Job 21:7-34

The Wicked Prosper

21:7 “Why do the wicked go on living,

grow old, even increase in power?

21:8 Their children are firmly established

in their presence,

their offspring before their eyes.

21:9 Their houses are safe and without fear;

and no rod of punishment from God is upon them.

21:10 Their bulls breed without fail;

their cows calve and do not miscarry.

21:11 They allow their children to run like a flock;

their little ones dance about.

21:12 They sing to the accompaniment of tambourine and harp,

and make merry to the sound of the flute.

21:13 They live out their years in prosperity

and go down to the grave in peace.

21:14 So they say to God, ‘Turn away from us!

We do not want to know your ways.

21:15 Who is the Almighty, that we should serve him?

What would we gain

if we were to pray to him?’

21:16 But their prosperity is not their own doing.

The counsel of the wicked is far from me!

How Often Do the Wicked Suffer?

21:17 “How often is the lamp of the wicked extinguished?

How often does their misfortune come upon them?

How often does God apportion pain to them in his anger?

21:18 How often are they like straw before the wind,

and like chaff swept away by a whirlwind?

21:19 You may say, ‘God stores up a man’s punishment for his children!’

Instead let him repay the man himself

so that he may know it!

21:20 Let his own eyes see his destruction;

let him drink of the anger of the Almighty.

21:21 For what is his interest in his home

after his death,

when the number of his months

has been broken off?

21:22 Can anyone teach God knowledge,

since he judges those that are on high?

Death Levels Everything

21:23 “One man dies in his full vigor,

completely secure and prosperous,

21:24 his body well nourished,

and the marrow of his bones moist.

21:25 And another man dies in bitterness of soul,

never having tasted anything good.

21:26 Together they lie down in the dust,

and worms cover over them both.

Futile Words, Deceptive Answers

21:27 “Yes, I know what you are thinking,

the schemes by which you would wrong me.

21:28 For you say,

‘Where now is the nobleman’s house,

and where are the tents in which the wicked lived?’

21:29 Have you never questioned those who travel the roads?

Do you not recognize their accounts –

21:30 that the evil man is spared

from the day of his misfortune,

that he is delivered

from the day of God’s wrath?

21:31 No one denounces his conduct to his face;

no one repays him for what he has done.

21:32 And when he is carried to the tombs,

and watch is kept over the funeral mound,

21:33 The clods of the torrent valley are sweet to him;

behind him everybody follows in procession,

and before him goes a countless throng.

21:34 So how can you console me with your futile words?

Nothing is left of your answers but deception!”