New American Standard Bible

Job 21

Job Says God Will Deal with the Wicked

1Then Job [a]answered,

“Listen carefully to my speech,
And let this be your way of consolation.
“Bear with me that I may speak;
Then after I have spoken, you may mock.
“As for me, is my complaint [b]to man?
And why should [c]I not be impatient?
“Look at me, and be astonished,
And put your hand over your mouth.
“Even when I remember, I am disturbed,
And horror takes hold of my flesh.
“Why do the wicked still live,
Continue on, also become very powerful?
“Their [d]descendants are established with them in their sight,
And their offspring before their eyes,
Their houses are safe from fear,
And the rod of God is not on them.
10 “His ox mates [e]without fail;
His cow calves and does not abort.
11 “They send forth their little ones like the flock,
And their children skip about.
12 “They [f]sing to the timbrel and harp
And rejoice at the sound of the flute.
13 “They spend their days in prosperity,
And [g]suddenly they go down to [h]Sheol.
14 “They say to God, ‘Depart from us!
We do not even desire the knowledge of Your ways.
15 [i]Who is [j]the Almighty, that we should serve Him,
And what would we gain if we entreat Him?’
16 “Behold, their prosperity is not in their hand;
The counsel of the wicked is far from me.

17 “How often is the lamp of the wicked put out,
Or does their calamity fall on them?
Does [k]God apportion destruction in His anger?
18 “Are they as straw before the wind,
And like chaff which the storm carries away?
19 You say, ‘God stores away [l]a man’s iniquity for his sons.’
Let [m]God repay him so that he may know it.
20 “Let his own eyes see his decay,
And let him drink of the wrath of [n]the Almighty.
21 “For what does he care for his household [o]after him,
When the number of his months is cut off?
22 “Can anyone teach God knowledge,
In that He judges those on high?
23 “One dies in his full strength,
Being wholly at ease and [p]satisfied;
24 His [q]sides are filled out with fat,
And the marrow of his bones is moist,
25 While another dies with a bitter soul,
Never even [r]tasting anything good.
26 “Together they lie down in the dust,
And worms cover them.

27 “Behold, I know your thoughts,
And the plans by which you would wrong me.
28 “For you say, ‘Where is the house of the nobleman,
And where is the tent, the dwelling places of the wicked?’
29 “Have you not asked wayfaring men,
And do you not recognize their [s]witness?
30 “For the wicked is reserved for the day of calamity;
They will be led forth at the day of fury.
31 “Who will [t]confront him with his actions,
And who will repay him for what he has done?
32 “While he is carried to the grave,
Men will keep watch over his tomb.
33 “The clods of the valley will [u]gently cover him;
Moreover, all men will [v]follow after him,
While countless ones go before him.
34 “How then will you vainly comfort me,
For your answers remain full of [w]falsehood?”

  1. Job 21:1 Lit answered and said
  2. Job 21:4 Or against
  3. Job 21:4 Lit my spirit
  4. Job 21:8 Lit seed
  5. Job 21:10 Lit and does not fail
  6. Job 21:12 Lit lifted up the voice
  7. Job 21:13 So with most versions; M.T. are shattered by Sheol
  8. Job 21:13 I.e. the nether world
  9. Job 21:15 Lit What
  10. Job 21:15 Heb Shaddai
  11. Job 21:17 Lit He
  12. Job 21:19 Lit his
  13. Job 21:19 Lit Him
  14. Job 21:20 Heb Shaddai
  15. Job 21:21 I.e. after he dies
  16. Job 21:23 Or quiet
  17. Job 21:24 So with Syr; Heb uncertain. Some render as, his pails are full of milk
  18. Job 21:25 Lit eating
  19. Job 21:29 Lit signs
  20. Job 21:31 Lit declare his way to his face
  21. Job 21:33 Lit be sweet to him
  22. Job 21:33 Lit draw
  23. Job 21:34 Or faithlessness