2 If you want to offer comfort, then listen to me. 3 And when I have finished, you can start your insults all over again. 4 My complaint is against God; that’s why I am impatient. 5 Just looking at me is enough to make you sick, 6 and the very thought of myself fills me with disgust.
7 Why do evil people live so long and gain such power? 8 Why are they allowed to see their children grow up?[a] 9 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.
2 What use are we humans to God, even the wisest of us? 3 If you were completely sinless, that would still mean nothing to God All-Powerful. 4 Is he correcting you for worshiping him? 5 No! It’s because of your terrible sins. 6 To guarantee payment of a debt, you have taken clothes from the poor. 7 And you refused bread and water to the hungry and thirsty, 8 although you were rich, respected, and powerful. 9 You have turned away widows and have broken the arms of orphans. 10 That’s why you were suddenly trapped by terror, 11 blinded by darkness, and drowned in a flood.
God Lives in the Heavens
12 God lives in the heavens above the highest stars, where he sees everything. 13 Do you think the deep darkness hides you from God? 14 Do thick clouds cover his eyes, as he walks around heaven’s dome high above the earth? 15 Give up those ancient ideas believed by sinners, 16 who were swept away without warning. 17 They rejected God All-Powerful, feeling he was helpless, 18 although he had been kind to their families. The beliefs of these sinners are truly disgusting. 19 When God’s people see the godless swept away, they celebrate, 20 saying, “Our enemies are gone, and fire has destroyed their possessions.”
Surrender to God All-Powerful
21 Surrender to God All-Powerful! You will find peace and prosperity. 22 Listen to his teachings and take them to heart. 23 If you return to God and turn from sin, all will go well for you. 24 So get rid of your finest gold, as though it were sand. 25 Let God All-Powerful be your silver and gold, 26 and you will find happiness by worshiping him. 27 God will answer your prayers, and you will keep the promises you made to him. 28 He will do whatever you ask, and life will be bright. 29 When others are disgraced, God will clear their names in answer to your prayers. 30 Even those who are guilty will be forgiven, because you obey God.[c]
Job’s Reply to Eliphaz
Today I Complain Bitterly
23 Job said:
2 Today I complain bitterly, because God has been cruel and made me suffer. 3 If I knew where to find God, I would go there 4 and argue my case. 5 Then I would discover what he wanted to say. 6 Would he overwhelm me with his greatness? No! He would listen 7 because I am innocent, and he would say, “I now set you free!”
8 I cannot find God anywhere— in front or back of me, 9 to my left or my right. God is always at work, though I never see him. 10 But he knows what I am doing, and when he tests me, I will be pure as gold. 11 I have never refused to follow any of his commands, 12 and I have always treasured his teachings.[d] 13 But he alone is God, and who can oppose him? God does as he pleases, 14 and he will do exactly what he intends with me. 15 Merely the thought of God All-Powerful 16 makes me tremble with fear. 17 God has covered me with darkness, but I refuse to be silent.[e]
21.8up: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 8.
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