Job 21

Job Replies: The Wicked Do Prosper

1 Then Job answered and said:

2 k "Keep listening to my words,
and let this be your comfort.
3 Bear with me, and I will speak,
and after I have spoken, l mock on.
4 As for me, is my m complaint against man?
Why should I not be impatient?
5 Look at me and be appalled,
and n lay your hand over your mouth.
6 When I remember, I am dismayed,
and shuddering seizes my flesh.
7 o Why do the wicked live,
reach old age, and grow mighty in power?
8 Their p offspring are established in their presence,
and their descendants before their eyes.
9 Their houses are q safe from fear,
and r no rod of God is upon them.
10 Their bull breeds without fail;
their cow calves and s does not miscarry.
11 They send out their t little boys like a flock,
and their children dance.
12 They sing to u the tambourine and v the lyre
and rejoice to the sound of v the pipe.
13 They w spend their days in prosperity,
and in x peace they go down to y Sheol.
14 They say to God, z 'Depart from us!
We do not desire the knowledge of your ways.
15 a What is the Almighty, that we should serve him?
And what b profit do we get if we pray to him?'
16 Behold, is not their prosperity in their hand?
c The counsel of the wicked is far from me.

17 "How often is it that d the lamp of the wicked is put out?
That their calamity comes upon them?
That God 1 distributes pains in his anger?
18 That they are like e straw before the wind,
and like f chaff that the storm carries away?
19 You say, 'God g stores up their iniquity for their h children.'
Let him pay it out to them, that they may i know it.
20 Let their own eyes see their destruction,
and let them j drink of the wrath of the Almighty.
21 For what do they care for their houses after them,
when k the number of their months is cut off?
22 l Will any teach God knowledge,
seeing that he m judges those who are on high?
23 One dies in his full vigor,
being wholly at ease and secure,
24 his pails 2 full of milk
and n the marrow of his bones moist.
25 Another dies in o bitterness of soul,
never having tasted of prosperity.
26 They p lie down alike in the dust,
and q the worms cover them.

27 "Behold, I know your thoughts
and your schemes to wrong me.
28 For you say, r 'Where is the house of the prince?
Where is s the tent in which the wicked lived?'
29 Have you not asked those who travel the roads,
and do you not accept their testimony
30 that t the evil man is spared in the day of calamity,
that he is rescued in the day of wrath?
31 Who declares his way u to his face,
and who v repays him for what he has done?
32 When he is w carried to the grave,
watch is kept over his tomb.
33 x The clods of the valley are sweet to him;
y all mankind follows after him,
and those who go before him are innumerable.
34 How then will you comfort me with empty nothings?
There is nothing left of your answers but falsehood."

