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Job’s Reply to Zophar

If You Want To Offer Comfort

21 Job said:

If you want to offer comfort,
    then listen to me.
And when I have finished,
you can start your insults
    all over again.
My complaint is against God;
    that’s why I am impatient.
Just looking at me is enough
    to make you sick,
and the very thought of myself
    fills me with disgust.

Why do evil people live so long
    and gain such power?
Why are they allowed to see
    their children grow up?[a]
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.


  1. 21.8 up: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 8.

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