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Job - Chapter 21

1 Job spoke next. He said:

2 Listen carefully to my words; let this be the consolation you allow me.

3 Permit me to speak in my turn; you may jeer when I have spoken.

4 Is my complaint just about a fellow-mortal? I have good grounds to be perturbed!

5 Give your attention to me; you will be dumbfounded and will place your hand over your mouth.

6 I myself am appalled at the very thought, and my flesh creeps.

7 Why do the wicked still live on, their power increasing with their age?

8 They see their posterity assured, and their offspring secure before their eyes.

9 The peace of their houses has nothing to fear, the rod that God wields is not for them.

10 No mishap with their bull at breeding-time, nor miscarriage with their cow at calving.

11 They let their infants frisk like lambs, their children dance like deer.

12 They sing to the tambourine and harp, and rejoice to the sound of the pipe.

13 They end their lives in happiness and go down in peace to Sheol.

14 Yet these are the ones who say to God, 'Go away! We do not want to learn your ways.

15 What is the point of our serving Shaddai? What should we gain from praying to him?'

16 Surely they have won their own prosperity, since God is kept so far from their plans?

17 Do we often see the light of the wicked put out, or disaster overtake him, or the retribution of God destroy his possessions,

18 or the wind blow him away like a straw, or a whirlwind carry him off like chaff?

19 So God is storing up punishment for his children? But the wicked himself should be punished, and should know it!

20 He himself should witness his own ruin, and himself drink the anger of Shaddai.

21 Once he is gone, what joy can he gain from his family, once the number of his months has been cut off?

22 But who can teach wisdom to God, to him who is judge of those on high?

23 And again: one person dies in the fullness of strength, in all possible happiness and ease,

24 thighs padded with fat and the marrow in the bones good and moist.

25 Another dies in bitterness of heart, never having tasted happiness.

26 They lie together down in the dust and the worms soon cover them both.

27 Oh, I know what is in your minds, what you so spitefully think about me!

28 'What has become of the great lord's house,' you say, 'where is the tent where the wicked used to live?'

29 Have you never questioned people who travel, do you not understand the testimony they give:

30 on the day of disaster, the wicked is spared, on the day of retribution, he is kept safe?

31 And who is there then to reproach him for his deeds and to pay him back for the things he has done?

32 He is carried away to the cemetery, and a watch is kept at his tomb.

33 The clods of the ravine lie easy on him, and the whole population walk behind.

34 So what sense is there in your empty consolation? your answers are the left-overs of infidelity!

Book of Job Chapters

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