Chapter 22

1Now Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said,   אוַיַּעַן אֱלִיפַ֥ז הַתֵּֽמָנִ֗י וַיֹּֽאמַר:
2"Does a man benefit God when he teaches them wisdom?   בהַלְאֵ֥ל יִסְכָּן־גָּ֑בֶר כִּֽי־יִסְכֹּ֖ן עָלֵ֣ימוֹ מַשְׂכִּֽיל:
Does a man benefit God: Will a man avail and benefit for the need and the benefit of the Creator when he teaches the people knowledge and wisdom? The first יִסְכָּן is an expression of benefit [or pleasure], like (I Kings 1:2), “and she shall be to him a warmer (סֹכֶנֶת).” The second is an expression of teaching [or accustoming], like (Num. 22:30), “Have I ever been in the habit (ההסכן הסכנתי) ?” The former may also be interpreted as an expression of teaching, thus: Does a man learn for the good of the Creator and for His need when he learns wisdom?  
3Does the Almighty care if you are righteous, or is there any gain if you perfect your ways?   גהַחֵ֣פֶץ לְ֖שַׁדַּי כִּ֣י תִצְדָּ֑ק וְאִם־בֶּ֜֗צַע כִּֽי־תַתֵּ֥ם דְּרָכֶֽיךָ:
Does the Almighty care: Like (above 21:21), “For what does He care (חפצו) about his house after him?” What pleasure or concern does He have if you are righteous in your deeds, that you reason with Him that He come with you to contest your words?  
or… any gain: i.e., monetary gain for Him if you perfect your ways?  
4Will He reason with you because He fears you? Will He come with you to judgment?   דהֲמִיִּרְאָ֣תְךָ יֹֽכִיחֶ֑ךָ יָב֥וֹא עִ֜מְּךָ֗ בַּמִּשְׁפָּֽט:
Will He reason with you because He fears you?: Or, out of fear, that He fears you, will He come and reason with you?  
5Is not your evil great, and are not your iniquities without end?   ההֲלֹ֣א רָעָֽתְךָ֣ רַבָּ֑ה וְאֵֽין־קֵ֜֗ץ לַֽעֲו‍ֹֽנֹתֶֽיךָ:
Is not: [Is it not so] that He knows that your evil is great?  
6For you take a pledge from your brothers for nought, and you strip them naked of their clothes.   וכִּֽי־תַחְבֹּ֣ל אַחֶ֣יךָ חִנָּ֑ם וּבִגְדֵ֖י עֲרוּמִּ֣ים תַּפְשִֽׁיט:
7You gave the faint no water to drink, and you withheld bread from the hungry.   זלֹא־מַ֖יִם עָיֵ֣ף תַּשְׁקֶ֑ה וּמֵֽ֜רָעֵ֗ב תִּמְנַע־לָֽחֶם:
8Does a strong man own the earth, and does a respected one remain therein?   חוְאִ֣ישׁ זְ֖רוֹעַ ל֣וֹ הָאָ֑רֶץ וּנְשׂ֥וּא פָ֜נִ֗ים יֵ֣שֶׁב בָּֽהּ:
Does a strong man own the earth: This is a question. Because you were strong, should you inherit the earth?  
remain therein: Is he fit to remain in existence?  
9You sent widows away empty-handed, and the arms of the orphans are crushed.   טאַלְמָנוֹת שִׁלַּ֣חְתָּ רֵיקָ֑ם וּזְרֹע֖וֹת יְתֹמִ֣ים יְדֻכָּֽא:
10Therefore, around you are traps, and sudden fear terrifies you.   יעַל־כֵּ֖ן סְבִֽיבוֹתֶ֣יךָ פַחִ֑ים וִ֜יבַֽהֶלְךָ פַּ֣חַד פִּתְאֽוֹם:
11Or darkness so that you do not see; or an abundance of water covers you.   יאאוֹ־חֹ֥שֶׁךְ לֹ֥א תִרְאֶ֑ה וְֽשִׁפְעַת־מַ֥יִם תְּכַסֶּֽךָּ:
or darkness so that you do not see: That is to say, You shall not put your eyes and your trust in strength, and say…  
12Is not God in the height of heaven, and [does He not] behold the topmost of the stars, which are lofty?   יבהֲֽלֹא־אֱ֖לוֹהַּ גֹּ֣בַהּ שָׁמָ֑יִם וּרְאֵ֚ה רֹ֖אשׁ כּֽוֹכָבִ֣ים כִּי־רָֽמוּ:
Is not God in the height of heaven: and will not lower Himself to see.  
and behold the topmost of the stars, which are lofty: Heb. וראה, like (above 10:15), “and seeing (וראה) my affliction” at the end of the fifth reply. That is to say, ‘And You gaze upon the topmost stars because they are lofty.’ Therefore, you said…  
13And you say, 'What does God know? Does He judge through the dark cloud?   יגוְאָמַרְתָּ מַה־יָּ֣דַע אֵ֑ל הַבְעַ֖ד עֲרָפֶ֣ל יִשְׁפּֽוֹט:
‘What does God know?’: of what occurs in the dark?  
