1 Then Job answered:
2 “Listen to what I say.
Let this be your way of comforting me.
3 Be patient while I speak.
Then after I have finished speaking, you may make fun of me.
4 “My complaint is not against people.
There is a good reason why I am not patient.
5 Look at me and be shocked.
Put your hand over your mouth, and stare at me in shock!
6 When I think about what happened to me,
I feel afraid and my body shakes!
7 Why do evil people live long lives?
Why do they grow old and successful?
8 They watch their children grow up
and live to see their grandchildren.
9 Their homes are safe and free from fear.
God does not punish them.
10 Their bulls never fail to mate.
Their cows have healthy calves.
11 They send their children out to play like lambs.
Their children dance around.
12 They sing and dance to the sound of harps and flutes.
13 Evil people enjoy success during their lives
and then go to the grave without suffering.
14 They say to God, ‘Leave us alone!
We don’t care what you want us to do!’
15 And they say, ‘Who is God All-Powerful?
We don’t need to serve him!
It will not help to pray to him!’
16 “Of course, evil people don’t make their own success.
I would never follow their advice.
17 But how often does God blow out their light?
How often does trouble come to them?
How often does God get angry with them and punish them?
18 Does God blow them away, as the wind blows straw
or as strong winds blow the grain husks?
19 But you say, ‘God is saving their punishment for their children.’
No! Let God punish the evil people themselves so that they will know what they have done!
20 Let them see their own punishment.
Let them feel the anger of God All-Powerful.
21 When their life is finished and they are dead,
they will not care about the family they leave behind.
22 “No one can teach God anything he doesn’t already know.
God judges even those in high places.
23 One person dies after living a full and successful life,
a life completely safe and comfortable,
24 with a body that was well fed
and bones that were still strong.
25 But another person dies after a hard life that has made them bitter,
never having enjoyed anything good.
26 In the end, both of these people will lie together in the dirt.
The worms will cover them both.
27 “But I know what you are thinking,
and I know you want to hurt me.
28 You might say, ‘Show me a good man’s house.
Now, show me where evil people live.’* Show me … live Or “Show me a wicked ruler’s house. Show me where evil people live.”
29 “Surely you have talked with travelers.
Surely you will accept their stories.
30 Evil people are spared when disaster comes.
They survive when God shows his anger.
31 No one criticizes them to their faces for how they lived.
No one punishes them for the evil they have done.
32 When they are carried to the grave,
they will have someone to watch over the place they are buried.
33 So even the soil in the valley will be pleasant for them,
and thousands of people will join their funeral procession.
34 “So your empty words are no comfort to me.
There is no truth at all in your answers!”
*21:28 Show me … live Or “Show me a wicked ruler’s house. Show me where evil people live.”