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Job 21 (English Standard Version)

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Job Replies: The Wicked Do Prosper

1 Then Job answered and said: 2 1"Keep listening to my words, and let this be your comfort. 3 Bear with me, and I will speak, and after I have spoken, 2mock on. 4 As for me, is my 3complaint against man? Why should I not be impatient? 5 Look at me and be appalled, and 4lay your hand over your mouth. 6 When I remember, I am dismayed, and shuddering seizes my flesh. 7 5Why do the wicked live, reach old age, and grow mighty in power? 8 Their 6offspring are established in their presence, and their descendants before their eyes. 9 Their houses are 7safe from fear, and 8no rod of God is upon them. 10 Their bull breeds without fail; their cow calves and 9does not miscarry. 11 They send out their 10little boys like a flock, and their children dance. 12 They sing to 11the tambourine and 12the lyre and rejoice to the sound of 13the pipe. 13 They 14spend their days in prosperity, and in 15peace they go down to 16Sheol. 14 They say to God, 17'Depart from us! We do not desire the knowledge of your ways. 15 18What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? And what 19profit do we get if we pray to him?' 16 Behold, is not their prosperity in their hand? 20The counsel of the wicked is far from me. 17 "How often is it that 21the lamp of the wicked is put out? That their calamity comes upon them? That Goda distributes pains in his anger? 18 That they are like 22straw before the wind, and like 23chaff that the storm carries away? 19 You say, 'God 24stores up their iniquity for their 25children.' Let him pay it out to them, that they may 26know it. 20 Let their own eyes see their destruction, and let them 27drink of the wrath of the Almighty. 21 For what do they care for their houses after them, when 28the number of their months is cut off? 22 29Will any teach God knowledge, seeing that he 30judges those who are on high? 23 One dies in his full vigor, being wholly at ease and secure, 24 his pailsb full of milk and 31the marrow of his bones moist. 25 Another dies in 32bitterness of soul, never having tasted of prosperity. 26 They 33lie down alike in the dust, and 34the worms cover them. 27 "Behold, I know your thoughts and your schemes to wrong me. 28 For you say, 35'Where is the house of the prince? Where is 36the 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 37the evil man is spared in the day of calamity, that he is rescued in the day of wrath? 31 Who declares his way 38to his face, and who 39repays him for what he has done? 32 When he is 40carried to the grave, watch is kept over his tomb. 33 41The clods of the valley are sweet to him; 42all 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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