Chapter 34

1Now Elihu raised his voice and said,   אוַיַּ֥עַן אֱלִיה֗וּא וַיֹּֽאמַר:
2"You wise men, hearken to my words, and you knowledgeable ones, give ear to me.   בשִׁמְע֣וּ חֲכָמִ֣ים מִלָּ֑י וְ֜יֹֽדְעִ֗ים הַֽאֲזִ֥ינוּ לִֽי:
3For the ear tests words, as the palate tastes food.   גכִּי־אֹ֖זֶן מִלִּ֣ין תִּבְחָ֑ן וְ֜חֵ֗ךְ יִטְעַ֥ם לֶֽאֱכֹֽל:
For the ear tests words: as the palate tastes food.  
4Let us choose judgment for ourselves; let us know among ourselves what is good.   דמִשְׁפָּ֥ט נִבְחֲרָה־לָּ֑נוּ נֵֽדְעָ֖ה בֵינֵ֣ינוּ מַה־טּֽוֹב:
5For Job said, 'I am righteous, and God has deprived me of my right.   הכִּֽי־אָ֖מַר אִיּ֣וֹב צָדַ֑קְתִּי וְ֜אֵ֗ל הֵסִ֥יר מִשְׁפָּטִֽי:
my right: [my] To prove my words.  
6Because of my sentence, I call [Him] a liar. My wound is incurable without transgression.'   ועַל־מִשְׁפָּטִ֥י אֲכַזֵּ֑ב אָנ֖וּשׁ חִצִּ֣י בְלִי־פָֽשַׁע:
I call a liar: I accuse my Judge of being a liar, because He did not judge me fairly.  
incurable: Heb. אנוש, My wound is sore, like (II Sam. 12:15), “and it became mortally ill (ויאנש).”  
my wound: Heb. חצי [lit. my arrow].  
7Who is a man like Job, who drinks derision like water?   זמִי־גֶ֥בֶר כְּאִיּ֑וֹב יִשְׁתֶּה־לַּ֥עַג כַּמָּֽיִם:
8[Who] went on the road to accompany workers of iniquity, and to go with men of wickedness?   חוְאָרַ֣ח לְ֖חֶבְרָה עִם־פֹּ֣עֲלֵי אָ֑וֶן וְ֜לָלֶ֗כֶת עִם־אַנְשֵׁי־רֶֽשַׁע:
9For he said, 'A man derives no benefit when he desires [to go] with God.'   טכִּֽי־אָ֖מַר לֹ֣א יִסְכָּן־גָּ֑בֶר בִּ֜רְצֹת֗וֹ עִם־אֱלֹהִֽים:
A man derives no benefit: A man derives no benefit if he perfects his ways.  
10Therefore, men of understanding, hearken to me; far be it for God [to commit] wickedness or for the Almighty to [commit] injustice.   ילָכֵ֚ן | אַֽנְשֵׁ֥י לֵבָ֗ב שִׁמְע֫וּ לִ֥י חָלִ֖לָה לָאֵ֥ל מֵרֶ֗שַׁע וְשַׁדַּ֥י מֵעָֽוֶל:
11For He recompenses man for his deed, and according to man's way He causes him to find.   יאכִּ֚י פֹ֣עַל אָ֖דָם יְשַׁלֶּם־ל֑וֹ וּכְאֹ֥רַח אִ֜֗ישׁ יַמְצִאֶֽנּוּ:
12Surely God does not condemn and the Almighty does not pervert justice.   יבאַף־אָמְנָ֗ם אֵ֥ל לֹֽא־יַרְשִׁ֑יעַ וְ֜שַׁדַּ֗י לֹֽא־יְעַוֵּ֥ת מִשְׁפָּֽט:
13Who gave Him a charge over the earth, and who disposed the entire world?   יגמִֽי־פָקַ֣ד עָלָ֣יו אָ֑רְצָה וּמִ֥י שָֹ֜֗ם תֵּבֵ֥ל כֻּלָּֽהּ:
Who gave Him a charge over the earth: Who rules over Him, saying, ‘Why did You do so?’ or ‘I did not command You so’? For who gave Him a charge over His dominion, and why should He find pretexts for His creatures? He need not answer one who rules over Him by saying ‘Because of this I harmed him.’  
