Job 21:1-34

Job 21:1-3-34 The Message (MSG)

Job replied: “Now listen to me carefully, please listen, at least do me the favor of listening. Put up with me while I have my say— then you can mock me later to your heart’s content. “It’s not you I’m complaining to—it’s God. Is it any wonder I’m getting fed up with his silence? Take a good look at me. Aren’t you appalled by what’s happened? No! Don’t say anything. I can do without your comments. When I look back, I go into shock, my body is racked with spasms. Why do the wicked have it so good, live to a ripe old age and get rich? They get to see their children succeed, get to watch and enjoy their grandchildren. Their homes are peaceful and free from fear; they never experience God’s disciplining rod. Their bulls breed with great vigor and their cows calve without fail. They send their children out to play and watch them frolic like spring lambs. They make music with fiddles and flutes, have good times singing and dancing. They have a long life on easy street, and die painlessly in their sleep. They say to God, ‘Get lost! We’ve no interest in you or your ways. Why should we have dealings with God Almighty? What’s there in it for us?’ But they’re wrong, dead wrong—they’re not gods. It’s beyond me how they can carry on like this! “Still, how often does it happen that the wicked fail, or disaster strikes, or they get their just deserts? How often are they blown away by bad luck? Not very often. You might say, ‘God is saving up the punishment for their children.’ I say, ‘Give it to them right now so they’ll know what they’ve done!’ They deserve to experience the effects of their evil, feel the full force of God’s wrath firsthand. What do they care what happens to their families after they’re safely tucked away in the grave? “But who are we to tell God how to run his affairs? He’s dealing with matters that are way over our heads. Some people die in the prime of life, with everything going for them— fat and sassy. Others die bitter and bereft, never getting a taste of happiness. They’re laid out side by side in the cemetery, where the worms can’t tell one from the other. “I’m not deceived. I know what you’re up to, the plans you’re cooking up to bring me down. Naively you claim that the castles of tyrants fall to pieces, that the achievements of the wicked collapse. Have you ever asked world travelers how they see it? Have you not listened to their stories Of evil men and women who got off scot-free, who never had to pay for their wickedness? Did anyone ever confront them with their crimes? Did they ever have to face the music? Not likely—they’re given fancy funerals with all the trimmings, Gently lowered into expensive graves, with everyone telling lies about how wonderful they were. “So how do you expect me to get any comfort from your nonsense? Your so-called comfort is a tissue of lies.”

Job 21:1-34 New American Standard Bible - NASB 1995 (NASB1995)

Then Job answered, “Listen carefully to my speech, And let this be your way of consolation. Bear with me that I may speak; Then after I have spoken, you may mock. As for me, is my complaint to man? And why should I not be impatient? Look at me, and be astonished, And put your hand over your mouth. Even when I remember, I am disturbed, And horror takes hold of my flesh. Why do the wicked still live, Continue on, also become very powerful? Their descendants are established with them in their sight, And their offspring before their eyes, Their houses are safe from fear, And the rod of God is not on them. His ox mates without fail; His cow calves and does not abort. They send forth their little ones like the flock, And their children skip about. They sing to the timbrel and harp And rejoice at the sound of the flute. They spend their days in prosperity, And suddenly they go down to Sheol. They say to God, ‘Depart from us! We do not even desire the knowledge of Your ways. Who is the Almighty, that we should serve Him, And what would we gain if we entreat Him?’ Behold, their prosperity is not in their hand; The counsel of the wicked is far from me. “How often is the lamp of the wicked put out, Or does their calamity fall on them? Does God apportion destruction in His anger? Are they as straw before the wind, And like chaff which the storm carries away? You say, ‘God stores away a man’s iniquity for his sons.’ Let God repay him so that he may know it. Let his own eyes see his decay, And let him drink of the wrath of the Almighty. For what does he care for his household after him, When the number of his months is cut off? Can anyone teach God knowledge, In that He judges those on high? One dies in his full strength, Being wholly at ease and satisfied; His sides are filled out with fat, And the marrow of his bones is moist, While another dies with a bitter soul, Never even tasting anything good. Together they lie down in the dust, And worms cover them. “Behold, I know your thoughts, And the plans by which you would wrong me. For you say, ‘Where is the house of the nobleman, And where is the tent, the dwelling places of the wicked?’ Have you not asked wayfaring men, And do you not recognize their witness? For the wicked is reserved for the day of calamity; They will be led forth at the day of fury. Who will confront him with his actions, And who will repay him for what he has done? While he is carried to the grave, Men will keep watch over his tomb. The clods of the valley will gently cover him; Moreover, all men will follow after him, While countless ones go before him. How then will you vainly comfort me, For your answers remain full of falsehood?”

