Job Asserts the Prosperity of the Wicked
21 1 Then Job made answer and said, 2 Give attention with care to my words; and let this be your comfort. 3 Let me say what is in my mind, and after that, go on making sport of me. 4 As for me, is my outcry against man? is it then to be wondered at if my spirit is troubled? 5 Take note of me and be full of wonder, put your hand on your mouth. 6 At the very thought of it my flesh is shaking with fear.
7 Why is life given to the evil-doers? why do they become old and strong in power? 8 Their children are ever with them, and their offspring before their eyes. 9 Their houses are free from fear, and the rod of God does not come on them. 10 Their ox is ready at all times to give seed; their cow gives birth, without dropping her young. 11 They send out their young ones like a flock, and their children have pleasure in the dance, 12 They make songs to the instruments of music, and are glad at the sound of the pipe. 13 Their days come to an end without trouble, and suddenly they go down to the underworld. 14 Though they said to God, Go away from us, for we have no desire for the knowledge of your ways. 15 What is the Ruler of all, that we may give him worship? and what profit is it to us to make prayer to him? 16 Truly, is not their well-being in their power? (The purpose of the evil-doers is far from me.)
17 How frequently is the light of the evil-doers put out, or does trouble come on them? how frequently does his wrath take them with cords? 18 How frequently are they as dry stems before the wind, or as grass taken away by the storm-wind? 19 You say, God keeps punishment stored up for his children. Let him send it on the man himself, so that he may have the punishment of it! 20 Let his eyes see his trouble, and let him be full of the wrath of the Ruler of all! 21 For what interest has he in his house after him, when the number of his months is ended? 22 Is anyone able to give teaching to God? for he is the judge of those who are on high. 23 One comes to his end in complete well-being, full of peace and quiet: 24 His buckets are full of milk, and there is no loss of strength in his bones. 25 And another comes to his end with a bitter soul, without ever tasting good. 26 Together they go down to the dust, and are covered by the worm.
27 See, I am conscious of your thoughts, and of your violent purposes against me; 28 For you say, Where is the house of the ruler, and where is the tent of the evil-doer? 29 Have you not put the question to the travellers, and do you not take note of their experience? 30 How the evil man goes free in the day of trouble, and has salvation in the day of wrath? 31 Who will make his way clear to his face? and if he has done a thing, who gives him punishment for it? 32 He is taken to his last resting-place, and keeps watch over it. 33 The earth of the valley covering his bones is sweet to him, and all men come after him, as there were unnumbered before him. 34 Why then do you give me comfort with words in which there is no profit, when you see that there is nothing in your answers but deceit?
Eliphaz Accuses Job of Great Wickedness
22 1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite made answer and said, 2 Is it possible for a man to be of profit to God? No, for a man's wisdom is only of profit to himself. 3 Is it of any interest to the Ruler of all that you are upright? or is it of use to him that your ways are without sin? 4 Is it because you give him honour that he is sending punishment on you and is judging you?
5 Is not your evil-doing great? and there is no end to your sins. 6 For you have taken your brother's goods when he was not in your debt, and have taken away the clothing of those who have need of it. 7 You do not give water to the tired traveller, and from him who has no food you keep back bread. 8 For it was the man with power who had the land, and the man with an honoured name who was living in it. 9 You have sent widows away without hearing their cause, and you have taken away the support of the child who has no father. 10 For this cause nets are round your feet, and you are overcome with sudden fear. 11 Your light is made dark so that you are unable to see, and you are covered by a mass of waters. 12 Is not God as high as heaven? and see the stars, how high they are! 13 And you say, What knowledge has God? is he able to give decisions through the deep dark? 14 Thick clouds are covering him, so that he is unable to see; and he is walking on the arch of heaven.
15 Will you keep the old way by which evil men went? 16 Who were violently taken away before their time, who were overcome by the rush of waters: 17 Who said to God, Go away from us; and, What is the Ruler of all able to do to us? 18 Though he made their houses full of good things: but the purpose of the evil-doers is far from me! 19 The upright saw it and were glad: and those who had done no wrong made sport of them, 20 Saying, Truly, their substance is cut off, and their wealth is food for the fire.
21 Put yourself now in a right relation with him and be at peace: so will you do well in your undertakings. 22 Be pleased to take teaching from his mouth, and let his words be stored up in your heart. 23 If you come back to the Ruler of all, making yourself low before him; if you put evil far away from your tents; 24 And put your gold in the dust, even your gold of Ophir among the rocks of the valleys; 25 Then the Ruler of all will be your gold, and his teaching will be your silver; 26 For then you will have delight in the Ruler of all, and your face will be lifted up to God. 27 You will make your prayer to him, and be answered; and you will give effect to your oaths. 28 Your purposes will come about, and light will be shining on your ways. 29 For God makes low those whose hearts are lifted up, but he is a saviour to the poor in spirit. 30 He makes safe the man who is free from sin, and if your hands are clean, salvation will be yours.
Job Desires to Plead His Case before God
23 1 And Job made answer and said, 2 Even today my outcry is bitter; his hand is hard on my sorrow. 3 If only I had knowledge of where he might be seen, so that I might come even to his seat! 4 I would put my cause in order before him, and my mouth would be full of arguments. 5 I would see what his answers would be, and have knowledge of what he would say to me. 6 Would he make use of his great power to overcome me? No, but he would give attention to me. 7 There an upright man might put his cause before him; and I would be free for ever from my judge.
8 See, I go forward, but he is not there; and back, but I do not see him; 9 I am looking for him on the left hand, but there is no sign of him; and turning to the right, I am not able to see him. 10 For he has knowledge of the way I take; after I have been tested I will come out like gold. 11 My feet have gone in his steps; I have kept in his way, without turning to one side or to the other. 12 I have never gone against the orders of his lips; the words of his mouth have been stored up in my heart.
13 But his purpose is fixed and there is no changing it; and he gives effect to the desire of his soul. 14 For what has been ordered for me by him will be gone through to the end: and his mind is full of such designs. 15 For this cause I am in fear before him, my thoughts of him overcome me. 16 For God has made my heart feeble, and my mind is troubled before the Ruler of all. 17 For I am overcome by the dark, and by the black night which is covering my face.