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Job 21

Job 21

Job Replies: The Wicked Do Prosper

[1] Then Job answered and said:

[2] “Keep listening to my words,
and let this be your comfort.
[3] Bear with me, and I will speak,
and after I have spoken, mock on.
[4] As for me, is my complaint against man?
Why should I not be impatient?
[5] Look at me and be appalled,
and lay your hand over your mouth.
[6] When I remember, I am dismayed,
and shuddering seizes my flesh.
[7] Why do the wicked live,
reach old age, and grow mighty in power?
[8] Their offspring are established in their presence,
and their descendants before their eyes.
[9] Their houses are safe from fear,
and no rod of God is upon them.
[10] Their bull breeds without fail;
their cow calves and does not miscarry.
[11] They send out their little boys like a flock,
and their children dance.
[12] They sing to the tambourine and the lyre
and rejoice to the sound of the pipe.
[13] They spend their days in prosperity,
and in peace they go down to Sheol.
[14] They say to God, ‘Depart from us!
We do not desire the knowledge of your ways.
[15] What is the Almighty, that we should serve him?
And what profit do we get if we pray to him?’
[16] Behold, is not their prosperity in their hand?
The counsel of the wicked is far from me.

[17] “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?
[18] That they are like straw before the wind,
and like chaff that the storm carries away?
[19] You say, ‘God stores up their iniquity for their children.’
Let him pay it out to them, that they may know it.
[20] Let their own eyes see their destruction,
and let them drink of the wrath of the Almighty.
[21] For what do they care for their houses after them,
when the number of their months is cut off?
[22] Will any teach God knowledge,
seeing that he judges those who are on high?
[23] One dies in his full vigor,
being wholly at ease and secure,
[24] his pails full of milk
and the marrow of his bones moist.
[25] Another dies in bitterness of soul,
never having tasted of prosperity.
[26] They lie down alike in the dust,
and the worms cover them.

[27] “Behold, I know your thoughts
and your schemes to wrong me.
[28] For you say, ‘Where is the house of the prince?
Where is the tent in which the wicked lived?’
[29] Have you not asked those who travel the roads,
and do you not accept their testimony
[30] that the evil man is spared in the day of calamity,
that he is rescued in the day of wrath?
[31] Who declares his way to his face,
and who repays him for what he has done?
[32] When he is carried to the grave,
watch is kept over his tomb.
[33] The clods of the valley are sweet to him;
all mankind follows after him,
and those who go before him are innumerable.
[34] How then will you comfort me with empty nothings?
There is nothing left of your answers but falsehood.” (ESV)