2 “Listen carefully to my speech, And let this be the consolation. 3 “Bear with me, and I also will speak; And after I have spoken, you may [continue to] mock [me]. 4 “As for me, is my complaint to man or about him? And why should I not be impatient and my spirit troubled? 5 “Look at me and be astonished and appalled; And put your hand over your mouth. 6 “Even when I remember, I am troubled and afraid; Horror and trembling take hold of my flesh. 7 “Why do the wicked still live, Become old, and become mighty in power? 8 “Their children and descendants are established with them in their sight, And their offspring before their eyes. 9 “Their houses are safe from fear; And the rod of God is not on them. 10 “His bull breeds and does not fail; His cow calves and does not miscarry. 11 “They send forth their little ones like a flock, And their children skip about. 12 “They lift up their voices and sing to the tambourine and the lyre And rejoice to the sound of the flute. 13 “They fully enjoy their days in prosperity, And so go down to Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead) in a [peaceful] moment. 14 “Yet they say to God, ‘Depart from us, For we do not desire the knowledge of Your ways. 15 ‘Who [and what] is [a]the Almighty, that we should serve Him? And what would we gain if we plead with Him?’ 16 “But notice, the prosperity of the wicked is not in their hand (in their power); The counsel of the wicked [and the mystery of God’s dealings with the ungodly] is far from my comprehension.
17 “How often [then] is it that the lamp of the wicked is put out, And that their disaster falls on them? Does God distribute pain and destruction and sorrow [to them] in His anger? 18 “Are they like straw before the wind, And like chaff that the storm steals and carries away? 19 “You say, ‘God stores away [the punishment of] man’s wickedness for his children.’ Let God repay him so that he may know and experience it. 20 “Let his own eyes see his destruction, And let him drink of the wrath of the Almighty. 21 “For what pleasure does he have in his house and family after he is dead, When the number of his months [of life] is cut off? 22 “Can anyone teach God knowledge, Seeing that He judges those on high? 23 “One dies in his full strength, Being wholly at ease and quiet and satisfied; 24 His pails are full of milk [his sides are filled out with fat], And the marrow of his bones is moist, 25 Whereas another dies with a bitter soul, Never even tasting pleasure or good fortune. 26 “Together they lie down in the dust, And the worms cover them.
27 “Behold, I know your thoughts, And the plots by which you would wrong me. 28 “For you say, ‘Where is the house of the noble man? And where is the tent, the dwelling place of the wicked?’ 29 “Have you not asked those who travel this way, And do you not recognize their witness? 30 “That evil men are [now] reserved for the day of disaster and destruction, They will be led away on the day of [God’s] wrath? 31 “But who will confront him with his actions and rebuke him face to face, And who will repay him for what he has done? 32 “When he is carried to his grave, A guard will keep watch over his tomb. 33 “The [dirt] clods of the valley are sweet to him [and gently cover him], Moreover, all men will follow after him [to a grave], While countless ones go before him. 34 “How then can you vainly comfort me with empty words, Since your answers remain untrue?”