Job 21:1-34 New Living Translation (NLT)

Then Job spoke again: “Listen closely to what I am saying. That’s one consolation you can give me. Bear with me, and let me speak. After I have spoken, you may resume mocking me. “My complaint is with God, not with people. I have good reason to be so impatient. Look at me and be stunned. Put your hand over your mouth in shock. When I think about what I am saying, I shudder. My body trembles. “Why do the wicked prosper, growing old and powerful? They live to see their children grow up and settle down, and they enjoy their grandchildren. Their homes are safe from every fear, and God does not punish them. Their bulls never fail to breed. Their cows bear calves and never miscarry. They let their children frisk about like lambs. Their little ones skip and dance. They sing with tambourine and harp. They celebrate to the sound of the flute. They spend their days in prosperity, then go down to the grave in peace. And yet they say to God, ‘Go away. We want no part of you and your ways. Who is the Almighty, and why should we obey him? What good will it do us to pray?’ (They think their prosperity is of their own doing, but I will have nothing to do with that kind of thinking.) “Yet the light of the wicked never seems to be extinguished. Do they ever have trouble? Does God distribute sorrows to them in anger? Are they driven before the wind like straw? Are they carried away by the storm like chaff? Not at all! “‘Well,’ you say, ‘at least God will punish their children!’ But I say he should punish the ones who sin, so that they understand his judgment. Let them see their destruction with their own eyes. Let them drink deeply of the anger of the Almighty. For they will not care what happens to their family after they are dead. “But who can teach a lesson to God, since he judges even the most powerful? One person dies in prosperity, completely comfortable and secure, the picture of good health, vigorous and fit. Another person dies in bitter poverty, never having tasted the good life. But both are buried in the same dust, both eaten by the same maggots. “Look, I know what you’re thinking. I know the schemes you plot against me. You will tell me of rich and wicked people whose houses have vanished because of their sins. But ask those who have been around, and they will tell you the truth. Evil people are spared in times of calamity and are allowed to escape disaster. No one criticizes them openly or pays them back for what they have done. When they are carried to the grave, an honor guard keeps watch at their tomb. A great funeral procession goes to the cemetery. Many pay their respects as the body is laid to rest, and the earth gives sweet repose. “How can your empty clichés comfort me? All your explanations are lies!”

Job 21:1-34 King James Version (KJV)

But Job answered and said, Hear diligently my speech, And let this be your consolations. Suffer me that I may speak; And after that I have spoken, mock on. As for me, is my complaint to man? And if it were so, why should not my spirit be troubled? Mark me, and be astonished, And lay your hand upon your mouth. Even when I remember I am afraid, And trembling taketh hold on my flesh. Wherefore do the wicked live, Become old, yea, are mighty in power? Their seed is established in their sight with them, And their offspring before their eyes. Their houses are safe from fear, Neither is the rod of God upon them. Their bull gendereth, and faileth not; Their cow calveth, and casteth not her calf. They send forth their little ones like a flock, And their children dance. They take the timbrel and harp, And rejoice at the sound of the organ. They spend their days in wealth, And in a moment go down to the grave. Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; For we desire not the knowledge of thy ways. What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? And what profit should we have, if we pray unto him? Lo, their good is not in their hand: The counsel of the wicked is far from me. How oft is the candle of the wicked put out! And how oft cometh their destruction upon them! God distributeth sorrows in his anger. They are as stubble before the wind, And as chaff that the storm carrieth away. God layeth up his iniquity for his children: He rewardeth him, and he shall know it. His eyes shall see his destruction, And he shall drink of the wrath of the Almighty. For what pleasure hath he in his house after him, When the number of his months is cut off in the midst? Shall any teach God knowledge? Seeing he judgeth those that are high. One dieth in his full strength, Being wholly at ease and quiet. His breasts are full of milk, And his bones are moistened with marrow. And another dieth in the bitterness of his soul, And never eateth with pleasure. They shall lie down alike in the dust, And the worms shall cover them. Behold, I know your thoughts, And the devices which ye wrongfully imagine against me. For ye say, Where is the house of the prince? And where are the dwelling places of the wicked? Have ye not asked them that go by the way? And do ye not know their tokens, That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? They shall be brought forth to the day of wrath. Who shall declare his way to his face? And who shall repay him what he hath done? Yet shall he be brought to the grave, And shall remain in the tomb. The clods of the valley shall be sweet unto him, And every man shall draw after him, As there are innumerable before him. How then comfort ye me in vain, Seeing in your answers there remaineth falsehood?

