Job 21
Contemporary English Version
Job's Reply to Zophar

If You Want To Offer Comfort

1Job said:

2If you want to offer comfort,

then listen to me.

3And when I have finished,

you can start your insults

all over again.

4My complaint is against God;

that's why I am impatient.

5Just looking at me is enough

to make you sick,

6and the very thought of myself

fills me with disgust.

7Why do evil people live so long

and gain such power?

8Why are they allowed to see

their children grow up?+

9They have no worries at home,

and God never punishes them.

10Their cattle have lots of calves

without ever losing one;

11their children play and dance

safely by themselves.

12These people sing and celebrate

to the sound of tambourines,

small harps, and flutes,

13and they are successful,

without a worry,

until the day they die.

Leave Us Alone!

14Those who are evil say

to God All-Powerful,

“Leave us alone! Don't bother us

with your teachings.

15What do we gain from praying

and worshiping you?

16We succeeded all on our own.”

And so, I keep away from them

and their evil schemes.

17How often does God become angry

and send disaster and darkness

to punish sinners?

18How often does he strike them

like a windstorm

that scatters straw?

19You say, “God will punish

those sinners' children

in place of those sinners.”

But I say, “Let him punish

those sinners themselves

until they really feel it.

20Let God All-Powerful force them

to drink their own destruction

from the cup of his anger.

21Because after they are dead,

they won't care what happens

to their children.”

Who Can Tell God What To Do?

22Who can tell God what to do?

He judges powerful rulers.

* 23Some of us die prosperous,

24enjoying good health,

25while others die in poverty,

having known only pain.

26But we all end up dead,

beneath a blanket of worms.

27My friends, I know that you

are plotting against me.

28You ask, “Where is the home

of that important person

who does so much evil?”

29Everyone, near and far, agrees

30that those who do wrong

never suffer disaster,

when God becomes angry.

31No one points out their sin

or punishes them.

32Then at their funerals,

they are highly praised;

33the earth welcomes them home,

while crowds mourn.

34But empty, meaningless words

are the comfort you offer me.


21.8 up: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 8.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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