  1. Cross References
    Job 13:17
    Keep listening to my words, and let my declaration be in your ears.
  2. Cross References
    Job 16:10
    Men have gaped at me with their mouth; they have struck me insolently on the cheek; they mass themselves together against me.
    Job 16:20
    My friends scorn me; my eye pours out tears to God.
    Job 17:2
    Surely there are mockers about me, and my eye dwells on their provocation.
  3. Cross References
    Job 10:1
    I loathe my life; I will give free utterance to my complaint; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
    Job 23:2
    Today also my complaint is bitter; my hand is heavy on account of my groaning.
  4. Cross References
    Job 29:9
    The princes refrained from talking and laid their hand on their mouth.
    Job 40:4
    Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth.
    Judges 18:19
    And they said to him, "Keep quiet; put your hand on your mouth and come with us and be to us a father and a priest. Is it better for you to be priest to the house of one man, or to be priest to a tribe and clan in Israel?
  5. Cross References
    Job 12:6
    The tents of robbers are at peace, and those wh...
    Psalms 17:14
    From men by your hand, O Lord, from men of the ...
    Psalms 37:1
    Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not ...
    Psalms 37:35
    I have seen a wicked, ruthless man, spreading h...
    Psalms 73:3
    For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw th...
    Psalms 73:5
    They are not in trouble as others are; they are...
    Psalms 92:7
    That though the wicked sprout like grass and al...
    Ecclesiastes 8:14
    There is a vanity that takes place on earth, th...
    Jeremiah 12:1 - 2
    Righteous are you, O Lord, when I complain to y...
    Habakkuk 1:13
    You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and ...
    Habakkuk 1:16
    Therefore he sacrifices to his net and makes of...
    Malachi 3:14 - 15
    You have said, 'It is vain to serve God. What i...
  6. Cross References
    Job 5:25
    You shall know also that your offspring shall be many, and your descendants as the grass of the earth.
  7. Cross References
    Job 5:24
    You shall know that your tent is at peace, and you shall inspect your fold and miss nothing.
  8. Cross References
    Job 9:34
    Let him take his rod away from me, and let not dread of him terrify me.
  9. Cross References
    Exodus 23:26
    None shall miscarry or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days.
  10. Cross References
    Psalms 17:14
    From men by your hand, O Lord, from men of the world whose portion is in this life. You fill their womb with treasure; they are satisfied with children, and they leave their abundance to their infants.
  11. Cross References
    Exodus 15:20
    Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women went out after her with tambourines and dancing.
  12. Cross References
    Job 30:31
    My lyre is turned to mourning, and my pipe to the voice of those who weep.
    Genesis 4:21
    His brother's name was Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe.
  13. Cross References
    Job 30:31
    My lyre is turned to mourning, and my pipe to the voice of those who weep.
    Genesis 4:21
    His brother's name was Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe.
  14. Cross References
    Job 36:11
    If they listen and serve him, they complete their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasantness.
  15. Cross References
    Job 34:20
    In a moment they die; at midnight the people are shaken and pass away, and the mighty are taken away by no human hand.
    Job 24:19
    Drought and heat snatch away the snow waters; so does Sheol those who have sinned.
  16. Cross References
    Job 7:9
    As the cloud fades and vanishes, so he who goes down to Sheol does not come up.
    Job 14:13
    Oh that you would hide me in Sheol, that you would conceal me until your wrath be past, that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me!
    Job 17:13
    If I hope for Sheol as my house, if I make my bed in darkness.
    Psalms 16:10
    For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.
  17. Cross References
    Job 22:17
    They said to God, 'Depart from us,' and 'What can the Almighty do to us?
  18. Cross References
    Exodus 5:2
    But Pharaoh said, "Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and moreover, I will not let Israel go.
  19. Cross References
    Job 34:9
    For he has said, 'It profits a man nothing that he should take delight in God.
  20. Cross References
    Job 22:18
    Yet he filled their houses with good things - but the counsel of the wicked is far from me.
    Psalms 1:1
    Book One Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers.
  21. Cross References
    Job 18:5 - 6
    Indeed, the light of the wicked is put out, and the flame of his fire does not shine.
  22. Cross References
    Job 13:25
    Will you frighten a driven leaf and pursue dry chaff?
    Psalms 83:13
    O my God, make them like whirling dust, like chaff before the wind.
  23. Cross References
    Psalms 1:4
    The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
    Psalms 35:5
    Let them be like chaff before the wind, with the angel of the Lord driving them away!
    Isaiah 17:13
    The nations roar like the roaring of many waters, but he will rebuke them, and they will flee far away, chased like chaff on the mountains before the wind and whirling dust before the storm.
    Isaiah 29:5
    But the multitude of your foreign foes shall be like small dust, and the multitude of the ruthless like passing chaff. And in an instant, suddenly.
  24. Cross References
    Job 15:20
    The wicked man writhes in pain all his days, through all the years that are laid up for the ruthless.
  25. Cross References
    Exodus 20:5
    You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me.
  26. Cross References
    Isaiah 9:9
    And all the people will know, Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria, who say in pride and in arrogance of heart:
    Ezekiel 25:14
    And I will lay my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Israel, and they shall do in Edom according to my anger and according to my wrath, and they shall know my vengeance, declares the Lord God.
    Hosea 9:7
    The days of punishment have come; the days of recompense have come; Israel shall know it. The prophet is a fool; the man of the spirit is mad, because of your great iniquity and great hatred.
  27. Cross References
    Psalms 60:3
    You have made your people see hard things; you ...
    Psalms 75:8
    For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup with...
    Isaiah 51:17
    Wake yourself, wake yourself, stand up, O Jerus...
    Isaiah 51:22
    Thus says your Lord, the Lord, your God who ple...
    Jeremiah 25:15
    Thus the Lord, the God of Israel, said to me: "...
    Obadiah 1:16
    For as you have drunk on my holy mountain, so a...
    Revelation 14:10
    He also will drink the wine of God's wrath, pou...
  28. Cross References
    Job 14:5
    Since his days are determined, and the number of his months is with you, and you have appointed his limits that he cannot pass.
  29. Cross References
    Isaiah 40:14
    Whom did he consult, and who made him understand? Who taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding?
    Romans 11:34
    "For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?"
    1 Corinthians 2:16
    For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.
  30. Cross References
    Job 4:18
    Even in his servants he puts no trust, and his angels he charges with error.
    Job 15:15
    Behold, God puts no trust in his holy ones, and the heavens are not pure in his sight.
  31. Cross References
    Proverbs 3:8
    It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.
    Isaiah 58:11
    And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
    Isaiah 66:14
    You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice; your bones shall flourish like the grass; and the hand of the Lord shall be known to his servants, and he shall show his indignation against his enemies.
  32. Cross References
    Job 7:11
    Therefore I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
  33. Cross References
    Job 20:11
    His bones are full of his youthful vigor, but it will lie down with him in the dust.
    Ecclesiastes 9:2
    It is the same for all, since the same event happens to the righteous and the wicked, to the good and the evil, to the clean and the unclean, to him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice. As the good one is, so is the sinner, and he who swears is as he who shuns an oath.
  34. Cross References
    Isaiah 14:11
    Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, the sound of your harps; maggots are laid as a bed beneath you, and worms are your covers.
  35. Cross References
    Job 20:6 - 7
    Though his height mount up to the heavens, and his head reach to the clouds.
  36. Cross References
    Job 8:22
    Those who hate you will be clothed with shame, and the tent of the wicked will be no more.
    Job 15:34
    For the company of the godless is barren, and fire consumes the tents of bribery.
  37. Cross References
    Proverbs 16:4
    The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.
    2 Peter 2:9
    Then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment.
  38. Cross References
    Deuteronomy 7:10
    And repays to their face those who hate him, by destroying them. He will not be slack with one who hates him. He will repay him to his face.
    Hosea 5:5
    The pride of Israel testifies to his face; Israel and Ephraim shall stumble in his guilt; Judah also shall stumble with them.
    Galatians 2:11
    But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.
  39. Cross References
    Deuteronomy 7:10
    And repays to their face those who hate him, by destroying them. He will not be slack with one who hates him. He will repay him to his face.
  40. Cross References
    Job 10:19
    And were as though I had not been, carried from the womb to the grave.
  41. Cross References
    Job 38:38
    When the dust runs into a mass and the clods stick fast together?
  42. Cross References
    Job 30:23
    For I know that you will bring me to death and to the house appointed for all living.
    Hebrews 9:27
    And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
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