21 Then Job answered,
2 Hear diligently my speech, and let this [your attention] be your consolation [given me].
3 Allow me, and I also will speak; and after I have spoken, mock on.
4 As for me, is my complaint to man or of him? And why should I not be impatient and my spirit be troubled?
5 Look at me and be astonished (appalled); and lay your hand upon your mouth.
6 Even when I remember, I am troubled and afraid; horror and trembling take hold of my flesh.
7 Why do the wicked live, become old, and become mighty in power?
8 Their children are established with them in their sight, and their offspring before their eyes.
9 Their houses are safe and in peace, without fear; neither is the rod of God upon them.
10 Their bull breeds and fails not; their cows calve and do not miscarry.
11 They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children skip about.
12 They themselves lift up their voices and sing to the tambourine and the lyre and rejoice to the sound of the pipe.
13 They spend their days in prosperity and go down to Sheol (the unseen state) in a moment and peacefully.
14 Yet they say to God, Depart from us, for we do not desire the knowledge of Your ways.
15 Who is the Almighty, that we should serve Him? And what profit do we have if we pray to Him?(A)
16 But notice, [you say] the prosperity of the wicked is not in their power; the mystery [of God’s dealings] with the ungodly is far from my comprehension.
17 How often [then] is it that the lamp of the wicked is put out? That their calamity comes upon them? That God distributes pains and sorrows to them in His anger?(B)
18 That they are like stubble before the wind and like chaff that the storm steals and carries away?
19 You say, God lays up [the punishment of the wicked man’s] iniquity for his children. Let Him recompense it to the man himself, that he may know and feel it.
20 Let his own eyes see his destruction, and let him drink of the wrath of the Almighty.
21 For what pleasure or interest has a man in his house and family after he is dead, when the number of his months is cut off?
22 Shall any teach God knowledge, seeing that He judges those who are on high?(C)
23 One dies in his full strength, being wholly at ease and quiet;
24 His pails are full of milk [his veins are filled with nourishment], and the marrow of his bones is fresh and moist,
25 Whereas another man dies in bitterness of soul and never tastes of pleasure or good fortune.
26 They lie down alike in the dust, and the worm spreads a covering over them.
27 Behold, I know your thoughts and plans and the devices with which you would wrong me.
28 For you say, Where is the house of the rich and liberal prince [meaning me]? And where is the tent in which the wicked [Job] dwelt?
29 Have you not asked those who travel this way, and do you not accept their testimony and evidences—
30 That the evil man is [now] spared in the day of calamity and destruction, and they are led forth and away on the day of [God’s] wrath?
31 But who declares [a man’s] way [and rebukes] him to his face? And who pays him back for what he has done?
32 When he is borne to the grave, watch is kept over his tomb.
33 The clods of the valley are sweet to him, and every man shall follow him to a grave, as innumerable people [have gone] before him.
34 How then can you comfort me with empty and futile words, since in your replies there lurks falsehood?