Job Says God Will Deal with the Wicked

21 Then Job responded,

“Listen carefully to my speech,
And let this be your way of consolation.
Bear with me that I may speak;
Then after I have spoken, you may (A)mock me.
As for me, is (B)my complaint [a]to a mortal?
Or (C)why should [b]I not be impatient?
Look at me, and be astonished,
And (D)put your hand over your mouth.
Even when I remember, I am disturbed,
And (E)horror takes hold of my flesh.
Why (F)do the wicked still live,
Grow old, and also become very [c](G)powerful?
Their [d](H)descendants endure with them in their sight,
And their offspring before their eyes,
Their houses (I)are safe from fear,
And the [e]rod of God is not on them.
10 His ox mates [f]without fail;
His cow calves and does not miscarry.
11 They send out their boys like the flock,
And their children dance.
12 They [g]sing with the tambourine and harp,
And rejoice at the sound of the flute.
13 They (J)spend their days in prosperity,
And [h]suddenly they go down to [i]Sheol.
14 Yet they say to God, ‘(K)Go away from us!
We do not even desire the knowledge of Your ways.
15 [j]Who is [k]the Almighty, that we should serve Him,
And (L)what would we gain if we plead with Him?’
16 Behold, their prosperity is not in their hand;
The (M)advice of the wicked is far from me.

17 “How often is (N)the lamp of the wicked put out,
Or does their (O)disaster fall on them?
Does [l]God apportion destruction in His anger?
18 Are they as (P)straw before the wind,
And like (Q)chaff which the storm carries away?
19 You say, ‘(R)God saves up [m]a person’s [n]wrongdoing for his sons.’
Let [o]God repay him so that he may know it.
20 Let his (S)own eyes see his destruction,
And let him (T)drink of the wrath of [p]the Almighty.
21 For what does he care about his household [q]after him,
When the number of his months is at an end?
22 Can anyone (U)teach God knowledge,
In that He (V)judges those on high?
23 One (W)dies in his full strength,
Being wholly undisturbed and at ease;
24 His [r]sides are filled with fat,
And the (X)marrow of his bones is wet,
25 While another dies with a bitter soul,
Never even [s]tasting anything good.
26 Together they (Y)lie down in the dust,
And (Z)maggots cover them.

27 “Behold, I know your thoughts,
And the plots you devise against me.
28 For you say, ‘Where is the house of (AA)the nobleman,
And where is the (AB)tent, the dwelling places of the wicked?’
29 Have you not asked travelers,
And do you not examine their [t]evidence?
30 For the (AC)wicked person is spared [u]a day of disaster;
They [v]are led away from (AD)a day of fury.
31 Who [w]confronts him with his actions,
And who repays him for what he has done?
32 When he is carried to the grave,
People will keep watch over his tomb.
33 The (AE)clods of the valley will [x]gently cover him;
Moreover, (AF)all mankind will [y]follow after him,
While countless others go before him.
34 So how dare you give me empty (AG)comfort?
For your answers remain nothing but falsehood!”

Eliphaz Accuses and Exhorts Job

22 Then Eliphaz the Temanite responded,

“Can a strong (AH)man be of use to God,
Or a wise one be useful to himself?
Is it any pleasure to [z]the Almighty if you are righteous,
Or gain if you make your ways blameless?
Is it because of your [aa]reverence that He punishes you,
That He (AI)enters into judgment against you?
Is (AJ)your wickedness not abundant,
And is there no end to your guilty deeds?
For you have (AK)seized pledges from your brothers without cause,
And [ab](AL)stripped people naked.
You have (AM)given the weary no water to drink,
And you have (AN)withheld bread from the hungry.
But the earth (AO)belongs to the (AP)powerful man,
And (AQ)the one who is honorable dwells on it.
You have sent (AR)widows away empty,
And the [ac]strength of (AS)orphans has been crushed.
10 Therefore (AT)traps surround you,
And sudden (AU)dread terrifies you,
11 Or (AV)darkness, so that you cannot see,
And a (AW)flood of water covers you.

12 “Is God not (AX)in the height of heaven?
Look also at the [ad]highest stars, how high they are!
13 But you say, ‘(AY)What does God know?
Can He judge through the thick darkness?
14 (AZ)Clouds are a hiding place for Him, so that He cannot see;
And He walks on the [ae]vault of heaven.’
15 Will you keep to the ancient path
Which (BA)wicked people have walked,
16 Who were snatched away (BB)before their time,
Whose (BC)foundations were [af]washed away by a river?
17 They (BD)said to God, ‘Go away from us!’
And ‘What can [ag]the Almighty do to them?’
18 Yet He (BE)filled their houses with good things;
But (BF)the advice of the wicked is far from me.
19 The (BG)righteous see and are glad,
And the innocent mock them, saying,
20 ‘Truly our enemies are eliminated,
And (BH)fire has consumed their [ah]abundance.’

