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Job’s Seventh Speech: A Response to Zophar

21 Then[a] Job answered and said,

“Listen carefully to my words,
and let this be your[b] consolation.
Bear with me, and I myself[c] will speak;
then[d] after my speaking you can mock.
As for me, is my complaint for human beings?
And if so, why cannot I be impatient?
Turn to me and be appalled,
and place your hand on your mouth.
And when I think of it, I am horrified,[e]
and shuddering seizes my flesh.
“Why do the wicked live,
grow old, even grow mighty in power?
With them their offspring are established before them,[f]
and their descendants before their eyes.
Their houses are safe without fear,
and the rod of God is not upon them.
10 His bull breeds and does not fail;
his cow calves and does not miscarry.
11 They send out their little ones like the flock,
and their children dance around.
12 They sing[g] to the tambourine and lyre,
and they rejoice to the sound of the long flute.
13 They spend their days in prosperity,
and in peace they go down to Sheol.
14 And they say to God, ‘Turn away from us,
for[h] we do not desire to know your ways.
15 Who is Shaddai that we should serve him,
or[i] what would we benefit when we plead with him?’
16 Look, their prosperity is not in their hands;
the schemes of the wicked are repugnant[j] to me.
17 “How often is the lamp of the wicked put out,
and their disaster comes upon them?
He[k] distributes pains in his anger.
18 How often are they like straw before[l] the wind,
and like chaff that the storm carries away?
19 ‘God stores up his iniquity for his children’?[m]
Then let him repay it to him that[n] he may know.
20 Let his eyes see his decay,
and let him drink from the wrath of Shaddai,
21 for what does he care for[o] his house after him,
when the number of his months is[p] cut off?
22 Can anyone teach knowledge to God,
since[q] he himself[r] judges high ones?
23 This one dies in full prosperity,[s]
completely[t] at ease and secure.
24 His vats are full with milk
and the marrow of his bones is moist.
25 Yet[u] another dies with a bitter inner self[v]
and has not tasted prosperity.
26 They lie down together in the dust,
and maggots cover them.
27 “Look, I know your[w] thoughts
and the schemes you devise against me.
28 For you say, ‘Where is the nobleman’s house,
and where are the tents in which the wicked dwell?’[x]
29 Do you not ask those traveling the roads,
and do you not take notice of their accounts?
30 Indeed, the wicked is spared from the day of disaster;
he is delivered from the day of wrath.
31 Who denounces his way to his face?
And who repays him for what he has done?
32 When[y] he is brought to the grave,
then[z] someone stands guard over the tomb.
33 The clods of the valley are sweet to him;
everyone will follow after him,
and before[aa] him they are innumerable.[ab]
34 So[ac] how will you comfort me with emptiness,
when[ad] fraud is left in your answers?”


  1. Job 21:1 Hebrew “And”
  2. Job 21:2 Plural
  3. Job 21:3 Emphatic personal pronoun
  4. Job 21:3 Hebrew “and”
  5. Job 21:6 Hebrew “and I am horrified”
  6. Job 21:8 Literally “to their faces”
  7. Job 21:12 Literally “they lift up their voices
  8. Job 21:14 Hebrew “and”
  9. Job 21:15 Hebrew “and”
  10. Job 21:16 Or “the plan of the wicked is repugnant”
  11. Job 21:17 The antecedent is “God,” or possibly “the Almighty”
  12. Job 21:18 Literally “to the faces of”
  13. Job 21:19 Or “You say, ‘God stores up his iniquity for his children.’”
  14. Job 21:19 Hebrew “and”
  15. Job 21:21 Literally “his joy in”
  16. Job 21:21 Hebrew “are”
  17. Job 21:22 Hebrew “and”
  18. Job 21:22 Emphatic personal pronoun
  19. Job 21:23 Literally “in the vigor of his prosperity”
  20. Job 21:23 Literally “all of him”
  21. Job 21:25 Hebrew “And”
  22. Job 21:25 Or “soul”
  23. Job 21:27 Plural
  24. Job 21:28 Literally “tent of dwelling places of wicked”
  25. Job 21:32 Hebrew “And”
  26. Job 21:32 Hebrew “and”
  27. Job 21:33 Literally “to the faces of”
  28. Job 21:33 Literally “there is not number”
  29. Job 21:34 Hebrew “And”
  30. Job 21:34 Hebrew “and”