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Job Replies: The Wicked Do Prosper

21 But Job answered:

“Listen carefully to my speech,
    and let this be your consolation.
Bear with me that I may speak,
    and after I have spoken, mock on.

“As for me, is my complaint against man?
    And if it were so, why should not my spirit be troubled?
Look at me and be astonished,
    and put your hand over your mouth.
Even when I remember I am afraid,
    and trembling takes hold of my body.
Why do the wicked live and become old;
    yes, become mighty in power?
Their descendants are established with them in their sight,
    and their offspring before their eyes.
Their houses are safe from fear,
    nor is the rod of God upon them.
10 Their bull breeds without failure;
    their cow gives calves without miscarriage.
11 They send forth their little ones like a flock,
    and their children dance.
12 They take up the tambourine and harp
    and rejoice at the sound of the flute.
13 They spend their days in wealth,
    and in a moment go down to Sheol.
14 Therefore they say to God, ‘Depart from us,
    for we do not desire the knowledge of Your ways.
15 Who is the Almighty, that we should serve Him?
    And what profit do we have if we pray to Him?’
16 Indeed, their prosperity is not in their hand.
    The counsel of the wicked is far from me.

17 “How often is the lamp of the wicked put out?
    How often does their destruction come upon them,
    the sorrows God distributes in His anger?
18 They are like straw before the wind,
    and like chaff that a storm carries away.
19 God stores up their iniquity for their children;
    let Him reward the people themselves, and they will know it.
20 Let their eyes see their own destruction,
    and let them drink of the wrath of the Almighty.
21 For what do they care about their households after them,
    when the number of their months is cut off?

22 “Can anyone teach God knowledge,
    since He judges those who are on high?
23 One dies in his full strength,
    being wholly at ease and secure.
24 His pails are full of milk,
    and the marrow of his bones is moist.
25 Another dies in the bitterness of his soul,
    never having eaten with pleasure.
26 They will lie down alike in the dust,
    and worms will cover them.

27 “Behold, I know your thoughts,
    and the schemes with which you would wrong me.
28 For you say, ‘Where is the house of the prince?
    And where are the dwelling places of the wicked?’
29 Have you not asked them who travel the road?
    And do you not know their signs?
30 For the wicked are reserved for the day of destruction;
    they will be brought forth on the day of wrath.
31 Who will declare his way to his face?
    And who will repay him for what he has done?
32 Yet will he be brought to the grave
    and will remain in the tomb.
33 The clods of the valley will be sweet unto him;
    and everyone will follow him,
    as countless have gone before.

34 “How then can you comfort me with emptiness,
    since deceit remains in your answers?”