211-2Listen to what I am saying;
that is all the comfort I ask from you.
3Give me a chance to speak and then,
when I am through, sneer if you like.
4My quarrel is not with mortals;
I have good reason to be impatient.
5Look at me. Isn't that enough
to make you stare in shocked silence?
6When I think of what has happened to me,
I am stunned, and I tremble and shake.
7Why does God let evil people live,
let them grow old and prosper?
8They have children and grandchildren,
and live to watch them all grow up.
9God does not bring disaster on their homes;
they never have to live in terror.
10Yes, all their cattle breed
and give birth without trouble.
11Their children run and play like lambs
12and dance to the music of harps and flutes.
13They live out their lives in peace
and quietly die without suffering.
14The wicked tell God to leave them alone;
they don't want to know his will for their lives.
15They think there is no need to serve God
nor any advantage in praying to him.
16They claim they succeed by their own strength,
but their way of thinking I can't accept.
17Was a wicked person's light ever put out?
Did one of them ever meet with disaster?
Did God ever punish the wicked in anger
18and blow them away like straw in the wind,
or like dust carried away in a storm?
19You claim God punishes a child for the sins of his father.
No! Let God punish the sinners themselves;
let him show that he does it because of their sins.
20Let sinners bear their own punishment;
let them feel the wrath of Almighty God.
21When our lives are over,
do we really care whether our children are happy?
22Can anyone teach God,
who judges even those in high places?
23-24Some people stay healthy till the day they die;
they die happy and at ease,
their bodies well nourished.
25Others have no happiness at all;
they live and die with bitter hearts.
26But all alike die and are buried;
they all are covered with worms.
27I know what spiteful thoughts you have.
28You ask, “Where are the houses of great people now,
those who practised evil?”
29Haven't you talked with people who travel?
Don't you know the reports they bring back?
30On the day God is angry and punishes,
it is the wicked who are always spared.
31There is no one to accuse the wicked
or pay them back for all they have done.
32When they are carried to the graveyard,
to their well-guarded tombs,
33thousands join the funeral procession,
and even the earth lies gently on their bodies.
34And you! You try to comfort me with nonsense!
Every answer you give is a lie!
Is there anyone, even the wisest,
who could ever be of use to God?
3Does your doing right benefit God,
or does your being good help him at all?
4It is not because you stand in awe of God
that he reprimands you and brings you to trial.
5No, it's because you have sinned so much;
it's because of all the evil you do.
6To make your brother repay you the money he owed,
you took away his clothes and left him nothing to wear.
7You refused water to those who were tired,
and refused to feed those who were hungry.
8You used your power and your position
to take over the whole land.
9You not only refused to help widows,
but you also robbed and ill-treated orphans.
10So now there are pitfalls all round you,
and suddenly you are full of fear.
11It has grown so dark that you cannot see,
and a flood overwhelms you.
12Doesn't God live in the highest heavens
and look down on the stars, even though they are high?
13And yet you ask, “What does God know?
He is hidden by clouds — how can he judge us?”
14You think the thick clouds keep him from seeing,
as he walks on the dome of the sky.
15Are you determined to walk in the paths
that evil people have always followed?
16Even before their time had come,
they were washed away by a flood.
17These are the ones who rejected God
and believed that he could do nothing to them.
18And yet it was God who made them prosperous —
I can't understand the thoughts of the wicked.
19Good people are glad and the innocent laugh
when they see the wicked punished.
20All that the wicked own is destroyed,
and fire burns up anything that is left.
21Now, Job, make peace with God
and stop treating him like an enemy;
if you do, then he will bless you.
22Accept the teaching he gives;
keep his words in your heart.
23Yes, you must humbly22.23 One ancient translation humbly; Hebrew be built up. return to God
and put an end to all the evil
that is done in your house.
24Throw away your gold;
dump your finest gold in the dry stream bed.
25Let Almighty God be your gold,
and let him be silver, piled high for you.
26Then you will always trust in God
and find that he is the source of your joy.
27When you pray, he will answer you,
and you will keep the vows you made.
28You will succeed in all you do,
and light will shine on your path.
29God brings down the proud22.29 Probable text proud; Hebrew unclear.
and saves the humble.
30He will rescue you if you are innocent,22.30 Some ancient translations innocent; Hebrew not innocent.
if what you do is right.22.30 Verse 30 in Hebrew is unclear.
231-2I still rebel and complain against God;
I can't hold back my groaning.
3How I wish I knew where to find him,
and knew how to go where he is.
4I would state my case before him
and present all the arguments in my favour.
5I want to know what he would say
and how he would answer me.
6Would God use all his strength against me?
No, he would listen as I spoke.
7I am honest; I could reason with God;
he would declare me innocent23.7 he would declare me innocent; or then my rights would be safe. once and for all.
8I have searched in the east, but God is not there;
I have not found him when I searched in the west.
9God has been at work in the north and the south,
but still I have not seen him.
10Yet God knows every step I take;
if he tests me, he will find me pure.
11I follow faithfully the road he chooses,
and never wander to either side.
12I always do what God commands;
I follow his will, not my own desires.
13He never changes. No one can oppose him
or stop him from doing what he wants to do.
14He will fulfil what he has planned for me;
that plan is just one of the many he has;
15I tremble with fear before him.
16-17Almighty God has destroyed my courage.
It is God, not the dark, that makes me afraid —
even though the darkness has made me blind.