Job 21:1-34 New Century Version (NCV)

Then Job answered: “Listen carefully to my words, and let this be the way you comfort me. Be patient while I speak. After I have finished, you may continue to make fun of me. “My complaint is not just against people; I have reason to be impatient. Look at me and be shocked; put your hand over your mouth in shock. When I think about this, I am terribly afraid and my body shakes. Why do evil people live a long time? They grow old and become more powerful. They see their children around them; they watch them grow up. Their homes are safe and without fear; God does not punish them. Their bulls never fail to mate; their cows have healthy calves. They send out their children like a flock; their little ones dance about. They sing to the music of tambourines and harps, and the sound of the flute makes them happy. Evil people enjoy successful lives and then go peacefully to the grave. They say to God, ‘Leave us alone! We don’t want to know your ways. Who is the Almighty that we should serve him? What would we gain by praying to him?’ The success of the wicked is not their own doing. Their way of thinking is different from mine. Yet how often are the lamps of evil people turned off? How often does trouble come to them? How often do they suffer God’s angry punishment? How often are they like straw in the wind or like chaff that is blown away by a storm? It is said, ‘God saves up a person’s punishment for his children.’ But God should punish the wicked themselves so they will know it. Their eyes should see their own destruction, and they should suffer the anger of the Almighty. They do not care about the families they leave behind when their lives have come to an end. “No one can teach knowledge to God; he is the one who judges even the most important people. One person dies while he still has all his strength, feeling completely safe and comfortable. His body was well fed, and his bones were strong and healthy. But another person dies with an unhappy heart, never enjoying any happiness. They are buried next to each other, and worms cover them both. “I know very well your thoughts and your plans to wrong me. You ask about me, ‘Where is this great man’s house? Where are the tents where the wicked live?’ Have you never asked those who travel? Have you never listened to their stories? On the day of God’s anger and punishment, it is the wicked who are spared. Who will accuse them to their faces? Who will pay them back for the evil they have done? They are carried to their graves, and someone keeps watch over their tombs. The dirt in the valley seems sweet to them. Everybody follows after them, and many people go before them. “So how can you comfort me with this nonsense? Your answers are only lies!”

Job 21:1-34 American Standard Version (ASV)

