New English Translation
Job's Reply to Zophar
1 Then Job answered:
2 "Listen carefully to my words; let this be the consolation you offer me.
3 Bear with me and I will speak, and after I have spoken you may mock.
4 Is my complaint against a man? If so, why should I not be impatient?
5 Look at me and be appalled; put your hands over your mouths.
6 For, when I think about this, I am terrified and my body feels a shudder.
The Wicked Prosper
7 "Why do the wicked go on living, grow old, even increase in power?
8 Their children are firmly established in their presence, their offspring before their eyes.
9 Their houses are safe and without fear; and no rod of punishment from God is upon them.
10 Their bulls breed without fail; their cows calve and do not miscarry.
11 They allow their children to run like a flock; their little ones dance about.
12 They sing to the accompaniment of tambourine and harp, and make merry to the sound of the flute.
13 They live out their years in prosperity and go down to the grave in peace.
14 So they say to God, 'Turn away from us! We do not want to know your ways.
15 Who is the Almighty, that we should serve him? What would we gain if we were to pray to him?'
16 But their prosperity is not their own doing. The counsel of the wicked is far from me!
How Often Do the Wicked Suffer?
17 "How often is the lamp of the wicked extinguished? How often does their misfortune come upon them? How often does God apportion pain to them in his anger?
18 How often are they like straw before the wind, and like chaff swept away by a whirlwind?
19 You may say, 'God stores up a man's punishment for his children!' Instead let him repay the man himself so that he may know it!
20 Let his own eyes see his destruction; let him drink of the anger of the Almighty.
21 For what is his interest in his home after his death, when the number of his months has been broken off?
22 Can anyone teach God knowledge, since he judges those that are on high?
Death Levels Everything
23 "One man dies in his full vigor, completely secure and prosperous,
24 his body well nourished, and the marrow of his bones moist.
25 And another man dies in bitterness of soul, never having tasted anything good.
26 Together they lie down in the dust, and worms cover over them both.
Futile Words, Deceptive Answers
27 "Yes, I know what you are thinking, the schemes by which you would wrong me.
28 For you say, 'Where now is the nobleman's house, and where are the tents in which the wicked lived?'
29 Have you never questioned those who travel the roads? Do you not recognize their accounts -
30 that the evil man is spared from the day of his misfortune, that he is delivered from the day of God's wrath?
31 No one denounces his conduct to his face; no one repays him for what he has done.
32 And when he is carried to the tombs, and watch is kept over the funeral mound,
33 The clods of the torrent valley are sweet to him; behind him everybody follows in procession, and before him goes a countless throng.
34 So how can you console me with your futile words? Nothing is left of your answers but deception!"
King James Version
1 But Job answered and said,
2 Hear diligently my speech, and let this be your consolations.
3 Suffer me that I may speak; and after that I have spoken, mock on.
4 As for me, is my complaint to man? and if it were so, why should not my spirit be troubled?
5 Mark me, and be astonished, and lay your hand upon your mouth.
6 Even when I remember I am afraid, and trembling taketh hold on my flesh.
7 Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in power?
8 Their seed is established in their sight with them, 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 take the timbrel and harp, and rejoice at the sound of the organ.
13 They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave.
14 Therefore 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 good is not in their hand: the counsel of the wicked is far from me.
17 How oft is the candle of the wicked put out! and how oft cometh their destruction upon them! God distributeth sorrows in his anger.
18 They are as stubble before the wind, and as chaff that the storm carrieth away.
19 God layeth up his iniquity for his children: he rewardeth him, and he shall know it.
20 His eyes shall see his destruction, and he shall drink of the wrath of the Almighty.
21 For what pleasure hath he in his house after him, when the number of his months is cut off in the midst?
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 breasts are full of milk, and his bones are moistened with marrow.
25 And another dieth in the bitterness of his soul, and never eateth with pleasure.
26 They shall lie down alike in the dust, and the worms shall cover them.
27 Behold, I know your thoughts, and the devices which ye wrongfully imagine against me.
28 For ye say, Where is the house of the prince? and where are the dwelling places of the wicked?
29 Have ye not asked them that go by the way? and do ye not know their tokens,
30 That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? they shall be brought 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 brought to the grave, and shall remain in the tomb.
33 The clods of the valley shall be sweet unto him, and every man shall draw after him, as there are innumerable before him.
34 How then comfort ye me in vain, seeing in your answers there remaineth falsehood?