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Job 20-22

20 1-2 Job, you upset me. Now I'm impatient to answer.
    What you have said is an insult,
    but I know how to reply to you.

Surely you know that from ancient times,
    when we humans were first placed on earth,
    no wicked people have been happy for long.
They may grow great, towering to the sky,
    so great that their heads reach the clouds,
    but they will be blown away like dust.
Those who used to know them
    will wonder where they have gone.
They will vanish like a dream, like a vision at night,
    and never be seen again.
The wicked will disappear from the place where they used to live;
10     and their children will make good what they stole from the poor.
11 Their bodies used to be young and vigorous,
    but soon they will turn to dust.

12-13 Evil tastes so good to them
    that they keep some in their mouths to enjoy its flavor.
14 But in their stomachs the food turns bitter,
    as bitter as any poison could be.
15 The wicked vomit up the wealth they stole;
    God takes it back, even out of their stomachs.
16 What the evil people swallow is like poison;
    it kills them like the bite of a deadly snake.
17 They will not live to see rivers of olive oil[a]
    or streams that flow with milk and honey.
18 They will have to give up all they have worked for;
    they will have no chance to enjoy their wealth,
19     because they oppressed and neglected the poor
    and seized houses someone else had built.
20 Their greed is never satisfied.
21 When they eat, there is nothing left over,
    but now their prosperity comes to an end.
22 At the height of their success
    all the weight of misery will crush them.
23 Let them eat all they want!
    God will punish them in fury and anger.
24 When they try to escape from an iron sword,
    a bronze bow will shoot them down.
25 Arrows stick through their bodies;
    the shiny points drip with their blood,
    and terror grips their hearts.
26 Everything they have saved is destroyed;
    a fire not lit by human hands
    burns them and all their family.
27 Heaven reveals their sin,
    and the earth gives testimony against them.
28 All their wealth will be destroyed
    in the flood of God's anger.

29 This is the fate of wicked people,
    the fate that God assigns to them.

21 1-2 Listen to what I am saying;
    that is all the comfort I ask from you.
Give me a chance to speak and then,
    when I am through, sneer if you like.

My quarrel is not with mortals;
    I have good reason to be impatient.
Look at me. Isn't that enough
    to make you stare in shocked silence?
When I think of what has happened to me,
    I am stunned, and I tremble and shake.

Why does God let evil people live,
    let them grow old and prosper?
They have children and grandchildren,
    and live to watch them all grow up.
God does not bring disaster on their homes;
    they never have to live in terror.
10 Yes, all their cattle breed
    and give birth without trouble.
11 Their children run and play like lambs
12     and dance to the music of harps and flutes.
13 They live out their lives in peace
    and quietly die without suffering.

14 The wicked tell God to leave them alone;
    they don't want to know his will for their lives.
15 They think there is no need to serve God
    nor any advantage in praying to him.
16 They claim they succeed by their own strength,
    but their way of thinking I can't accept.

17 Was a wicked person's light ever put out?
    Did one of them ever meet with disaster?
Did God ever punish the wicked in anger
18     and blow them away like straw in the wind,
    or like dust carried away in a storm?

19 You claim God punishes a child for the sins of his father.
No! Let God punish the sinners themselves;
    let him show that he does it because of their sins.
20 Let sinners bear their own punishment;
    let them feel the wrath of Almighty God.
21 When our lives are over,
    do we really care whether our children are happy?
22 Can anyone teach God,
    who judges even those in high places?

23-24 Some people stay healthy till the day they die;
    they die happy and at ease,
    their bodies well-nourished.
25 Others have no happiness at all;
    they live and die with bitter hearts.
26 But all alike die and are buried;
    they all are covered with worms.

27 I know what spiteful thoughts you have.
28 You ask, “Where are the homes of great people now,
    those who practiced evil?”

29 Haven't you talked with people who travel?
    Don't you know the reports they bring back?
30 On the day God is angry and punishes,
    it is the wicked who are always spared.
31 There is no one to accuse the wicked
    or pay them back for all they have done.
32 When they are carried to the graveyard,
    to their well-guarded tombs,
33     thousands join the funeral procession,
    and even the earth lies gently on their bodies.