Then Job answered and said, Hear diligently my speech; And let this be your consolations. Suffer me, and I also will speak; And after that I have spoken, mock on. As for me, is my complaint to man? And why should I not be impatient? Mark me, and be astonished, And lay your hand upon your mouth. Even when I remember I am troubled, And horror taketh hold on my flesh. Wherefore do the wicked live, Become old, yea, wax mighty in power? Their seed is established with them in their sight, And their offspring before their eyes. Their houses are safe from fear, Neither is the rod of God upon them. Their bull gendereth, and faileth not; Their cow calveth, and casteth not her calf. They send forth their little ones like a flock, And their children dance. They sing to the timbrel and harp, And rejoice at the sound of the pipe. They spend their days in prosperity, And in a moment they go down to Sheol. And they say unto God, Depart from us; For we desire not the knowledge of thy ways. What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? And what profit should we have, if we pray unto him? Lo, their prosperity is not in their hand: The counsel of the wicked is far from me. How oft is it that the lamp of the wicked is put out? That their calamity cometh upon them? That God distributeth sorrows in his anger? That they are as stubble before the wind, And as chaff that the storm carrieth away? Ye say, God layeth up his iniquity for his children. Let him recompense it unto himself, that he may know it: Let his own eyes see his destruction, And let him drink of the wrath of the Almighty. For what careth he for his house after him, When the number of his months is cut off? Shall any teach God knowledge, Seeing he judgeth those that are high? One dieth in his full strength, Being wholly at ease and quiet: His pails are full of milk, And the marrow of his bones is moistened. And another dieth in bitterness of soul, And never tasteth of good. They lie down alike in the dust, And the worm covereth them. Behold, I know your thoughts, And the devices wherewith ye would wrong me. For ye say, Where is the house of the prince? And where is the tent wherein the wicked dwelt? Have ye not asked wayfaring men? And do ye not know their evidences, That the evil man is reserved to the day of calamity? That they are led forth to the day of wrath? Who shall declare his way to his face? And who shall repay him what he hath done? Yet shall he be borne to the grave, And men shall keep watch over the tomb. The clods of the valley shall be sweet unto him, And all men shall draw after him, As there were innumerable before him. How then comfort ye me in vain, Seeing in your answers there remaineth only falsehood?

Job 21:1-34 New International Version (NIV)

Then Job replied: “Listen carefully to my words; let this be the consolation you give me. Bear with me while I speak, and after I have spoken, mock on. “Is my complaint directed to a human being? Why should I not be impatient? Look at me and be appalled; clap your hand over your mouth. When I think about this, I am terrified; trembling seizes my body. Why do the wicked live on, growing old and increasing in power? They see their children established around them, their offspring before their eyes. Their homes are safe and free from fear; the rod of God is not on them. Their bulls never fail to breed; their cows calve and do not miscarry. They send forth their children as a flock; their little ones dance about. They sing to the music of timbrel and lyre; they make merry to the sound of the pipe. They spend their years in prosperity and go down to the grave in peace. Yet they say to God, ‘Leave us alone! We have no desire to know your ways. Who is the Almighty, that we should serve him? What would we gain by praying to him?’ But their prosperity is not in their own hands, so I stand aloof from the plans of the wicked. “Yet how often is the lamp of the wicked snuffed out? How often does calamity come upon them, the fate God allots in his anger? How often are they like straw before the wind, like chaff swept away by a gale? It is said, ‘God stores up the punishment of the wicked for their children.’ Let him repay the wicked, so that they themselves will experience it! Let their own eyes see their destruction; let them drink the cup of the wrath of the Almighty. For what do they care about the families they leave behind when their allotted months come to an end? “Can anyone teach knowledge to God, since he judges even the highest? One person dies in full vigor, completely secure and at ease, well nourished in body, bones rich with marrow. Another dies in bitterness of soul, never having enjoyed anything good. Side by side they lie in the dust, and worms cover them both. “I know full well what you are thinking, the schemes by which you would wrong me. You say, ‘Where now is the house of the great, the tents where the wicked lived?’ Have you never questioned those who travel? Have you paid no regard to their accounts— that the wicked are spared from the day of calamity, that they are delivered from the day of wrath? Who denounces their conduct to their face? Who repays them for what they have done? They are carried to the grave, and watch is kept over their tombs. The soil in the valley is sweet to them; everyone follows after them, and a countless throng goes before them. “So how can you console me with your nonsense? Nothing is left of your answers but falsehood!”

