ESV — Chronological: Day 9
Job 21-23

Job Replies: The Wicked Do Prosper

21 Then Job answered and said:

k“Keep listening to my words,

and let this be your comfort.

Bear with me, and I will speak,

and after I have spoken, lmock on.

As for me, is my mcomplaint against man?

Why should I not be impatient?

Look at me and be appalled,

and nlay your hand over your mouth.

When I remember, I am dismayed,

and shuddering seizes my flesh.

oWhy do the wicked live,

reach old age, and grow mighty in power?

Their poffspring are established in their presence,

and their descendants before their eyes.

Their houses are qsafe from fear,

and rno rod of God is upon them.

10  Their bull breeds without fail;

their cow calves and sdoes not miscarry.

11  They send out their tlittle boys like a flock,

and their children dance.

12  They sing to uthe tambourine and vthe lyre

and rejoice to the sound of vthe pipe.

13  They wspend their days in prosperity,

and in xpeace they go down to ySheol.

14  They say to God, z‘Depart from us!

We do not desire the knowledge of your ways.

15  aWhat is the Almighty, that we should serve him?

And what bprofit do we get if we pray to him?’

16  Behold, is not their prosperity in their hand?

cThe counsel of the wicked is far from me.

17  “How often is it that dthe lamp of the wicked is put out?

That their calamity comes upon them?

That God1 distributes pains in his anger?

18  That they are like estraw before the wind,

and like fchaff that the storm carries away?

19  You say, ‘God gstores up their iniquity for their hchildren.’

Let him pay it out to them, that they may iknow it.

20  Let their own eyes see their destruction,

and let them jdrink of the wrath of the Almighty.

21  For what do they care for their houses after them,

when kthe number of their months is cut off?

22  lWill any teach God knowledge,

seeing that he mjudges those who are on high?

23  One dies in his full vigor,

being wholly at ease and secure,

24  his pails2 full of milk

and nthe marrow of his bones moist.

25  Another dies in obitterness of soul,

never having tasted of prosperity.

26  They plie down alike in the dust,

and qthe worms cover them.

27  “Behold, I know your thoughts

and your schemes to wrong me.

28  For you say, r‘Where is the house of the prince?

Where is sthe tent in which the wicked lived?’

29  Have you not asked those who travel the roads,

and do you not accept their testimony

30  that tthe evil man is spared in the day of calamity,

that he is rescued in the day of wrath?

31  Who declares his way uto his face,

and who vrepays him for what he has done?

32  When he is wcarried to the grave,

watch is kept over his tomb.

33  xThe clods of the valley are sweet to him;

yall mankind follows after him,

and those who go before him are innumerable.

34  How then will you comfort me with empty nothings?

There is nothing left of your answers but falsehood.”

Eliphaz Speaks: Job's Wickedness Is Great

22 Then zEliphaz the Temanite answered and said:

a“Can a man be profitable to God?

Surely he who is wise is profitable to himself.

Is it any pleasure to the Almighty if you are in the right,

or is it gain to him if you bmake your ways blameless?

Is it for your fear of him that he reproves you

and centers into judgment with you?

Is not your evil abundant?

There is no end to your iniquities.

For you have dexacted pledges of your brothers for nothing

eand stripped the naked of their clothing.

You have given no water to the weary to drink,

and you have fwithheld bread from the hungry.

gThe man with power possessed the land,

and hthe favored man lived in it.

You have isent widows away empty,

and jthe arms of kthe fatherless were crushed.

10  Therefore lsnares are all around you,

and sudden terror overwhelms you,

11  or mdarkness, so that you cannot see,

and a nflood of owater covers you.

12  “Is not God high in the heavens?

See pthe highest stars, how lofty they are!

13  But you say, q‘What does God know?

Can he judge through rthe deep darkness?

14  sThick clouds veil him, so that he does not see,

and he walks on the vault of heaven.’

15  Will you keep to the old way

that wicked men have trod?

16  They were snatched away tbefore their time;

their foundation was washed away.3

17  They said to God, u‘Depart from us,’

and v‘What can the Almighty do to us?’4

18  Yet he filled their houses with good things—

but wthe counsel of the wicked is far from me.

19  xThe righteous see it and are glad;

the innocent one ymocks at them,

20  saying, ‘Surely our adversaries are cut off,

and what they left zthe fire has consumed.’

21  a“Agree with God, and bbe at peace;

thereby good will come to you.

22  Receive instruction from chis mouth,

and dlay up his words in your heart.

23  If you ereturn to the Almighty you will be fbuilt up;

if you gremove injustice far from your tents,

24  if you lay gold in hthe dust,

and gold of iOphir among the stones of the torrent-bed,

25  then the Almighty will be your gold

and your precious silver.

26  For then you jwill delight yourself in the Almighty

and klift up your face to God.

27  You will lmake your prayer to him, and he will hear you,

and you will mpay your vows.

28  You will decide on a matter, and it will be established for you,

and nlight will shine on your ways.

29  For when they are humbled you say, ‘It is because of pride’;5

but he saves othe lowly.

30  He pdelivers even the one who is not innocent,

who will be delivered through qthe cleanness of your hands.”

Job Replies: Where Is God?

23 Then Job answered and said:

“Today also my rcomplaint is bitter;6

my shand is heavy on account of my groaning.

Oh, tthat I knew where I might find him,

that I might come even to his useat!

I would vlay my case before him

and fill my mouth with arguments.

I would know what he would answer me

and understand what he would say to me.

Would he wcontend with me in the greatness of his power?

No; he would pay attention to me.

There an upright man could argue with him,

and I would be acquitted forever by my judge.

“Behold, xI go forward, but he is not there,

and backward, but I do not perceive him;

on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him;

he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him.

10  But he yknows zthe way that I atake;

when he has btried me, I shall come out as gold.

11  My foot chas held fast to his steps;

I have kept his way and have dnot turned aside.

12  I have not departed from the commandment of his lips;

I have etreasured the words of his mouth more than my fportion of food.

13  But he is unchangeable,7 and gwho can turn him back?

What he hdesires, that he does.

14  For he will complete what he iappoints for me,

and many such things are jin his mind.

15  Therefore I am terrified at his presence;

when I consider, I am in dread of him.

16  God has made my kheart faint;

the Almighty has terrified me;

17  yet I am not silenced because of the darkness,

nor because thick darkness covers my face.


[1] 21:17 Hebrew he
[2] 21:24 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
[3] 22:16 Or their foundation was poured out as a stream (or river)
[4] 22:17 Hebrew them
[5] 22:29 Or you say, ‘It is exaltation’
[6] 23:2 Or defiant
[7] 23:13 Or one