34 And you! You try to comfort me with nonsense!
    Every answer you give is a lie!

The Third Dialogue

22 1-2 Is there anyone, even the wisest,
    who could ever be of use to God?
Does your doing right benefit God,
    or does your being good help him at all?
It is not because you stand in awe of God
    that he reprimands you and brings you to trial.
No, it's because you have sinned so much;
    it's because of all the evil you do.
To make a brother repay you the money he owed,
    you took away his clothes and left him nothing to wear.
You refused water to those who were tired,
    and refused to feed those who were hungry.
You used your power and your position
    to take over the whole land.
You not only refused to help widows,
    but you also robbed and mistreated orphans.
10 So now there are pitfalls all around you,
    and suddenly you are full of fear.
11 It has grown so dark that you cannot see,
    and a flood overwhelms you.

12 Doesn't God live in the highest heavens
    and look down on the stars, even though they are high?
13 And yet you ask, “What does God know?
    He is hidden by clouds—how can he judge us?”
14 You think the thick clouds keep him from seeing,
    as he walks on the dome of the sky.

15 Are you determined to walk in the paths
    that evil people have always followed?
16 Even before their time had come,
    they were washed away by a flood.
17 These are the ones who rejected God
    and believed that he could do nothing to them.
18 And yet it was God who made them prosperous—
    I can't understand the thoughts of the wicked.
19 Good people are glad and the innocent laugh
    when they see the wicked punished.
20 All that the wicked own is destroyed,
    and fire burns up anything that is left.

21 Now, Job, make peace with God
    and stop treating him like an enemy;
    if you do, then he will bless you.
22 Accept the teaching he gives;
    keep his words in your heart.
23 Yes, you must humbly[b] return to God
    and put an end to all the evil
    that is done in your house.
24 Throw away your gold;
    dump your finest gold in the dry stream bed.
25 Let Almighty God be your gold,
    and let him be silver, piled high for you.
26 Then you will always trust in God
    and find that he is the source of your joy.
27 When you pray, he will answer you,
    and you will keep the vows you made.
28 You will succeed in all you do,
    and light will shine on your path.
29 God brings down the proud[c]
    and saves the humble.
30 He will rescue you if you are innocent,[d]
    if what you do is right.[e]


  1. Job 20:17 Probable text They will … oil; Hebrew unclear.
  2. Job 22:23 One ancient translation humbly; Hebrew be built up.
  3. Job 22:29 Probable text proud; Hebrew unclear.
  4. Job 22:30 Some ancient translations innocent; Hebrew not innocent.
  5. Job 22:30 Verse 30 in Hebrew is unclear.
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2 Corinthians 1:1-11

From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God's will, and from our brother Timothy—

To the church of God in Corinth, and to all God's people throughout Achaia:

May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.

Paul Gives Thanks to God

Let us give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the merciful Father, the God from whom all help comes! He helps us in all our troubles, so that we are able to help others who have all kinds of troubles, using the same help that we ourselves have received from God. Just as we have a share in Christ's many sufferings, so also through Christ we share in God's great help. If we suffer, it is for your help and salvation; if we are helped, then you too are helped and given the strength to endure with patience the same sufferings that we also endure. So our hope in you is never shaken; we know that just as you share in our sufferings, you also share in the help we receive.

We want to remind you, friends, of the trouble we had in the province of Asia. The burdens laid upon us were so great and so heavy that we gave up all hope of staying alive. We felt that the death sentence had been passed on us. But this happened so that we should rely, not on ourselves, but only on God, who raises the dead. 10 From such terrible dangers of death[a] he saved us, and will save us; and we have placed our hope in him that he will save us again, 11 as you help us by means of your prayers for us. So it will be that the many prayers for us will be answered, and God will bless us; and many will raise their voices to him in thanksgiving for us.


  1. 2 Corinthians 1:10 terrible dangers of death; some manuscripts have terrible death.
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Psalm 40:11-17

11 Lord, I know you will never stop being merciful to me.
    Your love and loyalty will always keep me safe.

A Prayer for Help

12 I am surrounded by many troubles—
    too many to count!
My sins have caught up with me,
    and I can no longer see;
they are more than the hairs of my head,
    and I have lost my courage.
13 Save me, Lord! Help me now!
14 May those who try to kill me
    be completely defeated and confused.
May those who are happy because of my troubles
    be turned back and disgraced.
15 May those who make fun of me
    be dismayed by their defeat.

16 May all who come to you
    be glad and joyful.
May all who are thankful for your salvation
    always say, “How great is the Lord!”

17 I am weak and poor, O Lord,
    but you have not forgotten me.
You are my savior and my God—
    hurry to my aid!

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Proverbs 22:2-4

The rich and the poor have this in common: the Lord made them both.

Sensible people will see trouble coming and avoid it, but an unthinking person will walk right into it and regret it later.

Obey the Lord, be humble, and you will get riches, honor, and a long life.

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