Job 21
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1Then Job replied:1In response, Job said:
2"Listen carefully to my words; let this be the consolation you give me.2"Listen carefully to my words; let this encourage all of you.
3Bear with me while I speak, and after I have spoken, mock on.3Bear with me and let me speak! Then, after I've spoken, you'll be free to mock me.
4"Is my complaint directed to a human being? Why should I not be impatient?4After all, isn't my complaint against a human being? If so, why shouldn't I be impatient?
5Look at me and be appalled; clap your hand over your mouth.5Look at me, be appalled, and then shut up!
6When I think about this, I am terrified; trembling seizes my body.6When I think about this, I'm petrified with terror and my body shudders uncontrollably."
7Why do the wicked live on, growing old and increasing in power?7"Why do the wicked live to reach old age and increase in power and wealth, too?
8They see their children established around them, their offspring before their eyes.8Their children grow up while they're alive, and they live to see their grandchildren.
9Their homes are safe and free from fear; the rod of God is not on them.9Their houses are safe from fear, and God's chastisement never visits them.
10Their bulls never fail to breed; their cows calve and do not miscarry.10Their bull breeds without fail, and their cows calve without miscarriages.
11They send forth their children as a flock; their little ones dance about.11They release their children to play like sheep; their young ones dance about,
12They sing to the music of timbrel and lyre; they make merry to the sound of the pipe.12singing with tambourines and lyres as they rejoice to the sound of flutes.
13They spend their years in prosperity and go down to the grave in peace.13They grow old in prosperity, as they descend peacefully into the afterlife.
14Yet they say to God, 'Leave us alone! We have no desire to know your ways.14"They say to God, 'Turn away from us! We have no desire to know your ways.
15Who is the Almighty, that we should serve him? What would we gain by praying to him?'15Who is the Almighty, that we should serve him? Where's the profit in talking to him?'
16But their prosperity is not in their own hands, so I stand aloof from the plans of the wicked.16Behold! Their prosperity isn't in their control! The counsel of the wicked will remain far from me."
17"Yet how often is the lamp of the wicked snuffed out? How often does calamity come upon them, the fate God allots in his anger?17"How often do the wicked have their lights put out? Does calamity ever fall on them? Will God in his anger ever apportion their destruction?
18How often are they like straw before the wind, like chaff swept away by a gale?18May they become like a straw, blown away before the wind; like a chaff that's swept off by a storm.
19It is said, 'God stores up the punishment of the wicked for their children.' Let him repay the wicked, so that they themselves will experience it!19God stores up their iniquity to repay their children; making them repay so that they may be aware.
20Let their own eyes see their destruction; let them drink the cup of the wrath of the Almighty.20Their own eyes will see their destruction; and they'll drink the wrath of the Almighty.
21For what do they care about the families they leave behind when their allotted months come to an end?21What will they care for their household after them, when the number of his months comes to an end?"
22"Can anyone teach knowledge to God, since he judges even the highest?22"Can God learn anything? After all, he will judge even the exalted ones.
23One person dies in full vigor, completely secure and at ease,23Such persons will die in their full vigor, completely prosperous and secure.
24well nourished in body, bones rich with marrow.24His buckets are filled with milk, his bone marrow is healthy.
25Another dies in bitterness of soul, never having enjoyed anything good.25Others die with a bitter soul, never having tasted the good life.
26Side by side they lie in the dust, and worms cover them both.26They both lie down in the dust; and worms cover them."
27"I know full well what you are thinking, the schemes by which you would wrong me.27"Look! I know your thoughts, your plans are going to harm me.
28You say, 'Where now is the house of the great, the tents where the wicked lived?'28You ask, 'Where is the noble person's house?' and 'Where are the tents where the wicked live?'
29Have you never questioned those who travel? Have you paid no regard to their accounts--29Haven't you asked travelers on the highway? Don't you accept their word
30that the wicked are spared from the day of calamity, that they are delivered from the day of wrath?30that the wicked person is spared from times of calamity, that he is rescued on the day of wrath?
31Who denounces their conduct to their face? Who repays them for what they have done?31Who will expose his conduct to his face? Who will repay him for what he has done
32They are carried to the grave, and watch is kept over their tombs.32when he is carried away to the cemetery and guardians are placed to watch his tomb?
33The soil in the valley is sweet to them; everyone follows after them, and a countless throng goes before them.33The runoff from the streams will seem sweet to him; everyone will follow after him; countless crows march ahead of him.
34"So how can you console me with your nonsense? Nothing is left of your answers but falsehood!"34How then, can you console me so worthlessly? What is left of your answers is treachery."
New International Version (NIV)

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The Holy Bible: International Standard Version® Release 2.1 Copyright © 1996-2012 The ISV Foundation
Job 20
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