1Then Job answered:
2“Listen to what I say.
Let this be your way of comforting me.
3Be patient while I speak.
Then after I have finished speaking, you may make fun of me.
4“My complaint is not against people.
There is a good reason why I am not patient.
5Look at me and be shocked.
Put your hand over your mouth, and stare at me in shock!
6When I think about what happened to me,
I feel afraid and my body shakes!
7Why do evil people live long lives?
Why do they grow old and successful?
8They watch their children grow up
and live to see their grandchildren.
9Their homes are safe and free from fear.
God does not punish them.
10Their bulls never fail to mate.
Their cows have healthy calves.
11They send their children out to play like lambs.
Their children dance around.
12They sing and dance to the sound of harps and flutes.
13Evil people enjoy success during their lives
and then go to the grave without suffering.
14They say to God, ‘Leave us alone!
We don’t care what you want us to do!’
15And they say, ‘Who is God All-Powerful?
We don’t need to serve him!
It will not help to pray to him!’
16“Of course, evil people don’t make their own success.
I would never follow their advice.
17But how often does God blow out their light?
How often does trouble come to them?
How often does God get angry with them and punish them?
18Does God blow them away, as the wind blows straw
or as strong winds blow the grain husks?
19But you say, ‘God is saving their punishment for their children.’
No! Let God punish the evil people themselves so that they will know what they have done!
20Let them see their own punishment.
Let them feel the anger of God All-Powerful.
21When their life is finished and they are dead,
they will not care about the family they leave behind.
22“No one can teach God anything he doesn’t already know.
God judges even those in high places.
23One person dies after living a full and successful life,
a life completely safe and comfortable,
24with a body that was well fed
and bones that were still strong.
25But another person dies after a hard life that has made them bitter,
never having enjoyed anything good.
26In the end, both of these people will lie together in the dirt.
The worms will cover them both.
27“But I know what you are thinking,
and I know you want to hurt me.
28You might say, ‘Show me a good man’s house.
Now, show me where evil people live.’#21:28 Show me … live Or “Show me a wicked ruler’s house. Show me where evil people live.”
29“Surely you have talked with travelers.
Surely you will accept their stories.
30Evil people are spared when disaster comes.
They survive when God shows his anger.
31No one criticizes them to their faces for how they lived.
No one punishes them for the evil they have done.
32When they are carried to the grave,
they will have someone to watch over the place they are buried.
33So even the soil in the valley will be pleasant for them,
and thousands of people will join their funeral procession.
34“So your empty words are no comfort to me.
There is no truth at all in your answers!”