21 (BI)Be reconciled with Him, and be at peace;
Thereby good will come to you.
22 Please receive [ai](BJ)instruction from His mouth,
And put His words in your heart.
23 If you (BK)return to [aj]the Almighty, you will be [ak]restored;
If you (BL)remove injustice far from your tent,
24 And (BM)put 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 abundant silver to you.
26 For then you will (BN)take pleasure in [ao]the Almighty
And lift up your face to God.
27 You will (BO)pray to Him, and (BP)He will hear you;
And you will pay your vows.
28 You will also decide something, and it will be established for you;
And (BQ)light will shine on your ways.
29 When [ap]they have brought you low, you will speak with [aq]confidence,
And He will save the [ar](BR)humble person.
30 He will rescue one who is not innocent,
And he will be (BS)rescued due to the cleanness of your hands.”

Job Says He Longs for God

23 Then Job responded,

“Even today my (BT)complaint is rebellion;
[as]His hand is (BU)heavy despite my groaning.
Oh that I knew how to find Him,
That I might come to His home!
I would (BV)present my case before Him
And fill my mouth with arguments.
I would learn the words which He would [at]answer,
And perceive what He would tell me.
Would He contend with me by (BW)the greatness of His power?
No, surely He would pay attention to me.
There the upright would (BX)argue with Him;
And I [au]would be (BY)free of my Judge forever.

“Behold, I go forward but He is not there,
And backward, but I (BZ)cannot perceive Him;
When He acts on the left, I cannot see Him;
He turns to the right, but I cannot see Him.
10 But He knows the [av]way I take;
When He has (CA)put me to the test, I will come out as gold.
11 My foot has (CB)held on to His path;
I have kept His way and not turned aside.
12 I have not [aw]failed the command of His lips;
I have treasured the (CC)words of His mouth [ax]more than my [ay]necessary food.
13 But He is unique, and who can [az]make Him turn?
Whatever His soul desires, He does it.
14 For He carries out what is destined for me,
And many such destinies are with Him.
15 Therefore, I would be terrified at His presence;
When I consider this, I am frightened of Him.
16 It is God who has made my (CD)heart faint,
And the Almighty who has terrified me,
17 But I (CE)am not destroyed by darkness,
Nor by (CF)deep gloom which covers me.

Footnotes

  1. Job 21:4 Or against
  2. Job 21:4 Lit my spirit
  3. Job 21:7 Or superior
  4. Job 21:8 Lit seed
  5. Job 21:9 I.e., punishment
  6. Job 21:10 Lit and does not fail
  7. Job 21:12 Lit lifted up the voice
  8. Job 21:13 Or in peacefulness
  9. Job 21:13 I.e., the netherworld
  10. Job 21:15 Lit What
  11. Job 21:15 Heb Shaddai
  12. Job 21:17 Lit He
  13. Job 21:19 Lit his
  14. Job 21:19 Or disaster
  15. Job 21:19 Lit Him
  16. Job 21:20 Heb Shaddai
  17. Job 21:21 I.e., after he dies
  18. Job 21:24 As in Syriac; Heb uncertain. Some render as his pails are full of milk
  19. Job 21:25 Lit eating
  20. Job 21:29 Lit signs
  21. Job 21:30 Or for the day
  22. Job 21:30 Or will be led to the day
  23. Job 21:31 Lit declares his way to his face
  24. Job 21:33 Lit be sweet to him
  25. Job 21:33 Lit draw
  26. Job 22:3 Heb Shaddai
  27. Job 22:4 Or fear
  28. Job 22:6 Lit stripped clothing of the naked
  29. Job 22:9 Lit arms
  30. Job 22:12 Lit head, top-most
  31. Job 22:14 Lit circle
  32. Job 22:16 Lit poured out
  33. Job 22:17 Heb Shaddai
  34. Job 22:20 Or excess
  35. Job 22:22 Or law
  36. Job 22:23 Heb Shaddai
  37. Job 22:23 Lit built up
  38. Job 22:24 Lit ore
  39. Job 22:25 Heb Shaddai
  40. Job 22:25 Lit ore
  41. Job 22:26 Heb Shaddai
  42. Job 22:29 Lit they cast you down
  43. Job 22:29 Lit pride
  44. Job 22:29 Lit lowly of eyes
  45. Job 23:2 As in LXX and Syriac; MT My
  46. Job 23:5 Lit answer me
  47. Job 23:7 Or bring forth my justice forever
  48. Job 23:10 Lit way with me
  49. Job 23:12 Lit ceased from
  50. Job 23:12 Or with some ancient versions, in my breast
  51. Job 23:12 Lit prescribed portion
  52. Job 23:13 Or deprive Him of anything