Job 21

Job Answers Zophar

21 Then Job answered:

2 “Listen carefully to my words,
and let this be the way you comfort me.
3 Be patient while I speak.
After I have finished, you may continue to make fun of me.

4 “My complaint is not just against people;
I have reason to be impatient.
5 Look at me and be shocked;
put your hand over your mouth in shock.
6 When I think about this, I am terribly afraid
and my body shakes.
7 Why do evil people live a long time?
They grow old and become more powerful.
8 They see their children around them;
they watch them grow up.
9 Their homes are safe and without fear;
God does not punish them.
10 Their bulls never fail to mate;
their cows have healthy calves.
11 They send out their children like a flock;
their little ones dance about.
12 They sing to the music of tambourines and harps,
and the sound of the flute makes them happy.
13 Evil people enjoy successful lives
and then go peacefully to the grave.
14 They say to God, ‘Leave us alone!
We don’t want to know your ways.
15 Who is the Almighty that we should serve him?
What would we gain by praying to him?’
16 The success of the wicked is not their own doing.
Their way of thinking is different from mine.
17 Yet how often are the lamps of evil people turned off?
How often does trouble come to them?
How often do they suffer God’s angry punishment?
18 How often are they like straw in the wind
or like chaff that is blown away by a storm?
19 It is said, ‘God saves up a person’s punishment for his children.’
But God should punish the wicked themselves so they will know it.
20 Their eyes should see their own destruction,
and they should suffer the anger of the Almighty.
21 They do not care about the families they leave behind
when their lives have come to an end.

22 “No one can teach knowledge to God;
he is the one who judges even the most important people.
23 One person dies while he still has all his strength,
feeling completely safe and comfortable.
24 His body was well fed,
and his bones were strong and healthy.
25 But another person dies with an unhappy heart,
never enjoying any happiness.
26 They are buried next to each other,
and worms cover them both.

27 “I know very well your thoughts
and your plans to wrong me.
28 You ask about me, ‘Where is this great man’s house?
Where are the tents where the wicked live?’
29 Have you never asked those who travel?
Have you never listened to their stories?
30 On the day of God’s anger and punishment,
it is the wicked who are spared.
31 Who will accuse them to their faces?
Who will pay them back for the evil they have done?
32 They are carried to their graves,
and someone keeps watch over their tombs.
33 The dirt in the valley seems sweet to them.
Everybody follows after them,
and many people go before them.

34 “So how can you comfort me with this nonsense?
Your answers are only lies!”

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