Does He judge through the dark cloud?: Does He see and judge facing this darkness? Behold…  
14Thick clouds are a concealment for Him, and He does not see, and He walks on the circle of the heavens.'   ידעָבִ֣ים סֵֽתֶר־ל֖וֹ וְלֹ֣א יִרְאֶ֑ה וְח֥וּג שָׁ֜מַ֗יִם יִתְהַלָּֽךְ:
Thick clouds are a concealment: before Him, and He cannot see.  
and He walks on the circle of the heavens: and does not know what is on the earth.  
circle: Heb. חוג, the circle of the compass of the heavens, like (Isa. 44:13), “and with a compass (ובמחוגה) he rounds it,” compas in French  
15Will you keep the old way, upon which iniquitous people trod?   טוהַאֹ֣רַח עוֹלָ֣ם תִּשְׁמ֑וֹר אֲשֶׁ֖ר דָּֽרְכ֣וּ מְתֵי־אָֽוֶן:
the old way: The way of the ancients who were in days of yore.  
Will you keep: Have you kept in your heart to remember what happened to them?  
16Who were cut off when it was not their time, when a river was poured into their foundation?   טזאֲשֶׁר־קֻמְּט֥וּ וְלֹא־עֵ֑ת נָ֜הָ֗ר יוּצַ֥ק יְסוֹדָֽם:
Who were cut off when it was not their time: They were cut off before their time.  
a river: And the river of the Flood or the brimstone and fire of Sodom was poured into their foundation.  
17Who say to God, 'Turn away from us,' and 'What will the Almighty do to them?'   יזהָאֹֽמְרִ֣ים לָ֖אֵל ס֣וּר מִמֶּ֑נּוּ וּמַֽה־יִּפְעַ֖ל שַׁדַּ֣י לָֽמוֹ:
18Yet He filled their houses with good, but the counsel of the wicked was beyond me.   יחוְה֚וּא מִלֵּ֣א בָֽתֵּיהֶ֣ם ט֑וֹב וַֽעֲצַ֥ת רְ֜שָׁעִ֗ים רָ֣חֲקָה מֶֽנִּי:
19The righteous see and rejoice, and an innocent one mocks them.   יטיִרְא֣וּ צַדִּיקִ֣ים וְיִשְׂמָ֑חוּ וְ֜נָקִ֗י יִלְעַג־לָֽמוֹ:
20Whether their substance was cut off, and their pride consumed by the fire.   כאִם־לֹ֣א נִכְחַ֣ד קִימָ֑נוּ וְ֜יִתְרָ֗ם אָ֣כְלָה אֵֽשׁ:
Whether their substance was cut off: Will you watch and see whether their substance was cut off.  
their substance: Heb קימנו, like קומתו, his substance; i.e., of that generation, like (Hosea 12:5), “in Bethel he shall fed Him, and there He shall speak with him (עמנו),” like עִמוֹ.  
consumed by the fire: They were judged with boiling water. Rabbi Tanchuma expounded that they were tall and did not die in the depths. Then boiling water fell upon them from above and this is the meaning of יִתְרָם, their unusually tall height. So I heard.  
21Accustom yourself now to be with Him and you will be complete; with them good will come to you.   כאהַסְכֶּן־נָ֣א עִמּ֑וֹ וּשְׁלָ֑ם בָּ֜הֶ֗ם תְּֽבוֹאָֽתְךָ֥ טוֹבָֽה:
Accustom yourself: Accustom yourself to be (wholehearted) with him.  
and you will be complete: And you will be complete, lacking nothing.  
with them: With these things.  
