Job 21

1 Then Job answered:
2 Pay close attention to my words; let this be the consolation you offer.
3 Bear with me while I speak; then after I have spoken, you may continue mocking.
4 As for me, is my complaint against a man? Then why shouldn't I be impatient?
5 Look at me and shudder; put [your] hand over [your] mouth.
6 When I think about [it], I am terrified and my body trembles in horror.
7 Why do the wicked continue to live, growing old and becoming powerful?
8 Their children are established while they are still alive, and their descendants, before their eyes.
9 Their homes are secure and free of fear; no rod from God [strikes] them.
10 Their bulls breed without fail; their cows calve and do not miscarry.
11 They let their little ones run around like lambs; their children skip about,
12 singing to the tambourine and lyre and rejoicing at the sound of the flute.
13 They spend their days in prosperity and go down to Sheol in peace.
14 Yet 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, and what will we gain by pleading with Him?"
16 But their prosperity is not of their own doing. The counsel of the wicked is far from me!
17 How often is the lamp of the wicked put out? Does disaster come on them? Does He apportion destruction in His anger?
18 Are they like straw before the wind, like chaff a storm sweeps away?
19 God reserves a person's punishment for his children. Let God repay the person himself, so that he may know [it].
20 Let his own eyes see his demise; let him drink from the Almighty's wrath!
21 For what does he care about his family once he is dead, when the number of his months has run out?
22 Can anyone teach God knowledge, since He judges the exalted ones?
23 One person dies in excellent health, completely secure and at ease.
24 His body is well-fed, and his bones are full of marrow.
25 Yet another person dies with a bitter soul, having never tasted prosperity.
26 But they both lie in the dust, and worms cover them.
27 Look, I know your thoughts, the schemes you would wrong me with.
28 For you say, "Where now is the nobleman's house?" and "Where are the tents the wicked lived in?"
29 Have you never consulted those who travel the roads? Don't you accept their reports?
30 Indeed, the evil man is spared from the day of disaster, rescued from the day of wrath.
31 Who would denounce his behavior to his face? Who would repay him for what he has done?
32 He is carried to the grave, and someone keeps watch over [his] tomb.
33 The dirt on his grave is sweet to him. Everyone follows behind him, and those who go before him are without number.
34 So how can you offer me such futile comfort? Your answers are deceptive.
Holman Christian Standard Bible ® Copyright © 2003, 2002, 2000, 1999 by Holman Bible Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

Job 22

1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:
2 Can a man be of [any] use to God? Can even a wise man be of use to Him?
3 Does it delight the Almighty if you are righteous? Does He profit if you perfect your behavior?
4 Does He correct you and take you to court because of your piety?
5 Isn't your wickedness abundant and aren't your iniquities endless?
6 For you took collateral from your brothers without cause, stripping off their clothes and leaving them naked.
7 You gave no water to the thirsty and withheld food from the famished,
8 while the land belonged to a powerful man and an influential man lived on it.
9 You sent widows away empty-handed, and the strength of the fatherless was crushed.
10 Therefore snares surround you, and sudden dread terrifies you,
11 or darkness, so you cannot see, and a flood of water covers you.
12 Isn't God as high as the heavens? And look at the highest stars-how lofty they are!
13 Yet you say: "What does God know? Can He judge through thick darkness?
14 Clouds veil Him so that He cannot see, as He walks on the circle of the sky."
15 Will you continue on the ancient path that wicked men have walked?
16 They were snatched away before their time, and their foundations were washed away by a river.
17 They were the ones who said to God, "Leave us alone!" and "What can the Almighty do to us?"
18 But it was He who filled their houses with good things. The counsel of the wicked is far from me!
19 The righteous see [this] and rejoice; the innocent mock them, [saying],
20 "Surely our opponents are destroyed, and fire has consumed what they left behind."
21 Come to terms with God and be at peace; in this way good will come to you.
22 Receive instruction from His mouth, and place His sayings in your heart.
23 If you return to the Almighty, you will be renewed. If you banish injustice from your tent
24 and consign your gold to the dust, [the gold of] Ophir to the stones in the wadis,
25 the Almighty will be your gold and your finest silver.
26 Then you will delight in the Almighty and lift up your face to God.
27 You will pray to Him, and He will hear you, and you will fulfill your vows.
28 When you make a decision, it will be carried out, and light will shine on your ways.
29 When others are humiliated and you say, "Lift [them] up," God will save the humble.
30 He will [even] rescue the guilty one, who will be rescued by the purity of your hands.
Holman Christian Standard Bible ® Copyright © 2003, 2002, 2000, 1999 by Holman Bible Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

Job 23

1 Then Job answered:
2 Today also my complaint is bitter. His hand is heavy despite my groaning.
3 If only I knew how to find Him, so that I could go to His throne.
4 I would plead my case before Him and fill my mouth with arguments.
5 I would learn how He would answer me; and understand what He would say to me.
6 Would He prosecute me forcefully? No, He will certainly pay attention to me.
7 There an upright man could reason with Him, and I would escape from my Judge forever.
8 If I go east, He is not there, and if I go west, I cannot perceive Him.
9 When He is at work to the north, I cannot see Him; when He turns south, I cannot find Him.
10 Yet He knows the way I have taken; when He has tested me, I will emerge as pure gold.
11 My feet have followed in His tracks; I have kept to His way and not turned aside.
12 I have not departed from the commands of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily food.
13 But He is unchangeable; who can oppose Him? He does what He desires.
14 He will certainly accomplish what He has decreed for me, and He has many more things like these in mind.
15 Therefore I am terrified in His presence; when I consider [this], I am afraid of Him.
16 God has made my heart faint; the Almighty has terrified me.
17 Yet I am not destroyed by the darkness, by the thick darkness that covers my face.
Holman Christian Standard Bible ® Copyright © 2003, 2002, 2000, 1999 by Holman Bible Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.