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21 Then Iyov responded:

“Listen carefully to my words;
let this be the comfort you give me.
Bear with me as I speak;
then, after I have spoken, you can go on mocking.

“As for me, is my complaint merely to other people?
Don’t I have grounds for being short-tempered?
Look at me, and be appalled;
cover your mouth with your hand!
Whenever I recall it, I am in shock;
my whole body shudders.

“Why do the wicked go on living,
grow old and keep increasing their power?
They see their children settled with them,
their posterity assured.
Their houses are safe, with nothing to fear;
God’s rod is not on them.
10 Their bulls are fertile without fail,
their cows get pregnant and don’t miscarry.
11 They produce flocks of babies,
and their children dance around.
12 They sing with tambourines and lyres
and rejoice to the sound of the pipe.
13 They spend their days in prosperity
and go down to the grave in peace.

14 “Yet to God they said, ‘Leave us alone!
We don’t want to know about your ways.
15 What is Shaddai, that we should serve him?
What do we gain if we pray to him?’
16 Isn’t their prosperity already theirs?
The plans of the wicked are far from me.

17 “How often is the lamp of the wicked put out?
How often does their calamity come upon them?
How often does [God] deal out pain in his anger,
18 to make them like straw in the wind,
like chaff carried off by a storm?
19 God lays up for their children
[the punishment for their] iniquity.
He should lay it on [the wicked] themselves,
so that they can feel it!
20 Let their own eyes see their own destruction
and themselves drink the wrath of Shaddai.
21 What joy can they have in their family after them,
given that their months are numbered?

22 “Can anyone teach God knowledge?
After all, he judges those who are on high.
23 One person dies in his full strength,
completely at ease and content;
24 his pails are full of milk,
and the marrow in his bones is moist.
25 Another dies with embittered heart,
never having tasted happiness.
26 They lie down alike in the dust,
and the worm covers them both.

27 “Look, I know what you are thinking
and your plans to do me wrong.
28 You ask, ‘Where is the great man’s house?
Where is the tent where the wicked once lived?’
29 Haven’t you ever questioned travelers?
Don’t you accept their testimony
30 that the evil man is saved on the day of disaster,
rescued on the day of wrath?
31 So who will confront him with his ways?
Who will repay him for what he has done?
32 For he is carried off to the grave,
people keep watch over his tomb,
33 the clods of the valley are sweet to him;
so everyone follows his example,
just as before him were countless others.

34 “Why offer me such meaningless comfort?
Of your answers, only the perfidy remains.”

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