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Job 21 Good News Translation (GNT)

21 1-2 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.
10 Yes, all their cattle breed
    and give birth without trouble.
11 Their children run and play like lambs
12     and dance to the music of harps and flutes.
13 They live out their lives in peace
    and quietly die without suffering.

14 The wicked tell God to leave them alone;
    they don't want to know his will for their lives.
15 They think there is no need to serve God
    nor any advantage in praying to him.
16 They claim they succeed by their own strength,
    but their way of thinking I can't accept.

17 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
18     and blow them away like straw in the wind,
    or like dust carried away in a storm?

19 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.
20 Let sinners bear their own punishment;
    let them feel the wrath of Almighty God.
21 When our lives are over,
    do we really care whether our children are happy?
22 Can anyone teach God,
    who judges even those in high places?

23-24 Some people stay healthy till the day they die;
    they die happy and at ease,
    their bodies well-nourished.
25 Others have no happiness at all;
    they live and die with bitter hearts.
26 But all alike die and are buried;
    they all are covered with worms.

27 I know what spiteful thoughts you have.
28 You ask, “Where are the homes of great people now,
    those who practiced evil?”

29 Haven't you talked with people who travel?
    Don't you know the reports they bring back?
30 On the day God is angry and punishes,
    it is the wicked who are always spared.
31 There is no one to accuse the wicked
    or pay them back for all they have done.
32 When they are carried to the graveyard,
    to their well-guarded tombs,
33     thousands join the funeral procession,
    and even the earth lies gently on their bodies.

34 And you! You try to comfort me with nonsense!
    Every answer you give is a lie!

Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Job 21 New International Version (NIV)


21 Then Job replied:

“Listen carefully to my words;
    let this be the consolation you give me.
Bear with me while I speak,
    and after I have spoken, mock on.

“Is my complaint directed to a human being?
    Why should I not be impatient?
Look at me and be appalled;
    clap your hand over your mouth.
When I think about this, I am terrified;
    trembling seizes my body.
Why do the wicked live on,
    growing old and increasing in power?
They see their children established around them,
    their offspring before their eyes.
Their homes are safe and free from fear;
    the rod of God is not on them.
10 Their bulls never fail to breed;
    their cows calve and do not miscarry.
11 They send forth their children as a flock;
    their little ones dance about.
12 They sing to the music of timbrel and lyre;
    they make merry to the sound of the pipe.
13 They spend their years in prosperity
    and go down to the grave in peace.[a]
14 Yet they say to God, ‘Leave us alone!
    We have no desire to know your ways.
15 Who is the Almighty, that we should serve him?
    What would we gain by praying to him?’
16 But their prosperity is not in their own hands,
    so I stand aloof from the plans of the wicked.

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?
18 How often are they like straw before the wind,
    like chaff swept away by a gale?
19 It 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!
20 Let their own eyes see their destruction;
    let them drink the cup of the wrath of the Almighty.
21 For what do they care about the families they leave behind
    when their allotted months come to an end?

22 “Can anyone teach knowledge to God,
    since he judges even the highest?
23 One person dies in full vigor,
    completely secure and at ease,
24 well nourished in body,[b]
    bones rich with marrow.
25 Another dies in bitterness of soul,
    never having enjoyed anything good.
26 Side by side they lie in the dust,
    and worms cover them both.

27 “I know full well what you are thinking,
    the schemes by which you would wrong me.
28 You say, ‘Where now is the house of the great,
    the tents where the wicked lived?’
29 Have you never questioned those who travel?
    Have you paid no regard to their accounts—
30 that the wicked are spared from the day of calamity,
    that they are delivered from[c] the day of wrath?
31 Who denounces their conduct to their face?
    Who repays them for what they have done?
32 They are carried to the grave,
    and watch is kept over their tombs.
33 The soil in the valley is sweet to them;
    everyone follows after them,
    and a countless throng goes[d] before them.

34 “So how can you console me with your nonsense?
    Nothing is left of your answers but falsehood!”


  1. Job 21:13 Or in an instant
  2. Job 21:24 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  3. Job 21:30 Or wicked are reserved for the day of calamity, / that they are brought forth to
  4. Job 21:33 Or them, / as a countless throng went
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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