Job 21

1Then Job answered: 2“Listen to what I say. Let that be your way of comforting me. 3Be patient while I speak. Then after I have finished speaking, you may make fun of me. 4“I am not complaining against people. There is a good reason why I am not patient. 5Look at me and be shocked. Put your hand over your mouth, and stare at me in shock! 6When I think about what happened to me I feel afraid, and my body shakes! 7Why do evil people live long lives? Why do they grow old and successful? 8Evil people watch their children grow with them. Evil people live to see their grandchildren. 9Their homes are safe and they are not afraid. God doesn’t use a stick to punish evil people. 10Their bulls never fail to mate. Their cows have baby calves, and the baby calves don’t die at birth. 11Evil people send their children out to play like lambs. Their children dance around. 12They sing and dance to the sound of harps and flutes. 13Evil people enjoy success during their lives. Then they die and go to their grave without suffering. 14But evil people say to God, 'Leave us alone! We don’t care what you want us to do!’ 15And the evil people say, 'Who is God All-Powerful? We don’t need to serve him! It won’t help to pray to him!’ 16“It is true, evil people don’t make their own success. I can’t follow their advice. 17But, how often does God blow out the light of evil people? How often does trouble come to the evil people? When does God become angry at them and punish them? 18Does God blow the evil people away, like the wind blows straw, like strong winds blow the grain husks? 19But you say, 'God punishes a child for his father’s sins.’ No! Let God punish the evil person himself. Then that evil person will know he is being punished for his own sins! 20Let the sinner see his own punishment. Let him feel the anger of God All-Powerful. 21When the evil person’s life is finished, and he is dead, he won’t care about the family he leaves behind. 22“No person can teach knowledge to God. God judges even people in high places. 23One person dies after a full and successful life. He lived a life completely safe and comfortable. 24His body was well fed and his bones were still strong. 25But another person dies after a hard life, with a bitter soul. He never enjoyed anything good. 26In the end, both of those people will lie together in the dirt. The worms will cover them both. 27“But, I know what you are thinking, and I know you want to hurt me. 28You might say: 'Show me a good man’s house. Now, show me where evil people live.’ 29“Surely you have talked with travelers. Surely you will accept their stories. 30Evil people are spared when disaster comes. They survive when God shows his anger. 31Nobody criticizes an evil person to his face for the bad things he did. No person punishes him for the evil he did. 32When that evil person is carried to the grave, a guard will stand near his grave. 33So even the soil in the valley will be pleasant for that evil person. And thousands of people will join the march to his grave. 34“So you can’t comfort me with your empty words. Your answers don’t help at all!”

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