Listen to what I am saying;
that is all the comfort I ask from you.
Give me a chance to speak and then, when I am through, sneer if you like.
My quarrel is not with mortals; I have good reason to be impatient.
Look at me. Isn't that enough to make you stare in shocked silence?
When I think of what has happened to me, I am stunned, and I tremble and shake.
Why does God let evil people live, let them grow old and prosper?
They have children and grandchildren, and live to watch them all grow up.
God does not bring disaster on their homes; they never have to live in terror.
Yes, all their cattle breed and give birth without trouble.
Their children run and play like lambs
and dance to the music of harps and flutes.
They live out their lives in peace and quietly die without suffering.
The wicked tell God to leave them alone; they don't want to know his will for their lives.
They think there is no need to serve God nor any advantage in praying to him.
They claim they succeed by their own strength, but their way of thinking I can't accept.
Was a wicked person's light ever put out? Did one of them ever meet with disaster? Did God ever punish the wicked in anger
and blow them away like straw in the wind, or like dust carried away in a storm?
You claim God punishes a child for the sins of his father. No! Let God punish the sinners themselves; let him show that he does it because of [their ]sins.
Let sinners bear their own punishment; let them feel the wrath of Almighty God.
When our lives are over, do we really care whether our children are happy?
Can anyone teach God, who judges even those in high places?
Some people stay healthy till the day they die; they die happy and at ease, their bodies well-nourished.
Others have no happiness at all; they live and die with bitter hearts.
But all alike die and are buried; they all are covered with worms.
I know what spiteful thoughts you have.
You ask, "Where are the homes of great people now, those who practiced evil?"
Haven't you talked with people who travel? Don't you know the reports they bring back?
On the day God is angry and punishes, it is the wicked who are always spared.
There is no one to accuse the wicked or pay them back for all they have done.
When they are carried to the graveyard, to their well-guarded tombs,
thousands join the funeral procession, and even the earth lies gently on their bodies.
And you! You try to comfort me with nonsense! Every answer you give is a lie!
Is there anyone, even the wisest,
who could ever be of use to God?
Does your doing right benefit God, or does your being good help him at all?
It is not because you stand in awe of God that he reprimands you and brings you to trial.
No, it's because you have sinned so much; it's because of all the evil you do.
To make a brother repay you the money he owed, you took away his clothes and left him nothing to wear.
You refused water to those who were tired, and refused to feed those who were hungry.
You used your power and your position to take over the whole land.
You not only refused to help widows, but you also robbed and mistreated orphans.
So now there are pitfalls all around you, and suddenly you are full of fear.
It has grown so dark that you cannot see, and a flood overwhelms you.
Doesn't God live in the highest heavens and look down on the stars, even though they are high?
And yet you ask, "What does God know? He is hidden by clouds - how can he judge us?"
You think the thick clouds keep him from seeing, as he walks on the dome of the sky.
Are you determined to walk in the paths that evil people have always followed?
Even before their time had come, they were washed away by a flood.
These are the ones who rejected God and believed that he could do nothing to them.
And yet it was God who made them prosperous - I can't understand the thoughts of the wicked.
Good people are glad and the innocent laugh when they see the wicked punished.
All that the wicked own is destroyed, and fire burns up anything that is left.
Now, Job, make peace with God and stop treating him like an enemy; if you do, then he will bless you.
Accept the teaching he gives; keep his words in your heart.
Yes, you must humbly return to God and put an end to all the evil that is done in your house.
Throw away your gold; dump your finest gold in the dry stream bed.
Let Almighty God be your gold, and let him be silver, piled high for you.
Then you will always trust in God and find that he is the source of your joy.
When you pray, he will answer you, and you will keep the vows you made.
You will succeed in all you do, and light will shine on your path.
God brings down the proud and saves the humble.
He will rescue you if you are innocent, if what you do is right.
I still rebel and complain against God;
I cannot keep from groaning.
How I wish I knew where to find him, and knew how to go where he is.
I would state my case before him and present all the arguments in my favor.
I want to know what he would say and how he would answer me.
Would God use all his strength against me? No, he would listen as I spoke.
I am honest; I could reason with God; he would declare me innocent once and for all.
I have searched in the East, but God is not there; I have not found him when I searched in the West.
God has been at work in the North and the South, but still I have not seen him.
Yet God knows every step I take; if he tests me, he will find me pure.
I follow faithfully the road he chooses, and never wander to either side.
I always do what God commands; I follow his will, not my own desires.
He never changes. No one can oppose him or stop him from doing what he wants to do.
He will fulfill what he has planned for me; that plan is just one of the many he has;
I tremble with fear before him.
Almighty God has destroyed my courage. It is God, not the dark, that makes me afraid - even though the darkness has made me blind.