Job Replies: The Wicked Do Prosper

Job 21

1 Then Job answered and said:

2 "Listen carefully to my speech,
And let this be your 1 consolation.
3 Bear with me that I may speak,
And after I have spoken, keep a mocking.
4 "As for me, is my complaint against man?
And if it were, why should I not be impatient?
5 Look at me and be astonished;
b Put your hand over your mouth.
6 Even when I remember I am terrified,
And trembling takes hold of my flesh.
7 c Why do the wicked live and become old,
Yes, become mighty in power?
8 Their descendants are established with them in their sight,
And their offspring before their eyes.
9 Their houses are safe from fear,
d Neither is 2 the rod of God upon them.
10 Their bull breeds without failure;
Their cow calves e without miscarriage.
11 They send forth their little ones like a flock,
And their children dance.
12 They sing to the tambourine and harp,
And rejoice to the sound of the flute.
13 They f spend their days in wealth,
And 3 in a moment go down to the 4 grave.
14 g Yet they say to God, 'Depart from us,
For we do not desire the knowledge of Your ways.
15 h Who is the Almighty, that we should serve Him?
And i what profit do we have if we pray to Him?'
16 Indeed 5 their prosperity is not in their hand;
j The counsel of the wicked is far from me.

17 "How often is the lamp of the wicked put out?
How often does their destruction come upon them,
The sorrows God k distributes in His anger?
18 l They are like straw before the wind,
And like chaff that a storm 6 carries away.
19 They say, 'God 7 lays up 8 one's iniquity m for his children';
Let Him recompense him, that he may know it.
20 Let his eyes see his destruction,
And n let him drink of the wrath of the Almighty.
21 For what does he care about his household after him,
When the number of his months is cut in half?
22 "Can o anyone teach God knowledge,
Since He judges those on high?
23 One dies in his full strength,
Being wholly at ease and secure;
24 His 9 pails are full of milk,
And the marrow of his bones is moist.
25 Another man dies in the bitterness of his soul,
Never having eaten with pleasure.
26 They p lie down alike in the dust,
And worms cover them.

27 "Look, I know your thoughts,
And the schemes with which you would wrong me.
28 For you say,
'Where is the house of the prince?
And where is 10 the tent,
The dwelling place of the wicked?'
29 Have you not asked those who travel the road?
And do you not know their signs?
30 q For the wicked are reserved for the day of doom;
They shall be brought out on the day of wrath.
31 Who condemns his way to his face?
And who repays him for what he has done?
32 Yet he shall be brought to the grave,
And a vigil kept over the tomb.
33 The clods of the valley shall be sweet to him;
r Everyone shall follow him,
As countless have gone before him.
34 How then can you comfort me with empty words,
Since 11 falsehood remains in your answers?"

