Job 21
Job’s Reply to Zophar
1Then Job answered:
2Pay close attention to my words;
let this be the consolation you offer.
3Bear with me while I speak;
then after I have spoken, you may continue mocking.
4As for me, is my complaint#Jb 7:11; 10:1; 27:13 against a human being?
Then why shouldn’t I be impatient?
5Look at me and shudder;#Jb 17:8; 18:20; Dn 4:19
put your hand over your mouth.#Jdg 18:19; Jb 29:9; 40:4
6When I think about it, I am terrified
and my body trembles#Jb 4:14; Ps 55:5; 119:120 in horror.
7Why do the wicked continue to live,
growing old and becoming powerful?
8Their children are established while they are still alive,#21:8 Lit established before them with them
and their descendants, before their eyes.
9Their homes are secure and free of fear;#Jb 5:24; 8:6; 12:6
no rod from God strikes them.#Jb 9:34; Ps 73:5
10Their bulls breed without fail;
their cows calve and do not miscarry.
11They let their little ones run around like lambs;
their children skip about,
12singing to the tambourine and lyre
and rejoicing at the sound of the flute.#Jb 30:31; Ps 81:2; 150:4
13They spend#21:13 Alt Hb tradition reads fully enjoy their days in prosperity#Jb 36:11; Ps 37:7; 73:12
and go down to Sheol in peace.
14Yet they say to God, “Leave us alone!
We don’t want to know your ways.#Jb 22:17; Ps 95:10; Pr 1:29
15Who is the Almighty, that we should serve him,
and what will we gain by pleading with him?” #Ex 5:2; Jb 34:9; Mal 3:14
16But their prosperity is not of their own doing.
The counsel of the wicked is far from me!#Jb 22:18; Ps 1:1; Pr 1:10
17How often is the lamp#Jb 18:5; Pr 13:9; 24:20 of the wicked put out?
Does disaster#21:17 Lit their disaster come on them?
Does he apportion destruction in his anger?
18Are they like straw before the wind,
like chaff#Ps 1:4; 35:5; Is 17:13 a storm sweeps away?
19God reserves a person’s punishment for his children.#Ex 20:5; Jr 31:29; Lm 5:7
Let God repay the person himself, so that he may know it.
20Let his own eyes see his demise;
let him drink from the Almighty’s wrath!#Ps 75:8; Is 51:17; Jr 25:15
21For what does he care about his family once he is dead,#Jb 14:21; Ec 9:5; Is 63:16
when the number of his months has run out?#Jb 14:5; Ps 39:4; 90:12
22Can anyone teach God knowledge,#Is 40:13-14; Rm 11:34; 1Co 2:16
since he judges the exalted ones?#21:22 Probably angels
23One person dies in excellent health,#21:23 Lit in bone of his perfection
completely secure#21:23 Text emended; MT reads health, all at ease and at ease.
24His body is#21:24 Or His sides are; Hb obscure well fed,#21:24 Lit is full of milk
and his bones are full of marrow.#21:24 Lit and the marrow of his bones is watered
25Yet another person dies with a bitter#1Sm 1:10; Jb 7:11; 10:1 soul,
having never tasted prosperity.
26But they both lie in the dust,
and worms cover them.#Jb 20:11; Ec 9:2-3; Is 14:11
27I know your thoughts very well,
the schemes by which you would wrong me.
28For you say, “Where now is the nobleman’s house?”
and “Where are the tents#Jb 8:22; 18:21; Ps 55:15 the wicked lived in?”
29Have you never consulted those who travel the roads?
Don’t you accept their reports?#21:29 Lit signs
30Indeed, the evil person is spared from the day of disaster,
rescued from the day of wrath.
31Who would denounce his behavior to his face?
Who would repay#Dt 7:10; Jb 34:11; Ps 62:12 him for what he has done?
32He is carried to the grave,
and someone keeps watch over his tomb.
33The dirt on his grave is#21:33 Lit The clods of the wadi are sweet to him.
Everyone follows behind him,
and those who go before him are without number.
34So how can you offer me such futile comfort?
Your answers are deceptive.
Third Series of Speeches

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