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Job 21 Expanded Bible (EXB)

Job Answers Zophar

21 Then Job answered:

“Listen carefully to my words [C Job feels that his previous speeches have not been heard],
    and let this be ·the way you comfort me [L your consolation].
·Be patient [Bear with me] while I speak.
    After I have finished, you may ·continue to make fun of [ridicule; mock] me.

“My complaint is not just against people;
    I have reason to be impatient.
Look at me and be ·shocked [desolated];
    put your hand over your mouth in shock.
When I think about this [C the success of the wicked], I am terribly afraid
    and ·my body shakes [L trembling seizes my flesh].
Why ·do evil people live a long time [L are evil people allowed to live]?
    They grow old and ·become more powerful [increase in strength].
They see their children ·around [L established before] them;
    they watch them grow up.
Their homes are safe and without fear;
    ·God does not punish them [L God’s rod is not on them].
10 Their bulls never fail to mate;
    their cows ·have healthy calves [L calve and have no miscarriages].
11 They send out their ·children [infants] like a flock [C they will have many children, a sign of blessing];
    their ·little ones [children] dance about.
12 They sing to the music of tambourines and ·harps [lyres],
    and the sound of the flute makes them ·happy [rejoice].
13 Evil people ·enjoy successful lives [L live out their days in prosperity]
    and then go ·peacefully [in tranquility] to ·the grave [L Sheol].
14 They say to God, ‘·Leave us alone [Get away from me]!
    We don’t ·want [desire] to know your ways.
15 Who is ·the Almighty [Shaddai] that we should serve him?
    What would we gain by ·praying to [interceding with] him?’
16 ·The success of the wicked is not their own doing [or Is not the success/prosperity of the wicked in their control/hand?].
    Their ·way of thinking [plan; counsel] is ·different [far] from ·mine [or his; C that is, God’s].
17 Yet how often are the lamps of evil people ·turned off [extinguished; C the implied answer is not often; Job questions the type of teaching found in Proverbs; Prov. 24:19–20]?
    How often does ·trouble [calamity] come to them [Prov. 24:21–22]?
    How often ·do they suffer God’s angry punishment [L does he deal out pain in his anger]?
18 ·How often are they [or Let them be] like straw in the wind
    or like chaff that is blown away by a storm [Ps. 1:4]?
19 It is said [C defenders of the idea that the wicked suffer for their sins], ‘God ·saves [stores] up a person’s ·punishment [guilt] for his children.’
    But God should ·punish [pay back] the wicked themselves so they will know it.
20 Their eyes should see their own destruction,
    and they should ·suffer [L drink from the] the anger of ·the Almighty [Shaddai].
21 They do not care about the families they leave behind
    when their lives have come to an end.

22 “·No one [L Who…?] can teach knowledge to God;
    he is the one who judges even the most ·important [exalted] people [C Job wants to teach God to punish the wicked but thinks his attempt will be futile].
23 One person dies ·while he still has all his strength [L in perfect vigor],
    feeling completely safe and ·comfortable [untroubled].
24 His ·body [or pail] was ·well fed [L full of milk],
    and ·his bones were strong and healthy [L the marrow of his bones were well lubricated].
25 But another person dies ·with an unhappy heart [L in bitterness],
    never enjoying ·any happiness [or the good life].
26 They ·are buried next to each other [L lie down together in the dust],
    and worms cover them both.

27 “I know very well your thoughts
    and your ·plans [schemes] to ·wrong [hurt; do violence to] me.
28 You [C the friends] ask, ‘Where is this ·great man’s [L prince’s] house?
    Where are the tents where the wicked live [C they don’t agree with Job that the wicked are rich and successful]?’
29 Have you never asked those who ·travel [L pass by on the road]?
    Have you ·never listened to their stories [L not recognized their signs]?
30 On the day of ·God’s anger and punishment [L calamity; disaster],
    it is the wicked who are spared.
31 Who will accuse them to their faces?
    Who will pay them back for the evil they have done?
32 They are carried to their graves,
    and someone keeps watch over their tombs [C a sign of a peaceful death and burial].
33 The dirt in the valley seems sweet to them.
    Everybody follows after them,
    and many people go before them.

34 “So how can you comfort me with this ·nonsense [empty/meaningless drivel]?
    Your answers are ·only lies [or disloyal]!”

Expanded Bible (EXB)

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