Job 21

Job’s Reply to Zophar

1Then Job answered:

2 Pay close attention to my words;
let this be the consolation you offer.
3 Bear with me while I speak;
then after I have spoken, you may continue mocking.

4 As for me, is my complaint a against a man?
Then why shouldn’t I be impatient?
5 Look at me and shudder; b
put your hand over your mouth. c
6 When I think about it, I am terrified
and my body trembles d in horror.
7 Why do the wicked continue to live,
growing old and becoming powerful?
8 Their children are established while they are still alive,
Lit established before them with them

and their descendants, before their eyes.
9 Their homes are secure and free of fear; f
no rod from God strikes them. g
10 Their bulls breed without fail;
their cows calve and do not miscarry.
11 They let their little ones run around like lambs;
their children skip about,
12 singing to the tambourine and lyre
and rejoicing at the sound of the flute. h
13 They spend
Alt Hb tradition reads fully enjoy
their days in prosperity j
and go down to
Sheol: A Hebrew word for either the grave or the realm of the dead
Sheol in peace.
14 Yet they say to God: “Leave us alone!
We don’t want to know Your ways. l
15 Who is the
God Almighty: The Hebrew word is El Shaddai; El = "God," but the meaning of Shaddai is disputed; traditionally it is translated "Almighty".
Almighty, that we should serve Him,
and what will we gain by pleading with Him?” n
16 But their prosperity is not of their own doing.
The counsel of the wicked is far from me! o

17 How often is the lamp p of the wicked put out?
Does disaster
Lit their disaster
come on them?
Does He apportion destruction in His anger?
18 Are they like straw before the wind,
like chaff r a storm sweeps away?
19 God reserves a person’s punishment for his children. s
Let God repay the person himself, so that he may know it.
20 Let his own eyes see his demise;
let him drink from the Almighty’s wrath! t
21 For what does he care about his family once he is dead, u
when the number of his months has run out? v

22 Can anyone teach God knowledge, w
since He judges the exalted ones?
Probably angels

23 One person dies in excellent health,
Lit in bone of his perfection

completely secure
Text emended; MT reads health, all at ease
and at ease.
24 His body is
Or His sides are; Hb obscure
well fed,
Lit is full of milk

and his bones are full of marrow.
Lit and the marrow of his bones is watered

25 Yet another person dies with a bitter ad soul,
having never tasted prosperity.
26 But they both lie in the dust,
and worms cover them. ae

27 I know your thoughts very well,
the schemes you would wrong me with.
28 For you say, “Where now is the nobleman’s house?”
and “Where are the tents af the wicked lived in?”
29 Have you never consulted those who travel the roads?
Don’t you accept their reports?
Lit signs

30 Indeed, the evil man is spared from the day of disaster,
rescued from the day of wrath.
31 Who would denounce his behavior to his face?
Who would repay ah him for what he has done?
32 He is carried to the grave,
and someone keeps watch over his tomb.
33 The dirt on his grave is
Lit The clods of the wadi are
sweet to him.
Everyone follows behind him,
and those who go before him are without number.

34 So how can you offer me such futile comfort?
Your answers are deceptive.
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