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Yirah (יראה), translated here as ‘piety,’ literally means ‘fear’ or ‘awe.’ Eliphaz tells Iyov that he has dispensed with fear of Hashem, and, in so doing, has also abandoned wisdom, as implied in verse 2. The link between these two concepts can be seen in Sefer Mishlei (1:7): “The fear of Hashem is the beginning of knowledge.” Without awe of God, knowledge is empty and can be twisted for any number of negative purposes. However, knowledge rooted in fear of Hashem leads to scrupulous attention to His word, for which one is rewarded in both this world and the world to come.


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