14If He puts His heart to it, His spirit and His soul He would gather in to Himself.   ידאִם־יָשִׂ֣ים אֵלָ֣יו לִבּ֑וֹ רוּח֥וֹ וְ֜נִשְׁמָת֗וֹ אֵלָ֥יו יֶֽאֱסֹֽף:
If He puts: His heart on man to destroy him, why should He come upon him with a pretext? He can immediately gather in to Himself…  
His spirit and His soul: His spirit and His soul that He blew into him, and no one will stop Him. Thus, all flesh will perish together.  
15All flesh would perish together, and man would return to the dust.   טויִגְוַ֣ע כָּל־בָּשָׂ֣ר יָ֑חַד וְ֜אָדָ֗ם עַל־עָפָ֥ר יָשֽׁוּב:
16And if you wish, understand; hearken to this, lend your ears to the sound of my words.   טזוְאִם־בִּ֥ינָה שִׁמְעָה־זֹּ֑את הַֽ֜אֲזִ֗ינָה לְק֣וֹל מִלָּֽי:
And if you wish, understand: And if you wish, understand.  
hearken to this: This בּינה is not a noun but an imperative expression, like (Ps. 5:2), “consider (בּינה) my meditation.” Therefore, these two are accented on the first syllable, on the “beth,” whereas all the others are accented on the final syllable, on the “nun.”  
17Will He heal even one who hates judgment? Will you accuse even a very righteous One?   יזהַאַ֬ף שׂוֹנֵ֣א מִשְׁפָּ֣ט יַֽחֲב֑וֹשׁ וְאִם־צַדִּ֖יק כַּבִּ֣יר תַּרְשִֽׁיעַ:
Will… even one who hates judgment: Will the Omnipresent heal [even the one who hates the judgment] of the just Judge? If you say that [to do so] is not judgment, for He acted not in accordance with the law, is it possible that you should condemn One Who is very righteous?  
very: Heb. כביר, an expression denoting “exceedingly.”  
18Is it proper to say of a king, 'scoundrel'; 'wicked,' of nobles?   יחהַֽאֲמֹ֣ר לְמֶ֣לֶךְ בְּלִיָּ֑עַל רָ֜שָׁ֗ע אֶל־נְדִיבִֽים:
Is it proper to say of a king, ‘scoundrel’: Is it fit and proper to say of a king, ‘scoundrel,’ or ‘wicked’ of nobles?  
19Who did not respect princes, and a prince was not recognized before a poor man, for they are all the work of His hands.   יטאֲשֶׁ֚ר לֹֽא־נָשָׂ֨א | פְּנֵ֥י שָׂרִ֗ים וְלֹ֣א נִכַּר־שׁ֖וֹעַ לִפְנֵי־דָ֑ל כִּי־מַֽעֲשֵׂ֖ה יָדָ֣יו כֻּלָּֽם:
Who did not respect princes: That is to say, the King of the world, before Whom there is no favoritism.  
a prince: Heb. שוע, a prince, as in (Isa. 32:5), “nor shall a deceitful person be said to be noble (שוע).”  
20In a moment, they die, and at midnight a nation quakes and passes away; they remove their strength-it is not in their hands.   כרֶ֚גַע | יָמֻתוּ֘ וַֽחֲצ֪וֹת ֫לָ֥יְלָה יְגֹֽעֲשׁ֣וּ עָ֣ם וְיַֽעֲבֹ֑רוּ וְיָסִ֥ירוּ אַ֜בִּ֗יר לֹ֣א בְיָֽד:
In a moment, they die: when He wishes.  
and at midnight: as He did to the Egyptians, an [entire] people quakes in a moment and passes away.  
it is not in their hands: it is not in their hands, and they have no strength.  
