Job 21
Job’s Seventh Speech: A Response to Zophar
1Then#Hebrew “And” Job answered and said,
2“Listen carefully to my words,
and let this be your#Plural consolation.
3Bear with me, and I myself#Emphatic personal pronoun will speak;
then#Hebrew “and” after my speaking you can mock.
4As for me, is my complaint for human beings?
And if so, why cannot I be impatient?
5Turn to me and be appalled,
and place your hand on your mouth.
6And when I think of it, I am horrified,#Hebrew “and I am horrified”
and shuddering seizes my flesh.
7“Why do the wicked live,
grow old, even grow mighty in power?
8With them their offspring are established before them,#Literally “to their faces”
and their descendants before their eyes.
9Their houses are safe without fear,
and the rod of God is not upon them.
10His bull breeds and does not fail;
his cow calves and does not miscarry.
11They send out their little ones like the flock,
and their children dance around.
12They sing#Literally “they lift up their voices” to the tambourine and lyre,
and they rejoice to the sound of the long flute.
13They spend their days in prosperity,
and in peace they go down to Sheol.
14And they say to God, ‘Turn away from us,
for#Hebrew “and” we do not desire to know your ways.
15Who is Shaddai that we should serve him,
or#Hebrew “and” what would we benefit when we plead with him?’
16Look, their prosperity is not in their hands;
the schemes of the wicked are repugnant#Or “the plan of the wicked is repugnant” to me.
17“How often is the lamp of the wicked put out,
and their disaster comes upon them?
He#The antecedent is “God,” or possibly “the Almighty” distributes pains in his anger.
18How often are they like straw before#Literally “to the faces of” the wind,
and like chaff that the storm carries away?
19‘God stores up his iniquity for his children’?#Or “You say, ‘God stores up his iniquity for his children.’ ”
Then let him repay it to him that#Hebrew “and” he may know.
20Let his eyes see his decay,
and let him drink from the wrath of Shaddai,
21for what does he care for#Literally “his joy in” his house after him,
when the number of his months is#Hebrew “are” cut off?
22Can anyone teach knowledge to God,
since#Hebrew “and” he himself#Emphatic personal pronoun judges high ones?
23This one dies in full prosperity,#Literally “in the vigor of his prosperity”
completely#Literally “all of him” at ease and secure.
24His vats are full with milk
and the marrow of his bones is moist.
25Yet#Hebrew “And” another dies with a bitter inner self#Or “soul”
and has not tasted prosperity.
26They lie down together in the dust,
and maggots cover them.
27“Look, I know your#Plural thoughts
and the schemes you devise against me.
28For you say, ‘Where is the nobleman’s house,
and where are the tents in which the wicked dwell?’#Literally “tent of dwelling places of wicked”
29Do you not ask those traveling the roads,
and do you not take notice of their accounts?
30Indeed, the wicked is spared from the day of disaster;
he is delivered from the day of wrath.
31Who denounces his way to his face?
And who repays him for what he has done?
32When#Hebrew “And” he is brought to the grave,
then#Hebrew “and” someone stands guard over the tomb.
33The clods of the valley are sweet to him;
everyone will follow after him,
and before#Literally “to the faces of” him they are innumerable.#Literally “there is not number”
34So#Hebrew “And” how will you comfort me with emptiness,
when#Hebrew “and” fraud is left in your answers?”
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