךָ וַתִּבָּהֵל׃

6  Is not your piety your confidence, Your integrity your hope?

ו  הֲלֹא יִרְאָתְךָ כִּסְלָתֶךָ תִּקְוָתְךָ וְתֹם דְּרָכֶיךָ׃

7  Think now, what innocent man ever perished? Where have the upright been destroyed?

ז  זְכָר־נָא מִי הוּא נָקִי אָבָד וְאֵיפֹה יְשָׁרִים נִכְחָדוּ׃

8  As I have seen, those who plow evil And sow mischief reap them.

ח  כַּאֲשֶׁר רָאִיתִי חֹרְשֵׁי אָוֶן וְזֹרְעֵי עָמָל יִקְצְרֻהוּ׃

9  They perish by a blast from Hashem, Are gone at the breath of His nostrils.

ט  מִנִּשְׁמַת אֱלוֹהַ יֹאבֵדוּ וּמֵרוּחַ אַפּוֹ יִכְלוּ׃

10  The lion may roar, the cub may howl, But the teeth of the king of beasts are broken.

י  שַׁאֲגַת אַרְיֵה וְקוֹל שָׁחַל וְשִׁנֵּי כְפִירִים נִתָּעוּ׃

11  The lion perishes for lack of prey, And its whelps are scattered.

יא  לַיִשׁ אֹבֵד מִבְּלִי־טָרֶף וּבְנֵי לָבִיא יִתְפָּרָדוּ׃

12  A word came to me in stealth; My ear caught a whisper of it.

יב  וְאֵלַי דָּבָר יְגֻנָּב וַתִּקַּח אָזְנִי שֵׁמֶץ מֶנְהוּ׃

13  In thought-filled visions of the night, When deep sleep falls on men,

יג  בִּשְׂעִפִּים מֵחֶזְיֹנוֹת לָיְלָה בִּנְפֹל תַּרְדֵּמָה עַל־אֲנָשִׁים׃

14  Fear and trembling came upon me, Causing all my bones to quake with fright.

יד  פַּחַד קְרָאַנִי וּרְעָדָה וְרֹב עַצְמוֹתַי הִפְחִיד׃

15  A wind passed by me, Making the hair of my flesh bristle.

טו  וְרוּחַ עַל־פָּנַי יַחֲלֹף תְּסַמֵּר שַׂעֲרַת בְּשָׂרִי׃

16  It halted; its appearance was strange to me; A form loomed before my eyes; I heard a murmur, a voice,

טז  יַעֲמֹד וְלֹא־אַכִּיר מַרְאֵהוּ תְּמוּנָה לְנֶגֶד עֵינָי דְּמָמָה וָקוֹל אֶשְׁמָע׃

17  “Can mortals be acquitted by Hashem? Can man be cleared by his Maker?

יז  הַאֱנוֹשׁ מֵאֱלוֹהַ יִצְדָּק אִם מֵעֹשֵׂהוּ יִטְהַר־גָּבֶר׃

18  If He cannot trust His own servants, And casts reproach on His angels,

יח  הֵן בַּעֲבָדָיו לֹא יַאֲמִין וּבְמַלְאָכָיו יָשִׂים תָּהֳלָה׃

19  How much less those who dwell in houses of clay, Whose origin is dust, Who are crushed like the moth,

יט  אַף שֹׁכְנֵי בָתֵּי־חֹמֶר אֲשֶׁר־בֶּעָפָר יְסוֹדָם יְדַכְּאוּם לִפְנֵי־עָשׁ׃

20  Shattered between daybreak and evening, Perishing forever, unnoticed.

כ  מִבֹּקֶר לָעֶרֶב יֻכַּתּוּ מִבְּלִי מֵשִׂים לָנֶצַח יֹאבֵדוּ׃

21  Their cord is pulled up And they die, and not with wisdom.”

כא  הֲלֹא־נִסַּע יִתְרָם בָּם יָמוּתוּ וְלֹא בְחָכְמָה׃

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Job 4

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