Job 21-23 World English Bible

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Job Asserts the Prosperity of the Wicked

21 1  Then Job answered, 2  “Listen diligently to my speech.
Let this be your consolation. 3  Allow me, and I also will speak;
After I have spoken, mock on. 4  As for me, is my complaint to man?
Why shouldn’t I be impatient? 5  Look at me, and be astonished.
Lay your hand on your mouth. 6  When I remember, I am troubled.
Horror takes hold of my flesh.

7  “Why do the wicked live,
become old, yes, and grow mighty in power? 8  Their child is established with them in their sight,
their offspring before their eyes. 9  Their houses are safe from fear,
neither is the rod of God upon them. 10  Their bulls breed without fail.
Their cows calve, and don’t miscarry. 11  They send forth their little ones like a flock.
Their children dance. 12  They sing to the tambourine and harp,
and rejoice at the sound of the pipe. 13  They spend their days in prosperity.
In an instant they go down to Sheol. 14  They tell God, ‘Depart from us,
for we don’t want to know about your ways. 15  What is the Almighty, that we should serve him?
What profit should we have, if we pray to him?’ 16  Behold, their prosperity is not in their hand.
The counsel of the wicked is far from me.

17  “How often is it that the lamp of the wicked is put out,
that their calamity comes on them,
that God distributes sorrows in his anger? 18  How often is it that they are as stubble before the wind,
as chaff that the storm carries away? 19  You say, ‘God lays up his iniquity for his children.’
Let him recompense it to himself, that he may know it. 20  Let his own eyes see his destruction.
Let him drink of the wrath of the Almighty. 21  For what does he care for his house after him,
when the number of his months is cut off? 22  “Shall any teach God knowledge,
seeing he judges those who are high? 23  One dies in his full strength,
being wholly at ease and quiet. 24  His pails are full of milk.
The marrow of his bones is moistened. 25  Another dies in bitterness of soul,
and never tastes of good. 26  They lie down alike in the dust.
The worm covers them.

27  “Behold, I know your thoughts,
the devices with which you would wrong me. 28  For you say, ‘Where is the house of the prince?
Where is the tent in which the wicked lived?’ 29  Haven’t you asked wayfaring men?
Don’t you 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?
Who shall repay him what he has done? 32  Yet he will be borne to the grave.
Men shall keep watch over the tomb. 33  The clods of the valley shall be sweet to him.
All men shall draw after him,
as there were innumerable before him. 34  So how can you comfort me with nonsense,
seeing that in your answers there remains only falsehood?”

Eliphaz Accuses Job of Great Wickedness

22 1  Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered, 2  “Can a man be profitable to God?
Surely he who is wise is profitable to himself. 3  Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that you are righteous?
Or does it benefit him, that you make your ways perfect? 4  Is it for your piety that he reproves you,
that he enters with you into judgment?

5  Isn’t your wickedness great?
Neither is there any end to your iniquities. 6  For you have taken pledges from your brother for nothing,
and stripped the naked of their clothing. 7  You haven’t given water to the weary to drink,
and you have withheld bread from the hungry. 8  But as for the mighty man, he had the earth.
The honorable man, he lived in it. 9  You have sent widows away empty,
and the arms of the fatherless have been broken. 10  Therefore snares are around you.
Sudden fear troubles you, 11  or darkness, so that you can not see,
and floods of waters cover you. 12  “Isn’t God in the heights of heaven?
See the height of the stars, how high they are! 13  You say, ‘What does God know?
Can he judge through the thick darkness? 14  Thick clouds are a covering to him, so that he doesn’t see.
He walks on the vault of the sky.’

15  Will you 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 to 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.
The innocent ridicule them, 20  saying, ‘Surely those who rose up against us are cut off.
The fire has consumed the remnant of them.’

21  “Acquaint yourself with him, now, and be at peace.
Thereby good shall come to you. 22  Please receive instruction from his mouth,
and lay up his words in your heart. 23  If you return to the Almighty, you shall be built up,
if you put away unrighteousness far from your tents. 24  Lay your treasure in the dust,
the gold of Ophir among the stones of the brooks. 25  The Almighty will be your treasure,
and precious silver to you. 26  For then you will delight yourself in the Almighty,
and shall lift up your face to God. 27  You shall make your prayer to him, and he will hear you.
You shall pay your vows. 28  You shall also decree a thing, and it shall be established to you.
Light shall shine on your ways. 29  When they cast down, you shall say, ‘be lifted up.’
He will save the humble person. 30  He will even deliver him who is not innocent.
Yes, he shall be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.”

Job Desires to Plead His Case before God

23 1  Then Job answered, 2  “Even today my complaint is rebellious.
His hand is heavy in spite of 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 tell me. 6  Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power?
No, but he would listen to me. 7  There the upright might reason with him,
so I should be delivered forever from my judge.

8  “If I go east, he is not there;
if west, I can’t find him; 9  He works to the north, but I can’t see him.
He turns south, but I can’t catch a glimpse of him. 10  But he knows the way that I take.
When he has tried me, I shall come forth like gold. 11  My foot has held fast to his steps.
I have kept his way, and not turned aside. 12  I haven’t 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 stands alone, and who can oppose him?
What his soul desires, even that he does. 14  For he performs that which is appointed for me.
Many such things are with him. 15  Therefore I am terrified at his presence.
When I consider, I am afraid of him. 16  For God has made my heart faint.
The Almighty has 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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