Job 21
Grant me a hearing
1Then Job answered:
2Listen carefully to my remarks
and let that comfort you.
3Bear with me so I can speak, I myself;
and after my reply you can mock.
4Are my complaints against another human;
why is my patience short?
5Turn to me and be appalled;
lay your hand over your mouth.
6If I recall it, I’m scared;
shaking seizes my body.
The success of the wicked
7Why do the wicked live,
grow old, and even become strong?
8Their children are always with them,
their offspring in their sight,
9their houses safe from dread,
God’s punishing stick not upon them.
10Their bull always breeds successfully;
their cows give birth and never miscarry.
11They send forth their little ones like sheep;
their infants bounce around.
12They raise drum and lyre,
rejoice at the sound of a flute.
13They spend their days contentedly,
go down to the grave#Heb Sheol peacefully.
14They say to God, "Turn away from us;
we take no pleasure in knowing your ways;
15who is the Almighty#Heb Shaddai or Mountain One that we should serve him,
and what can we gain if we meet him?"
16Look, isn’t their well-being the work of their own hands?
A sinner’s logic is beyond me.
Desired vindication
17How often does the lamp of the wicked flicker
or disaster come upon them,
with its fury inflicting pain on them?
18Let them be like straw in the wind,
like dry grass stolen by a storm.
19God stores up his punishment for his children.
Let him destroy them so they know.
20Let their own eyes witness their doom.
Let them drink from the Almighty’s wrath.
21What do they care about their household after they die,
when their numbered days are cut off?
A common fate
22Will they instruct God—
he who judges the most powerful?
23Someone dies in wonderful health,
completely comfortable and well,
24their buckets full of milk,
their bones marrow-filled and sound.
25Another dies in bitter spirit,
never having tasted the good things.
26They lie together in the dust
and worms cover them.
Further disagreement
27Look, I know your thoughts;
your plans harm me.
28You say, "Where is the official’s house?
Where is the tent, the dwelling of the wicked?"
29Haven’t you asked travelers
or paid attention to their reports?
30On the day of disaster the wicked are spared;
on the day of fury they are rescued.
31Who can criticize their behavior to their faces;
they act, and who can avenge them?
32They are carried to their graves;
someone keeps guard over their tombs.
33The soil near the desert streambed is sweet to them;
everyone marches after them—
those before them, beyond counting.
34How empty is your comfort to me;
only deceit remains in your responses.
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