Grant me a hearing

Then Job answered:
Listen carefully to my remarks
and let that comfort you.
Bear with me so I can speak, I myself;
and after my reply you can mock.
Are my complaints against another human;
why is my patience short?
Turn to me and be appalled;
lay your hand over your mouth.
If I recall it, I’m scared;
shaking seizes my body.

The success of the wicked

Why do the wicked live,
grow old, and even become strong?
Their children are always with them,
their offspring in their sight,
their houses safe from dread,
God’s punishing stick not upon them.
10 Their bull always breeds successfully;
their cows give birth and never miscarry.
11 They send forth their little ones like sheep;
their infants bounce around.
12 They raise drum and lyre,
rejoice at the sound of a flute.
13 They spend their days contentedly,
go down to the grave[a] peacefully.
14 They say to God, “Turn away from us;
we take no pleasure in knowing your ways;
15 who is the Almighty[b] that we should serve him,
and what can we gain if we meet him?”
16 Look, isn’t their well-being the work of their own hands?
A sinner’s logic is beyond me.

Desired vindication

17 How often does the lamp of the wicked flicker
or disaster come upon them,
with its fury inflicting pain on them?
18 Let them be like straw in the wind,
like dry grass stolen by a storm.
19 God stores up his punishment for his children.
Let him destroy them so they know.
20 Let their own eyes witness their doom.
Let them drink from the Almighty’s wrath.
21 What do they care about their household after they die,
when their numbered days are cut off?

A common fate

22 Will they instruct God—
he who judges the most powerful?
23 Someone dies in wonderful health,
completely comfortable and well,
24 their buckets full of milk,
their bones marrow-filled and sound.
25 Another dies in bitter spirit,
never having tasted the good things.
26 They lie together in the dust
and worms cover them.

Further disagreement

27 Look, I know your thoughts;
your plans harm me.
28 You say, “Where is the official’s house?
Where is the tent, the dwelling of the wicked?”
29 Haven’t you asked travelers
or paid attention to their reports?
30 On the day of disaster the wicked are spared;
on the day of fury they are rescued.
31 Who can criticize their behavior to their faces;
they act, and who can avenge them?
32 They are carried to their graves;
someone keeps guard over their tombs.
33 The soil near the desert streambed is sweet to them;
everyone marches after them—
those before them, beyond counting.
34 How empty is your comfort to me;
only deceit remains in your responses.


  1. Job 21:13 Heb Sheol
  2. Job 21:15 Heb Shaddai or Mountain One