1Then Iyov responded:
2“Listen carefully to my words;
let this be the comfort you give me.
3Bear with me as I speak;
then, after I have spoken, you can go on mocking.
4“As for me, is my complaint merely to other people?
Don’t I have grounds for being short-tempered?
5Look at me, and be appalled;
cover your mouth with your hand!
6Whenever I recall it, I am in shock;
my whole body shudders.
7“Why do the wicked go on living,
grow old and keep increasing their power?
8They see their children settled with them,
their posterity assured.
9Their houses are safe, with nothing to fear;
God’s rod is not on them.
10Their bulls are fertile without fail,
their cows get pregnant and don’t miscarry.
11They produce flocks of babies,
and their children dance around.
12They sing with tambourines and lyres
and rejoice to the sound of the pipe.
13They spend their days in prosperity
and go down to the grave in peace.
14“Yet to God they said, ‘Leave us alone!
We don’t want to know about your ways.
15What is Shaddai, that we should serve him?
What do we gain if we pray to him?’
16Isn’t their prosperity already theirs?
The plans of the wicked are far from me.
17“How often is the lamp of the wicked put out?
How often does their calamity come upon them?
How often does [God] deal out pain in his anger,
18to make them like straw in the wind,
like chaff carried off by a storm?
19God lays up for their children
[the punishment for their] iniquity.
He should lay it on [the wicked] themselves,
so that they can feel it!
20Let their own eyes see their own destruction
and themselves drink the wrath of Shaddai.
21What joy can they have in their family after them,
given that their months are numbered?
22“Can anyone teach God knowledge?
After all, he judges those who are on high.
23One person dies in his full strength,
completely at ease and content;
24his pails are full of milk,
and the marrow in his bones is moist.
25Another dies with embittered heart,
never having tasted happiness.
26They lie down alike in the dust,
and the worm covers them both.
27“Look, I know what you are thinking
and your plans to do me wrong.
28You ask, ‘Where is the great man’s house?
Where is the tent where the wicked once lived?’
29Haven’t you ever questioned travelers?
Don’t you accept their testimony
30that the evil man is saved on the day of disaster,
rescued on the day of wrath?
31So who will confront him with his ways?
Who will repay him for what he has done?
32For he is carried off to the grave,
people keep watch over his tomb,
33the clods of the valley are sweet to him;
so everyone follows his example,
just as before him were countless others.
34“Why offer me such meaningless comfort?
Of your answers, only the perfidy remains.”