21For His eyes are upon man's ways, and He sees all his steps.   כאכִּֽי־עֵ֖ינָיו עַל־דַּרְכֵי־אִ֑ישׁ וְֽכָל־צְעָדָ֖יו יִרְאֶֽה:
22There is neither darkness nor the shadow of death wherein workers of iniquity may hide.   כבאֵֽין־חֹ֖שֶׁךְ וְאֵ֣ין צַלְמָ֑וֶת לְהִסָּ֥תֶר שָׁ֜֗ם פֹּ֣עֲלֵי אָֽוֶן:
23For He will not place additional [guilt] on a man to go to God in judgment.   כגכִּ֚י לֹ֣א עַל־אִ֖ישׁ יָשִׂ֣ים ע֑וֹד לַֽהֲלֹ֥ךְ אֶל־אֵ֜֗ל בַּמִּשְׁפָּֽט:
For He will not place additional [guilt] on a man: That is to say: You said (23:6), ‘He will not place upon me anything but my sins,’ only my sins alone, and I reply to you that the Holy One, blessed be He, will not place on His creatures additional accusations over their transgression. [The word] עוד is an expression of addition.  
to go to God in judgment: When He comes upon His creatures to debate with them.  
24He shatters the mighty without number and He stands others in their stead.   כדיָרֹ֣עַ כַּבִּירִ֣ים לֹֽא־חֵ֑קֶר וַיַּֽעֲמֵ֖ד אֲחֵרִ֣ים תַּחְתָּֽם:
He shatters: Heb. ירע, [like] ירוֹצֵץ. He shatters, and like (Isa. 24:19), “has broken (התרעעה).”  
and He stands others: in their stead.  
25Because He recognizes their deeds; He turns night [upon them] and they are crushed.   כהלָכֵ֗ן יַ֖כִּיר מַעְבָּֽדֵיהֶ֑ם וְהָ֥פַךְ לַ֜֗יְלָה וְיִדַּכָּֽאוּ:
Because He recognizes their deeds: Because He recognizes their deeds, whether good or evil, He does not need to debate.  
He turns night: A time of darkness and trouble for them, and they are crushed.  
26In the place of the wicked He smote them, in the place of viewers   כותַּֽחַת־רְשָׁעִ֥ים סְפָקָ֗ם בִּמְק֥וֹם רֹאִֽים:
In the place of the wicked: Heb. תחת, in their location.  
He smote them: The people of Sodom.  
in the place of viewers: Before everyone’s eyes.  
27Because they turned away from following Him, and they did not understand any of His ways   כזאֲשֶׁ֣ר עַל־כֵּ֖ן סָ֣רוּ מֵֽאַֽחֲרָ֑יו וְכָל־דְּ֜רָכָ֗יו לֹ֣א הִשְׂכִּֽילוּ:
Because they turned away from following Him: Heb. אשר על-כן as in (Num. 10:31), “because (על-כן) you knew our camping in the desert.” [This is] like: because (מפני אשר) they turned away from following Him, and they brought before Him and upon Him the cry of the poor.  
28To bring upon Him the cry of the poor, and He hears the cry of the afflicted.   כחלְהָבִ֣יא עָ֖לָיו צַֽעֲקַת־דָּ֑ל וְצַֽעֲקַ֖ת עֲנִיִּ֣ים יִשְׁמָֽע:
29When He quiets [them], who will deal wickedly? When He hides His face, who will see Him?-whether [it be done] to a nation or to a man, alike.   כטוְה֚וּא יַשְׁקִ֨ט | וּמִ֥י יַרְשִׁ֗עַ וְיַסְתֵּ֣ר פָּ֖נִים וּמִ֣י יְשׁוּרֶ֑נּוּ וְעַל־גּ֖וֹי וְעַל־אָדָ֣ם יָֽחַד:
When He quiets: He gives the poor [some peace and] quiet from those who oppress [them]. Now who will deal wickedly anymore? And as long as He hid His face, who will see Him?  
whether [it be done] to a nation or to a man, alike: As for individuals, [or] as for a multitude it is the same to Him to quiet [them] and to hide His face.  
30That a flattering man shall not reign, because of the snares of the people.   למִמְּלֹךְ אָדָ֥ם חָנֵ֗ף מִמֹּ֥קְשֵׁי עָֽם:
And it shall be quiet, that a flattering man shall not reign because of the snares of the people: Over the poor, who reigned.  
because of the snares of the people: [who were guilty] of iniquity, and concerning such a God, you should not have said, ‘scoundrel,’ and ‘wicked.  
