Eliphaz tries to comfort Job

Then Eliphaz, a native of Teman, responded:
If one tries to answer you, will you be annoyed?
But who can hold words back?
Look, you’ve instructed many
and given strength to drooping hands.
Your words have raised up the falling;
you’ve steadied failing knees.
But now it comes to you, and you are dismayed;
it has struck you, and you are frightened.
Isn’t your religion the source of[a] your confidence;
the integrity of your conduct, the source of your hope?

Sinners don’t live long

Think! What innocent person has ever perished?
When have those who do the right thing been destroyed?
As I’ve observed, those who plow sin
and sow trouble will harvest it.
When God breathes deeply, they perish;
by a breath of his nostril they are annihilated.
10 The roar of a lion and snarl of the king of beasts—
yet the teeth of lions are shattered;
11 the lion perishes without prey,
and its cubs are scattered.

A frightening dream

12 But a word sneaked up on me;
my ears caught a hint of it.
13 In profound thoughts, visions of night,
when deep sleep falls on people,
14 fear and dread struck me;
all of my bones shook.
15 A breeze swept by my face;
the hair of my skin bristled.
16 It stopped. I didn’t recognize its visible form,
although a figure was in front of my eyes.
Silence! Then I heard a voice:
17 “Can a human be more righteous than God,
a person purer than their maker?”

Its interpretation

18 If he doesn’t trust his servants
and levels a charge against his messengers,
19 how much less those who dwell in houses of clay,
whose foundations are in dust,
and who are crushed like a moth?
20 They are smashed between morning and evening;
they perish forever without anyone knowing.
21 Isn’t their tent cord pulled up?
They die without wisdom.[b]


  1. Job 4:6 Heb lacks the source.
  2. Job 4:21 Some interpreters end the quotation here rather than 4:17.