The blow of the tongue (Sir 28:17-28:21)

“The blow of a whip

Raises a welt.

But a blow of the tongue

Crushes the bones.

Many have fallen

By the edge of the sword.

But not as many as have fallen

Because of the tongue.

Happy is the one

Who is protected from it.

Happy is the one

Who has not been exposed to its anger.

Happy is the one

Who has not borne its yoke.

Happy is the one

Who has not been bound

With its fetters.

Its yoke is

A yoke of iron.

Its fetters are

Fetters of bronze.

Its death is an evil death.

Hades is preferable to it.”

A blow of the tongue is worse than a blow from a whip because the blow from the tongue crushes your bones, not merely a welt on your skin. This blow of the tongue is something that somebody has said that ruins your life. More people have fallen from this blow of the tongue than from the sword. You will be happy if you are protected from this blow from the tongue. If you have not been exposed to its anger or yoke, consider yourself happy. The blow of the tongue is like being put in bronze chains with an iron yoke on your neck. Hades would be preferable to the slow evil death from a blow of the tongue. Be careful when you say things about others.

God enacts his justice (Job 34:21-34:26)

“His eyes are upon the ways of mortals.

He sees all their steps.

There is no gloom or deep darkness

Where evildoers may hide themselves.

He has not appointed a time for anyone

To go before God in judgment.

He shatters the mighty without investigation.

He sets others in their place.

Thus, knowing their works,

He overturns them in the night.

They are crushed.

He strikes them for their wickedness,

While others look on.”

Elihu continued that God was always watching humans as he saw every step that they take. The evil doer cannot hide in darkness. No one has an appointed time for their judgment. God strikes the mighty without an investigation. He puts others in their places. He overturns them in the night as he crushes them in the sight of others.