And He shall quiet: the poor.  
so that a flattering man should not reign: over the people of the poor, who reigned…  
because of the snares of the people: Because of the iniquity of the people he reigned. Now to such a God etc.  
31For to God should be said, 'I will bear it; I will not destroy [myself].   לאכִּ֣י אֶל־אֵ֖ל הֶֽאָמַ֥ר נָשָׂ֗אתִי לֹ֣א אֶחְבֹּֽל:
For to God should be said: To be said to Him. It is fitting and proper for all those who suffer pains to say, ‘I bear, accept, and tolerate Your judgments, and I will not destroy myself.’ Further, the one who is judged must say…  
32Besides what I see, You instruct me; if I have committed injustice, I will not continue.'   לבבִּלְעֲדֵ֣י אֶֽ֖חֱזֶה אַתָּ֣ה הֹרֵ֑נִי אִם־עָ֥וֶל פָּ֜עַ֗לְתִּי לֹ֣א אֹסִֽיף:
Besides what I see: Besides what I know to perceive in Your words, You instruct me, and if I have committed injustice, I will not continue.  
33From you[r counsel] should He pay it, for you despised [your life]? Should you choose and not I? And what you know, speak?   לגהֲֽמֵֽעִמְּךָ֬ יְשַׁלְּמֶ֨נָּה | כִּֽי־מָאַ֗סְתָּ כִּֽי־אַתָּ֣ה תִבְחַ֣ר וְלֹא־אָ֑נִי וּמַה־יָדַ֥עְתָּ דַבֵּֽר:
From you should He pay it, for you despised etc.: so did Elihu say to Job, “Should the Holy One, blessed be He, have taken counsel from you about repaying you?”  
for you despised: saying (above 7:16), “I despised [my life]; I will not live forever” ; (above 6:9) “enlarge His hand and finish me off.” Do you think that He would collect from you according to your thoughts and your desire, and you would choose the payment-not I? Elihu spoke instead of the Holy One, blessed be He, with a question.  
34Men of understanding will say to me, and a wise man will listen to me,   לדאַנְשֵׁ֣י לֵ֖בָב יֹ֣אמְרוּ לִ֑י וְגֶ֥בֶר חָ֜כָ֗ם שֹׁמֵ֥עַ לִֽי:
Men of understanding will say to me: that Job does not speak with knowledge.  
35Job does not speak with knowledge, and his words are without sense.   להאִיּוֹב לֹא־בְדַ֣עַת יְדַבֵּ֑ר וּדְ֜בָרָ֗יו לֹ֣א בְהַשְׂכֵּֽיל:
36My Father! May Job be tried to eternity, so that there be repentances among men of iniquity.   לואָבִ֗י יִבָּחֵ֣ן אִיּ֣וֹב עַד־נֶ֑צַח עַל־תְּ֜שֻׁבֹ֗ת בְּאַנְשֵׁי־אָֽוֶן:
My Father! May [Job] be tried: You are my Father. The Holy One, blessed be He, is the Father of all. If only Job were tried to eternity, in order that there be repentance among men of iniquity. And also to men Scripture speaks in this manner (II Kings 5:13): “ ‘Master (אבי) , if the prophet spoke to you to do a difficult thing etc.’” Another explanation: אבי is like (Ecc. 12:5), “and the sexual desire (האביונה) will fail,” an expression of desire. Menachem (Machbereth p. 11) associated it in this manner, and this is its interpretation: אָבִי יִבָּחֵן אִיוֹב עַד נֶצַח, my wish and my desire are that Job should be tried to eternity (omitted in some editions).  
37For he adds transgression to his sin; among us he speaks loquaciously and multiplies his words to God."   לזכִּ֥י יֹ֘סִ֚יף עַל־חַטָּאת֣וֹ פֶ֖שַׁע בֵּינֵ֣ינוּ יִסְפּ֑וֹק וְיֶ֖רֶב אֲמָרָ֣יו לָאֵֽל:
he speaks loquaciously: Heb. יספוק is an expression of many words and raising the voice.  
among us he speaks loquaciously: He asks, Why should we be concerned with his words? (above 19: 4), ‘And even if I have indeed erred, let my error stay with me,’ and he does not know that we are punished, and he increases iniquities for us because we are listening. So it is explained in Leviticus Rabbah (4:6).