Job 21:1-34 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Then Job answered and said, “Listen carefully to my speech, And let this be the consolation. Bear with me, and I also will speak; And after I have spoken, you may [continue to] mock [me]. As for me, is my complaint to man or about him? And why should I not be impatient and my spirit troubled? Look at me and be astonished and appalled; And put your hand over your mouth. Even when I remember, I am troubled and afraid; Horror and trembling take hold of my flesh. Why do the wicked still live, Become old, and become mighty in power? Their children and descendants are established with them in their sight, And their offspring before their eyes. Their houses are safe from fear; And the rod of God is not on them. His bull breeds and does not fail; His cow calves and does not miscarry. They send forth their little ones like a flock, And their children skip about. They lift up their voices and sing to the tambourine and the lyre And rejoice to the sound of the flute. They fully enjoy their days in prosperity, And so go down to Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead) in a [peaceful] moment. Yet they say to God, ‘Depart from us, For we do not desire the knowledge of Your ways. Who [and what] is the Almighty, that we should serve Him? And what would we gain if we plead with Him?’ But notice, the prosperity of the wicked is not in their hand (in their power); The counsel of the wicked [and the mystery of God’s dealings with the ungodly] is far from my comprehension. “How often [then] is it that the lamp of the wicked is put out, And that their disaster falls on them? Does God distribute pain and destruction and sorrow [to them] in His anger? Are they like straw before the wind, And like chaff that the storm steals and carries away? You say, ‘God stores away [the punishment of] man’s wickedness for his children.’ Let God repay him so that he may know and experience it. Let his own eyes see his destruction, And let him drink of the wrath of the Almighty. For what pleasure does he have in his house and family after he is dead, When the number of his months [of life] is cut off? Can anyone teach God knowledge, Seeing that He judges those on high? One dies in his full strength, Being wholly at ease and quiet and satisfied; His pails are full of milk [his sides are filled out with fat], And the marrow of his bones is moist, Whereas another dies with a bitter soul, Never even tasting pleasure or good fortune. Together they lie down in the dust, And the worms cover them. “Behold, I know your thoughts, And the plots by which you would wrong me. For you say, ‘Where is the house of the noble man? And where is the tent, the dwelling place of the wicked?’ Have you not asked those who travel this way, And do you not recognize their witness? That evil men are [now] reserved for the day of disaster and destruction, They will be led away on the day of [God’s] wrath? But who will confront him with his actions and rebuke him face to face, And who will repay him for what he has done? When he is carried to his grave, A guard will keep watch over his tomb. The [dirt] clods of the valley are sweet to him [and gently cover him], Moreover, all men will follow after him [to a grave], While countless ones go before him. How then can you vainly comfort me with empty words, Since your answers remain untrue?”

Job 21:1-34 English Standard Version 2016 (ESV)

Then Job answered and said: “Keep listening to my words, and let this be your comfort. Bear with me, and I will speak, and after I have spoken, mock on. As for me, is my complaint against man? Why should I not be impatient? Look at me and be appalled, and lay your hand over your mouth. When I remember, I am dismayed, and shuddering seizes my flesh. Why do the wicked live, reach old age, and grow mighty in power? Their offspring are established in their presence, and their descendants before their eyes. Their houses are safe from fear, and no rod of God is upon them. Their bull breeds without fail; their cow calves and does not miscarry. They send out their little boys like a flock, and their children dance. They sing to the tambourine and the lyre and rejoice to the sound of the pipe. They spend their days in prosperity, and in peace they go down to Sheol. They say to God, ‘Depart from us! We do not desire the knowledge of your ways. What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? And what profit do we get if we pray to him?’ Behold, is not their prosperity in their hand? The counsel of the wicked is far from me. “How often is it that the lamp of the wicked is put out? That their calamity comes upon them? That God distributes pains in his anger? That they are like straw before the wind, and like chaff that the storm carries away? You say, ‘God stores up their iniquity for their children.’ Let him pay it out to them, that they may know it. Let their own eyes see their destruction, and let them drink of the wrath of the Almighty. For what do they care for their houses after them, when the number of their months is cut off? Will any teach God knowledge, seeing that he judges those who are on high? One dies in his full vigor, being wholly at ease and secure, his pails full of milk and the marrow of his bones moist. Another dies in bitterness of soul, never having tasted of prosperity. They lie down alike in the dust, and the worms cover them. “Behold, I know your thoughts and your schemes to wrong me. For you say, ‘Where is the house of the prince? Where is the tent in which the wicked lived?’ Have you not asked those who travel the roads, and do you not accept their testimony that the evil man is spared in the day of calamity, that he is rescued in the day of wrath? Who declares his way to his face, and who repays him for what he has done? When he is carried to the grave, watch is kept over his tomb. The clods of the valley are sweet to him; all mankind follows after him, and those who go before him are innumerable. How then will you comfort me with empty nothings? There is nothing left of your answers but falsehood.”

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