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Job 21:1–34

Job Replies: The Wicked Do Prosper

21 Then Job answered and said:

k“Keep listening to my words,

and let this be your comfort.

Bear with me, and I will speak,

and after I have spoken, lmock on.

As for me, is my mcomplaint against man?

Why should I not be impatient?

Look at me and be appalled,

and nlay your hand over your mouth.

When I remember, I am dismayed,

and shuddering seizes my flesh.

oWhy do the wicked live,

reach old age, and grow mighty in power?

Their poffspring are established in their presence,

and their descendants before their eyes.

Their houses are qsafe from fear,

and rno rod of God is upon them.

10  Their bull breeds without fail;

their cow calves and sdoes not miscarry.

11  They send out their tlittle boys like a flock,

and their children dance.

12  They sing to uthe tambourine and vthe lyre

and rejoice to the sound of vthe pipe.

13  They wspend their days in prosperity,

and in xpeace they go down to ySheol.

14  They say to God, z‘Depart from us!

We do not desire the knowledge of your ways.

15  aWhat is the Almighty, that we should serve him?

And what bprofit do we get if we pray to him?’

16  Behold, is not their prosperity in their hand?

cThe counsel of the wicked is far from me.

17  “How often is it that dthe lamp of the wicked is put out?

That their calamity comes upon them?

That God1 distributes pains in his anger?

18  That they are like estraw before the wind,

and like fchaff that the storm carries away?

19  You say, ‘God gstores up their iniquity for their hchildren.’

Let him pay it out to them, that they may iknow it.

20  Let their own eyes see their destruction,

and let them jdrink of the wrath of the Almighty.

21  For what do they care for their houses after them,

when kthe number of their months is cut off?

22  lWill any teach God knowledge,

seeing that he mjudges those who are on high?

23  One dies in his full vigor,

being wholly at ease and secure,

24  his pails2 full of milk

and nthe marrow of his bones moist.

25  Another dies in obitterness of soul,

never having tasted of prosperity.

26  They plie down alike in the dust,

and qthe worms cover them.

27  “Behold, I know your thoughts

and your schemes to wrong me.

28  For you say, r‘Where is the house of the prince?

Where is sthe 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 tthe evil man is spared in the day of calamity,

that he is rescued in the day of wrath?

31  Who declares his way uto his face,

and who vrepays him for what he has done?

32  When he is wcarried to the grave,

watch is kept over his tomb.

33  xThe clods of the valley are sweet to him;

yall 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.”

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