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Job’s Dialogue on the Wicked

21 Then Job replied:

“Listen carefully to my words;
    let this be your consolation.
Bear with me as I speak,
    and after I have spoken, mock on.
As for me, is my complaint against man?
    If so, why should I not be impatient?
Look at me and be appalled;
    put your hand over your mouth.
When I think of it, I am terrified
    and my flesh shudders.
Why do the wicked go on living,
    growing old and increasing in power?
Their children are established in their presence,
    their offspring before their eyes.
Their homes have peace and are free from fear;
    no rod of God is on them.
10 His bull breeds without fail;
    his cow calves and do not miscarry.
11 They send out their little ones like a flock
    and their children dance.
12 They sing to the tambourine and harp
    and rejoice at the sound of the flute.
13 They spend their days in prosperity,
    and in a moment go down to Sheol.
14 Yet they say to God, ‘Leave us alone!
    We have no desire to know Your ways.
15 Who is Shaddai that we should serve Him?
    What would we gain if we pray to Him?’
16 Look, their prosperity is not in their own hands;
    the counsel of the wicked is far from me.

17 “How often is the lamp of the wicked snuffed out
    or calamity fallen on them?
How often does He allot pain in His anger?
18 How often are they like straw before the wind;
    like chaff swept away by a storm?
19 You say, ‘God stores up the punishment for his children.’
    Let Him repay the wicked so he may know it!
20 Let his own eyes see his ruin;
    let him drink the wrath of Shaddai.
21 For what does he care for his family that he leaves behind,
when the number of his months has come to an end?

22 “Can anyone teach God knowledge,
    since He judges even the highest.
23 One dies in his full strength,[a]
    completely secure and at ease.
24 His pails are full of milk;
    His bones are moist with marrow.
25 Yet another dies in bitterness of soul,
    never having tasted goodness.
26 Together they lie in the dust
    and worms cover over them.

27 “Behold, I know your thoughts,
    the schemes by which you wrong me.
28 For you ask, ‘Where is the nobleman’s house
    and the tent where the wicked lived?’
29 Have you not asked travelers?
    Do you not recognize their accounts
30 that the wicked are spared for the day of calamity
that they are brought to the day of wrath?
31 Who declares his conduct to his face?
    Who repays him for what he has done?
32 He is brought to the grave,
    and watch is kept over his tomb.
33 The soil in the valley is sweet to him;
    everyone follows after him,
    and countless are those before him.

34 “So how will your futility comfort me,
    for your answers remain nothing but falsehood?”


  1. Job 21:23 Lit. in the bone of his perfection.