1 Then Elihu said:
2 “Do you think it is right for you to claim,
‘I am righteous before God’?
3 For you also ask, ‘What’s in it for me?
What’s the use of living a righteous life?’
4 “I will answer you
and all your friends, too.
5 Look up into the sky,
and see the clouds high above you.
6 If you sin, how does that affect God?
Even if you sin again and again,
what effect will it have on him?
7 If you are good, is this some great gift to him?
What could you possibly give him?
8 No, your sins affect only people like yourself,
and your good deeds also affect only humans.
9 “People cry out when they are oppressed.
They groan beneath the power of the mighty.
10 Yet they don’t ask, ‘Where is God my Creator,
the one who gives songs in the night?
11 Where is the one who makes us smarter than the animals
and wiser than the birds of the sky?’
12 And when they cry out, God does not answer
because of their pride.
13 But it is wrong to say God doesn’t listen,
to say the Almighty isn’t concerned.
14 You say you can’t see him,
but he will bring justice if you will only wait.a
15 You say he does not respond to sinners with anger
and is not greatly concerned about wickedness.b
16 But you are talking nonsense, Job.
You have spoken like a fool.”
a. 35:13-14 These verses can also be translated as follows: 13Indeed, God doesn’t listen to their empty plea; / the Almighty is not concerned. / 14How much less will he listen when you say you don’t see him, / and that your case is before him and you’re waiting for justice.
b. 35:15 As in Greek and Latin versions; the meaning of this Hebrew word is uncertain.