2 If you want to offer comfort, then listen to me. 3 And when I have finished, you can start your insults all over again. 4 My complaint is against God; that’s why I am impatient. 5 Just looking at me is enough to make you sick, 6 and the very thought of myself fills me with disgust.
7 Why do evil people live so long and gain such power? 8 Why are they allowed to see their children grow up?[a] 9 They have no worries at home, and God never punishes them. 10 Their cattle have lots of calves without ever losing one; 11 their children play and dance safely by themselves. 12 These people sing and celebrate to the sound of tambourines, small harps, and flutes, 13 and they are successful, without a worry, until the day they die.
Leave Us Alone!
14 Those who are evil say to God All-Powerful, “Leave us alone! Don’t bother us with your teachings. 15 What do we gain from praying and worshiping you? 16 We succeeded all on our own.” And so, I keep away from them and their evil schemes.
17 How often does God become angry and send disaster and darkness to punish sinners? 18 How often does he strike them like a windstorm that scatters straw?
19 You say, “God will punish those sinners' children in place of those sinners.” But I say, “Let him punish those sinners themselves until they really feel it. 20 Let God All-Powerful force them to drink their own destruction from the cup of his anger. 21 Because after they are dead, they won’t care what happens to their children.”
Who Can Tell God What To Do?
22 Who can tell God what to do? He judges powerful rulers. 23 Some of us die prosperous, 24 enjoying good health, 25 while others die in poverty, having known only pain. 26 But we all end up dead, beneath a blanket of worms.
27 My friends, I know that you are plotting against me. 28 You ask, “Where is the home of that important person who does so much evil?”
29 Everyone, near and far, agrees 30 that those who do wrong never suffer disaster, when God becomes angry. 31 No one points out their sin or punishes them. 32 Then at their funerals, they are highly praised; 33 the earth welcomes them home, while crowds mourn.
34 But empty, meaningless words are the comfort you offer me.
21.8up: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 8.
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