2 “Listen carefully to my speech, And let this be your way of consolation. 3 “Bear with me that I may speak; Then after I have spoken, you may mock. 4 “As for me, is my complaint [b]to man? And why should [c]I not be impatient? 5 “Look at me, and be astonished, And put your hand over your mouth. 6 “Even when I remember, I am disturbed, And horror takes hold of my flesh. 7 “Why do the wicked still live, Continue on, also become very powerful? 8 “Their [d]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 ox mates [e]without fail; His cow calves and does not abort. 11 “They send forth their little ones like the flock, And their children skip about. 12 “They [f]sing to the timbrel and harp And rejoice at the sound of the flute. 13 “They spend their days in prosperity, And [g]suddenly they go down to [h]Sheol. 14 “They say to God, ‘Depart from us! We do not even desire the knowledge of Your ways. 15 ‘[i]Who is [j]the Almighty, that we should serve Him, And what would we gain if we entreat Him?’ 16 “Behold, their prosperity is not in their hand; The counsel of the wicked is far from me.
17 “How often is the lamp of the wicked put out, Or does their calamity fall on them? Does [k]God apportion destruction in His anger? 18 “Are they as straw before the wind, And like chaff which the storm carries away? 19 “You say, ‘God stores away [l]a man’s iniquity for his sons.’ Let [m]God repay him so that he may know it. 20 “Let his own eyes see his decay, And let him drink of the wrath of [n]the Almighty. 21 “For what does he care for his household [o]after him, When the number of his months is cut off? 22 “Can anyone teach God knowledge, In that He judges those on high? 23 “One dies in his full strength, Being wholly at ease and [p]satisfied; 24 His [q]sides are filled out with fat, And the marrow of his bones is moist, 25 While another dies with a bitter soul, Never even [r]tasting anything good. 26 “Together they lie down in the dust, And worms cover them.
27 “Behold, I know your thoughts, And the plans by which you would wrong me. 28 “For you say, ‘Where is the house of the nobleman, And where is the tent, the dwelling places of the wicked?’ 29 “Have you not asked wayfaring men, And do you not recognize their [s]witness? 30 “For the wicked is reserved for the day of calamity; They will be led forth at the day of fury. 31 “Who will [t]confront him with his actions, And who will repay him for what he has done? 32 “While he is carried to the grave, Men will keep watch over his tomb. 33 “The clods of the valley will [u]gently cover him; Moreover, all men will [v]follow after him, While countless ones go before him. 34 “How then will you vainly comfort me, For your answers remain full of[w]falsehood?”
2 “Can a vigorous man be of use to God, Or a wise man be useful to himself? 3 “Is there any pleasure to [y]the Almighty if you are righteous, Or profit if you make your ways perfect? 4 “Is it because of your [z]reverence that He reproves you, That He enters into judgment against you? 5 “Is not your wickedness great, And your iniquities without end? 6 “For you have taken pledges of your brothers without cause, And stripped [aa]men naked. 7 “To the weary you have given no water to drink, And from the hungry you have withheld bread. 8 “But the earth belongs to the mighty man, And the honorable man dwells in it. 9 “You have sent widows away empty, And the [ab]strength of the orphans has been crushed. 10 “Therefore snares surround you, And sudden dread terrifies you, 11 Or darkness, so that you cannot see, And an abundance of water covers you.
12 “Is not God in the height of heaven? Look also at the [ac]distant stars, how high they are! 13 “You say, ‘What does God know? Can He judge through the thick darkness? 14 ‘Clouds are a hiding place for Him, so that He cannot see; And He walks on the [ad]vault of heaven.’ 15 “Will you keep to the ancient path Which wicked men have trod, 16 Who were snatched away before their time, Whose foundations were [ae]washed away by a river? 17 “They said to God, ‘Depart from us!’ And ‘What can [af]the Almighty do to them?’ 18 “Yet He filled their houses with good things; But the counsel of the wicked is far from me. 19 “The righteous see and are glad, And the innocent mock them, 20 Saying, ‘Truly our adversaries are cut off, And their [ag]abundance the fire has consumed.’
21 “[ah]Yield now and be at peace with Him; Thereby good will come to you. 22 “Please receive [ai]instruction from His mouth And establish His words in your heart. 23 “If you return to [aj]the Almighty, you will be [ak]restored; If you remove unrighteousness far from your tent, 24 And place your[al]gold in the dust, And the gold of Ophir among the stones of the brooks, 25 Then [am]the Almighty will be your [an]gold And choice silver to you. 26 “For then you will delight in [ao]the Almighty And lift up your face to God. 27 “You will pray to Him, and He will hear you; And you will pay your vows. 28 “You will also decree a thing, and it will be established for you; And light will shine on your ways. 29 “When [ap]you are cast down, you will speak with [aq]confidence, And the [ar]humble person He will save. 30 “He will deliver one who is not innocent, And he will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.”
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