Job 21-23 American Standard Version

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Job Asserts the Prosperity of the Wicked

21 Then Job answered and said, 2  Hear diligently my speech; And let this be your consolations. 3  Suffer me, and I also will speak; And after that I have spoken, mock on. 4  As for me, is my complaint to man? And why should I not be impatient? 5  Mark me, and be astonished, And lay your hand upon your mouth. 6  Even when I remember I am troubled, And horror taketh hold on my flesh.

7  Wherefore do the wicked live, Become old, yea, wax mighty in power? 8  Their seed is established with them in their sight, And their offspring before their eyes. 9  Their houses are safe from fear, Neither is the rod of God upon them. 10  Their bull gendereth, and faileth not; Their cow calveth, and casteth not her calf. 11  They send forth their little ones like a flock, And their children dance. 12  They sing to the timbrel and harp, And rejoice at the sound of the pipe. 13  They spend their days in prosperity, And in a moment they go down to Sheol. 14  And they say unto God, Depart from us; For we desire not the knowledge of thy ways. 15  What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? And what profit should we have, if we pray unto him? 16  Lo, their prosperity is not in their hand: The counsel of the wicked is far from me.

17  How oft is it that the lamp of the wicked is put out? That their calamity cometh upon them? That [God] distributeth sorrows in his anger? 18  That they are as stubble before the wind, And as chaff that the storm carrieth away? 19  [Ye say], God layeth up his iniquity for his children. Let him recompense it unto himself, that he may know it: 20  Let his own eyes see his destruction, And let him drink of the wrath of the Almighty. 21  For what careth he for his house after him, When the number of his months is cut off? 22  Shall any teach God knowledge, Seeing he judgeth those that are high? 23  One dieth in his full strength, Being wholly at ease and quiet: 24  His pails are full of milk, And the marrow of his bones is moistened. 25  And another dieth in bitterness of soul, And never tasteth of good. 26  They lie down alike in the dust, And the worm covereth them.

27  Behold, I know your thoughts, And the devices wherewith ye would wrong me. 28  For ye say, Where is the house of the prince? And where is the tent wherein the wicked dwelt? 29  Have ye not asked wayfaring men? And do ye not know their evidences, 30  That the evil man is reserved to the day of calamity? That they are led forth to the day of wrath? 31  Who shall declare his way to his face? And who shall repay him what he hath done? 32  Yet shall he be borne to the grave, And men shall keep watch over the tomb. 33  The clods of the valley shall be sweet unto him, And all men shall draw after him, As there were innumerable before him. 34  How then comfort ye me in vain, Seeing in your answers there remaineth [only] falsehood?

Eliphaz Accuses Job of Great Wickedness

22 Then answered Eliphaz the Temanite, and said, 2  Can a man be profitable unto God? Surely he that is wise is profitable unto himself. 3  Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art righteous? Or is it gain [to him], that thou makest thy ways perfect? 4  Is it for thy fear [of him] that he reproveth thee, That he entereth with thee into judgment?

5  Is not thy wickedness great? Neither is there any end to thine iniquities. 6  For thou hast taken pledges of thy brother for nought, And stripped the naked of their clothing. 7  Thou hast not given water to the weary to drink, And thou hast withholden bread from the hungry. 8  But as for the mighty man, he had the earth; And the honorable man, he dwelt in it. 9  Thou hast sent widows away empty, And the arms of the fatherless have been broken. 10  Therefore snares are round about thee, And sudden fear troubleth thee, 11  Or darkness, so that thou canst not see, And abundance of waters cover thee. 12  Is not God in the height of heaven? And behold the height of the stars, how high they are! 13  And thou sayest, What doth God know? Can he judge through the thick darkness? 14  Thick clouds are a covering to him, so that he seeth not; And he walketh on the vault of heaven.

15  Wilt thou keep the old way Which wicked men have trodden? 16  Who were snatched away before their time, Whose foundation was poured out as a stream, 17  Who said unto God, Depart from us; And, What can the Almighty do for us? 18  Yet he filled their houses with good things: But the counsel of the wicked is far from me. 19  The righteous see it, and are glad; And the innocent laugh them to scorn, 20  [Saying], Surely they that did rise up against us are cut off, And the remnant of them the fire hath consumed.

21  Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: Thereby good shall come unto thee. 22  Receive, I pray thee, the law from his mouth, And lay up his words in thy heart. 23  If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, If thou put away unrighteousness far from thy tents. 24  And lay thou [thy] treasure in the dust, And [the gold of] Ophir among the stones of the brooks; 25  And the Almighty will be thy treasure, And precious silver unto thee. 26  For then shalt thou delight thyself in the Almighty, And shalt lift up thy face unto God. 27  Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he will hear thee; And thou shalt pay thy vows. 28  Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee; And light shall shine upon thy ways. 29  When they cast [thee] down, thou shalt say, [There is] lifting up; And the humble person he will save. 30  He will deliver [even] him that is not innocent: Yea, he shall be delivered through the cleanness of thy hands.

Job Desires to Plead His Case before God

23 Then Job answered and said, 2  Even to-day is my complaint rebellious: My stroke is heavier than my groaning. 3  Oh that I knew where I might find him! That I might come even to his seat! 4  I would set my cause in order before him, And fill my mouth with arguments. 5  I would know the words which he would answer me, And understand what he would say unto me. 6  Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power? Nay; but he would give heed unto me. 7  There the upright might reason with him; So should I be delivered for ever from my judge.

8  Behold, I go forward, but he is not [there]; And backward, but I cannot perceive him; 9  On the left hand, when he doth work, but I cannot behold him; He hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him. 10  But he knoweth the way that I take; When he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. 11  My foot hath held fast to his steps; His way have I kept, and turned not aside. 12  I have not gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured up the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.

13  But he is in one [mind], and who can turn him? And what his soul desireth, even that he doeth. 14  For he performeth that which is appointed for me: And many such things are with him. 15  Therefore am I terrified at his presence; When I consider, I am afraid of him. 16  For God hath made my heart faint, And the Almighty hath terrified me; 17  Because I was not cut off before the darkness, Neither did he cover the thick darkness from my face.

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