1 Then answered Elifaz the Temanite, and said:
va-YA-an e-lee-FAZ ha-tay-ma-NEE va-yo-MAR
א וַיַּעַן אֱלִיפַז הַתֵּימָנִי וַיֹּאמַר.
4:1 Then answered Elifaz the Temanite
Eliphaz the Temanite is the first of Job’s friends to respond to his suffering. He asserts that the Lord would not punish those who are free of sin, as Job seems to believe, but since everyone sins, Job must not be an exception. He urges Job 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 mentioned in Obadiah 1:9 which belonged to the descendants of Esau, the Edomites. Eliphaz was also the name of Esau’s first born son (Genesis 36:4). Many therefore assume that Eliphaz is an Edomite, and in the Book of Job represents Edomite wisdom which was well known in Biblical times (see for example Jeremiah 49:7).
2 If one venture a word unto thee, wilt thou be weary? But who can withhold himself from speaking?
ב הֲנִסָּה דָבָר אֵלֶיךָ תִּלְאֶה וַעְצֹר בְּמִלִּין מִי יוּכָל.
3 Behold, thou hast instructed many, and thou hast strengthened the weak hands.
ג הִנֵּה יִסַּרְתָּ רַבִּים וְיָדַיִם רָפוֹת תְּחַזֵּק.
4 Thy words have upholden him that was falling, and thou hast strengthened the feeble knees.
ד כּוֹשֵׁל יְקִימוּן מִלֶּיךָ וּבִרְכַּיִם כֹּרְעוֹת תְּאַמֵּץ.
5 But now it is come upon thee, and thou art weary; it toucheth thee, and thou art affrighted.
ה כִּי עַתָּה תָּבוֹא אֵלֶיךָ וַתֵּלֶא תִּגַּע עָדֶיךָ וַתִּבָּהֵל.
6 Is not thy fear of God thy confidence, and thy hope the integrity of thy ways?
ו הֲלֹא יִרְאָתְךָ כִּסְלָתֶךָ תִּקְוָתְךָ וְתֹם דְּרָכֶיךָ.
7 Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent? Or where were the upright cut off?
ז זְכָר נָא מִי הוּא נָקִי אָבָד וְאֵיפֹה יְשָׁרִים נִכְחָדוּ.
8 According as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow mischief, reap the same.
ח כַּאֲשֶׁר רָאִיתִי חֹרְשֵׁי אָוֶן וְזֹרְעֵי עָמָל יִקְצְרֻהוּ.
9 By the breath of God they perish, and by the blast of His anger are they consumed.
ט מִנִּשְׁמַת אֱלוֹהַּ יֹאבֵדוּ וּמֵרוּחַ אַפּוֹ יִכְלוּ.
10 The lion roareth, and the fierce lion howleth–yet the teeth of the young lions are broken.
י שַׁאֲגַת אַרְיֵה וְקוֹל שָׁחַל וְשִׁנֵּי כְפִירִים נִתָּעוּ.
11 The old lion perisheth for lack of prey, and the whelps of the lioness are scattered abroad.
יא לַיִשׁ אֹבֵד מִבְּלִי טָרֶף וּבְנֵי לָבִיא יִתְפָּרָדוּ.
12 Now a word was secretly brought to me, and mine ear received a whisper thereof.
יב וְאֵלַי דָּבָר יְגֻנָּב וַתִּקַּח אָזְנִי שֵׁמֶץ מֶנְהוּ.
13 In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men,
יג בִּשְׂעִפִּים מֵחֶזְיֹנוֹת לָיְלָה בִּנְפֹל תַּרְדֵּמָה עַל אֲנָשִׁים.
14 Fear came upon me, and trembling, and all my bones were made to shake.
יד פַּחַד קְרָאַנִי וּרְעָדָה וְרֹב עַצְמוֹתַי הִפְחִיד.
15 Then a spirit passed before my face, that made the hair of my flesh to stand up.
טו וְרוּחַ עַל פָּנַי יַחֲלֹף תְּסַמֵּר שַׂעֲרַת בְּשָׂרִי.
16 It stood still, but I could not discern the appearance thereof; a form was before mine eyes; I heard a still voice:
טז יַעֲמֹד וְלֹא אַכִּיר מַרְאֵהוּ תְּמוּנָה לְנֶגֶד עֵינָי דְּמָמָה וָקוֹל אֶשְׁמָע.
17 ‘Shall mortal man be just before God? Shall a man be pure before his Maker?
יז הַאֱנוֹשׁ מֵאֱלוֹהַּ יִצְדָּק אִם מֵעֹשֵׂהוּ יִטְהַר גָּבֶר.
18 Behold, He putteth no trust in His servants, and His angels He chargeth with folly;
יח הֵן בַּעֲבָדָיו לֹא יַאֲמִין וּבְמַלְאָכָיו יָשִׂים תָּהֳלָה.
19 How much more them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, who are crushed before the moth!
יט אַף שֹׁכְנֵי בָתֵּי חֹמֶר אֲשֶׁר בֶּעָפָר יְסוֹדָם יְדַכְּאוּם לִפְנֵי עָשׁ.
20 Betwixt morning and evening they are shattered; they perish for ever without any regarding it.
כ מִבֹּקֶר לָעֶרֶב יֻכַּתּוּ מִבְּלִי מֵשִׂים לָנֶצַח יֹאבֵדוּ.
21 Is not their tent-cord plucked up within them? They die, and that without wisdom.’
כא הֲלֹא נִסַּע יִתְרָם בָּם יָמוּתוּ וְלֹא בְחָכְמָה.