22Now learn Torah from His mouth, and lay His words in your heart.   כבקַח־נָ֣א מִפִּ֣יו תּוֹרָ֑ה וְשִׂ֥ים אֲ֜מָרָ֗יו בִּלְבָבֶֽךָ:
23If you return to the Almighty, you shall be built up; you shall distance injustice from your tents.   כגאִם־תָּשׁ֣וּב עַד־שַׁ֖דַּי תִּבָּנֶ֑ה תַּרְחִ֥יק עַ֜וְלָ֗ה מֵאָֽהֳלֶֽךָ:
24Then you shall make a fortification on the earth, and on the rocks of the valleys, [the gold of] Ophir.   כדוְשִׁית־עַל־עָפָ֥ר בָּ֑צֶר וּבְצ֖וּר נְחָלִ֣ים אוֹפִֽיר:
Then you shall make a fortification on the earth: By returning to Him, you will establish on the earth strength and fortifications.  
and on the rocks of the valleys: On the lofty rocks in the deep valleys, you shall have a collection of an accumulation of Ophir. This is the treasure of the kings, for they would gather and store gold that came from Ophir.  
25And the Almighty shall be [the Judge] of your adversaries, and you shall have abundant silver.   כהוְהָיָ֣ה שַׁדַּ֣י בְּצָרֶ֑יךָ וְכֶ֖סֶף תּֽוֹעָפ֣וֹת לָֽךְ:
And the Almighty shall be of your adversaries: Heb. י בצריך והיה שד-. If this word is holy [i.e., is a reference to the Almighty], I am bewildered at its interpretation, because its meaning is a curse, that He will be counted with his enemies, as in (Jud. 11:35), “and you have become one of those who trouble me (בעכרי),” with those who trouble me. By necessity, we will adjudge it as one of the elliptical verses, [meaning: And the Almighty shall be the Judge over your adversaries. But if we can interpret it as profane, as an expression of a judge and of strength, the following is its interpretation:] And your fortifications (בצריך) shall be strong י) (שד-, like “Then you shall make a fortification (בצר) on the earth.” That is, powerful wealth will be fortified, and according to the context, that is indeed its interpretation, as evidenced by the end of the verse, “and you shall have abundant (תועפות) silver,” an expression of strength, like (Num. 23:22), “his is like the power of (כתועפות) a wild ox.”  
26For then you shall delight in the Almighty and lift your countenance to God.   כוכִּי־אָ֖ז עַל־שַׁדַּ֣י תִּתְעַנָּ֑ג וְתִשָּׂ֖א אֶל־אֱל֣וֹהַּ פָּנֶֽיךָ:
and lift your countenance to God: You will not come to lift your face except to ask Him for your needs.  
27Pray to Him and He will listen to you, and you will pay your vows.   כזתַּעְתִּ֣יר אֵ֖לָיו וְיִשְׁמָעֶ֑ךָּ וּנְדָרֶ֥יךָ תְשַׁלֵּֽם:
and you will pay your wows: You will be confident that your sacrifices, the payments of your vows, will be accepted.  
28You will make a decision, and it will be accomplished for you, and light will shine on all your ways.   כחוְֽתִגְזַר־א֖וֹמֶר וְיָ֣קָם לָ֑ךְ וְעַל־דְּ֜רָכֶ֗יךָ נָ֣גַהּ אֽוֹר:
and it will be accomplished for you: Heb. ויקם, lit. and it will rise, like וְיָקוּם לָ.  
29If they are humble, you will say, "Raise up!" and He will save a humble person.   כטכִּֽי־הִ֖שְׁפִּילוּ וַתֹּ֣אמֶר גֵּוָ֑ה וְשַׁ֖ח עֵינַ֣יִם יוֹשִֽׁעַ:
If they are humble: If you see your generation humble, pledge that it be uplifted, and it will be uplifted.  
a humble person: [One who is humbled] by the trouble that befalls [him] because of his iniquity, God will save through your hands and through your prayer.  
30He shall deliver one who is not innocent, and he will be delivered because of the purity of your hands."   ליְמַלֵּ֥ט אִֽי־נָקִ֑י וְ֜נִמְלַ֗ט בְּבֹ֣ר כַּפֶּֽיךָ:
He shall deliver one who is not innocent: Heb. אי נקי, synonymous with אין נקִי, not innocent, like (I Sam. 4: 21), “Ichabod (איכבוד),” meaning, there is no glory (אין כבוד). And so (Prov. 31:4), “neither is drunkenness for rulers (אי שכר),” there is no drunkenness (אין שכר). It does not befit them to become intoxicated. Menachem joined the three into one group (Machbereth Menachem p. 22). Although they are two words (?), they explain them thus. And that one who is not innocent will be delivered because of the purity of your hands. So I heard. I heard another version that was being said in the name of Rabbi Jacob: This is an expression of a man who lives in pain and sighing, and the “yud” is superfluous in the word, like (Ps. 123:1), “Who dwells (הישבי) in heaven.” But I did not hear this from the rabbi’s mouth.