  1. Cross References
    Job 16:10
    They gape at me with their mouth, They strike me reproachfully on the cheek, They gather together against me.
  2. Cross References
    Judges 18:19
    And they said to him, "Be quiet, put your hand over your mouth, and come with us; be a father and a priest to us. Is it better for you to be a priest to the household of one man, or that you be a priest to a tribe and a family in Israel?
    Job 13:5
    Oh, that you would be silent, And it would be your wisdom!
    Job 29:9
    The princes refrained from talking, And put their hand on their mouth.
    Job 40:4
    Behold, I am vile; What shall I answer You? I lay my hand over my mouth.
  3. Cross References
    Job 12:6
    The tents of robbers prosper, And those who pro...
    Psalms 17:10
    They have closed up their fat hearts; With thei...
    Psalms 17:14
    With Your hand from men, O LORD, From men of th...
    Psalms 73:3
    For I was envious of the boastful, When I saw t...
    Psalms 73:12
    Behold, these are the ungodly, Who are always a...
    Jeremiah 12:1
    Righteous are You, O LORD, when I plead with Yo...
    Habakkuk 1:13
    You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, And ...
    Habakkuk 1:16
    Therefore they sacrifice to their net, And burn...
  4. Cross References
    Psalms 73:5
    They are not in trouble as other men, Nor are they plagued like other men.
  5. Cross References
    Exodus 23:26
    No one shall suffer miscarriage or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days.
  6. Cross References
    Job 21:23
    One dies in his full strength, Being wholly at ease and secure.
    Job 36:11
    If they obey and serve Him, They shall spend their days in prosperity, And their years in pleasures.
  7. Cross References
    Job 22:17
    They said to God, 'Depart from us! What can the Almighty do to them?
  8. Cross References
    Exodus 5:2
    And Pharaoh said, "Who is the LORD, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, nor will I let Israel go.
    Job 22:17
    They said to God, 'Depart from us! What can the Almighty do to them?
    Job 34:9
    For he has said, 'It profits a man nothing That he should delight in God.
  9. Cross References
    Job 35:3
    For you say, 'What advantage will it be to You? What profit shall I have, more than if I had sinned?
    Malachi 3:14
    You have said, 'It is useless to serve God; What profit is it that we have kept His ordinance, And that we have walked as mourners Before the LORD of hosts?
  10. 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
    Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful.
    Proverbs 1:10
    My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent.
  11. Cross References
    Job 31:2
    For what is the allotment of God from above, And the inheritance of the Almighty from on high?
    Job 31:3
    Is it not destruction for the wicked, And disaster for the workers of iniquity?
    Luke 12:46
    The master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
  12. Cross References
    Psalms 1:4
    The ungodly are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
    Psalms 35:5
    Let them be like chaff before the wind, And let the angel of the LORD chase them.
    Isaiah 17:13
    The nations will rush like the rushing of many waters; But God will rebuke them and they will flee far away, And be chased like the chaff of the mountains before the wind, Like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.
    Hosea 13:3
    Therefore they shall be like the morning cloud And like the early dew that passes away, Like chaff blown off from a threshing floor And like smoke from a chimney.
  13. Cross References
    Exodus 20:5
    You shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me.
    Jeremiah 31:29
    "In those days they shall say no more: 'The fathers have eaten sour grapes, And the children's teeth are set on edge.'
    Ezekiel 18:2
    What do you mean when you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying: 'The fathers have eaten sour grapes, And the children's teeth are set on edge'?
  14. Cross References
    Psalms 75:8
    For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, And the wine is red; It is fully mixed, and He pours it out; Surely its dregs shall all the wicked of the earth Drain and drink down.
    Isaiah 51:17
    Awake, awake! Stand up, O Jerusalem, You who have drunk at the hand of the LORD The cup of His fury; You have drunk the dregs of the cup of trembling, And drained it out.
    Jeremiah 25:15
    For thus says the LORD God of Israel to me: "Take this wine cup of fury from My hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send you, to drink it.
    Revelation 14:10
    He himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.
    Revelation 19:15
    Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
  15. Cross References
    Job 35:11
    Who teaches us more than the beasts of the eart...
    Job 36:22
    Behold, God is exalted by His power; Who teache...
    Isaiah 40:13
    Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, Or as ...
    Isaiah 45:9
    Woe to him who strives with his Maker! Let the ...
    Romans 11:34
    "For who has known the mind of the LORD? Or who...
    1 Corinthians 2:16
    For "who has known the mind of the LORD that he...
  16. Cross References
    Job 3:13
    For now I would have lain still and been quiet, I would have been asleep; Then I would have been at rest
    Job 20:11
    His bones are full of his youthful vigor, But it will lie down with him in the dust.
    Ecclesiastes 9:2
    All things come alike to all: One event happens to the righteous and the wicked; To the good, the clean, and the unclean; To him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice. As is the good, so is the sinner; He who takes an oath as he who fears an oath.
  17. Cross References
    Job 20:29
    This is the portion from God for a wicked man, The heritage appointed to him by God.
    Proverbs 16:4
    The LORD has made all for Himself, Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom.
    2 Peter 2:9
    Then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment.
  18. Cross References
    Hebrews 9:27
    And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.
New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
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