21
Job's Reply to Zophar
If You Want To Offer Comfort
1Job said:
2If you want to offer comfort,
then listen to me.
3And when I have finished,
you can start your insults
all over again.
4My complaint is against God;
that's why I am impatient.
5Just looking at me is enough
to make you sick,
6and the very thought of myself
fills me with disgust.
7Why do evil people live so long
and gain such power?
8Why are they allowed to see
their children grow up?#21.8 up: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 8.
9They have no worries at home,
and God never punishes them.
10Their cattle have lots of calves
without ever losing one;
11their children play and dance
safely by themselves.
12These people sing and celebrate
to the sound of tambourines,
small harps, and flutes,
13and they are successful,
without a worry,
until the day they die.
Leave Us Alone!
14Those who are evil say
to God All-Powerful,
“Leave us alone! Don't bother us
with your teachings.
15What do we gain from praying
and worshiping you?
16We succeeded all on our own.”
And so, I keep away from them
and their evil schemes.
17How often does God become angry
and send disaster and darkness
to punish sinners?
18How often does he strike them
like a windstorm
that scatters straw?
19You say, “God will punish
those sinners' children
in place of those sinners.”
But I say, “Let him punish
those sinners themselves
until they really feel it.
20Let God All-Powerful force them
to drink their own destruction
from the cup of his anger.
21Because after they are dead,
they won't care what happens
to their children.”
Who Can Tell God What To Do?
22Who can tell God what to do?
He judges powerful rulers.
* 23Some of us die prosperous,
24enjoying good health,
25while others die in poverty,
having known only pain.
26But we all end up dead,
beneath a blanket of worms.
27My friends, I know that you
are plotting against me.
28You ask, “Where is the home
of that important person
who does so much evil?”
29Everyone, near and far, agrees
30that those who do wrong
never suffer disaster,
when God becomes angry.
31No one points out their sin
or punishes them.
32Then at their funerals,
they are highly praised;
33the earth welcomes them home,
while crowds mourn.
34But empty, meaningless words
are the comfort you offer me.
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