The Bible in Its Traditions

Job 21:1–34

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Then Job answered and said

But Job answered and said,

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Hear diligently my speech; and let this be your consolations.

Hear ye, hear ye my words, that I may not have this consolation from you.

I beseech you to hear my words and to do penance.

Suffer me, that I may speak; and after that I have spoken, mock on.

Raise me, and I will speak; then ye shall not laugh me to scorn.

Permit me, and I will speak, and afterwards, if you see fit, you can laugh at my words.

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As for me, is my complaint to man? Or why should I not be impatient?

I will utter my complaint to men, why my spirit is distressed.

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Turn unto me, and be astonished, and lay your hand upon your mouth.

Look upon me, and wonder, laying your hand upon your cheek.

Listen to me and be astonished, and place a finger over your mouth.

Even when I remember I am affrighted, and horror hath taketh hold on my flesh.

For even when I remember, I am alarmed, and pains seize my flesh.

As for me, when I think it over, I am afraid, and trembling convulses my body.

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Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea, wax mighty in power?

Why then do the impious live, having been lifted up and strengthened with riches?

Why do the ungodly live, and why are the mighty in power full of years?

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Their seed is established in their sight with them, and their offspring before their eyes.

They see their offspring continue before them: a commotion of close relatives and of children’s children in their sight.

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Their houses are safe, without fear, neither is the rod of God upon them.

Their houses are prosperous, neither have they any where cause for fear, neither is there a scourge from the Lord upon them.

Their houses have been secure and peaceable, and there is no staff of God over them.

10  Their bull gendereth, and faileth not; their cow calveth, and casteth not her calf.

10  Their cow does not cast her calf, and their beast with young is safe, and does not miscarry.

10  Their cattle have conceived and have not miscarried; their cow has given birth and is not deprived of her newborn.

11  They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance.

11  And they remain as an unfailing flock, and their children play before them, taking up the psaltery and harp;

11  Their little ones go out like a flock, and their children jump around playfully.

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12  They sing to the timbrel and harp, and rejoice at the sound of the pipe.

12  and they rejoice at the voice of a song.

12  They take the timbrels and harps, and rejoice at the sound of singing.

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13  They spend their days in prosperity, and peacefully they go down to the grave.

13  And they spend their days in wealth, and fall asleep in the rest of the grave.

13  Their days are prolonged in wealth, yet, in an instant, they descend into hell.

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14  Yet they said unto God: 'Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of Thy ways.

14  Who has said to God, “Depart from us, for we do not want the knowledge of your ways.

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15  What is the Almighty, that we should serve Him? And what profit should we have, if we pray unto Him?'--

15  Who is the Almighty that we should serve him? And how is it helpful to us if we pray to him?”

15  Moreover, they say, Who is God, that we should serve him? And what would we gain, that we should pray to him?

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16  Lo, their prosperity is not in their hand; the counsel of the wicked is far from me.

16  For their good things were in their hands, but he regards not the works of the ungodly.

16  It is true that their good things are not in their power. May the counsel of the impious be far from me!

17  How oft is it that the lamp of the wicked is put out? that their calamity cometh upon them? that He distributeth pains in His anger?

17  Nevertheless, the lamp of the ungodly also shall be put out, and destruction shall come upon them, and pangs of vengeance shall seize them.

17  How often will the lamp of the wicked be extinguished, and a deluge overtake them, and how often will he distribute the afflictions of his wrath?

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18  That they are as stubble before the wind, and as chaff that the storm stealeth away?

18  They will be like chaff before the face of the wind, and like ashes that the whirlwind scatters.

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19  'God layeth up his iniquity for his children!'--let Him recompense it unto himself, that he may know it.

19  Let his substance fail to supply his children: God shall recompense him, and he shall know it.

19  God will preserve the grief of the father for his sons, and, when he repays, then he will understand.

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20  Let his own eyes see his destruction, and let him drink of the wrath of the Almighty.

20  His eyes shall see his destruction, and he shall drink of the wrath of the Almighty.

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21  For what pleasure hath he in his house after him? seeing the number of his months is determined.

21  For his desire is in his house with him, and the number of his months has been suddenly cut off.

21  For what does he care what happens to his house after him, or if the number of its months are reduced by half?

22  Shall any teach God knowledge? seeing it is He that judgeth those that are high.

22  Is it not the Lord who teaches understanding and knowledge? and does not he judge murders?

22  Can anyone teach holy knowledge to God, who judges the exalted?

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23  One dieth in his full strength, being wholly at ease and quiet;

23  This one dies strong and healthy, rich and happy.

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24  His pails are full of milk, and the marrow of his bones is moistened.

24  and his inwards are full of fat, and his marrow is diffused throughout him.

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25  And another dieth in bitterness of soul, and hath never tasted of good.

25  In truth, another dies in bitterness of soul, without any resources.

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26  They lie down alike in the dust, and the worm covereth them.

26  But they lie down in the earth together, and corruption covers them.

26  And yet they will sleep together in the dust, and worms will cover them.

27  Behold, I know your thoughts, and the devices which ye wrongfully imagine against me.

27  So I know you, that ye presumptuously attack me

27  Surely, I know your thoughts and your sinful judgments against me.

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28  For ye say: 'Where is the house of the prince? And where is the tent wherein the wicked dwelt?'

28  so that ye will say, Where is the house of the prince? and where is the covering of the tabernacles of the ungodly?

28  For you say, “Where is the house of the ruler, and where are the tabernacles of the impious?”

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29  Have ye not asked them that go by the way; and will ye misdeem their tokens,

29  Ask those that go by the way, and do not disown their tokens.

29  Ask any passerby whom you wish, and you will realize that he understands these same things

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30  That the evil man is reserved to the day of calamity, that they are led forth to the day of wrath?

30  For the wicked hastens to the day of destruction: they shall be led away for the day of his vengeance.

30  For the evil man is reserved for the day of destruction, he shall be remembered in the day of wrath.

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31  But who shall declare his way to his face? And who shall repay him what he hath done?

31  Who will tell him his way to his face, whereas he has done it? who shall recompense him?

31  Who can show him the way? And who shall repay him for what he has done?

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32  For he is borne to the grave, and watch is kept over his tomb.

32  And he has been led away to the tombs, and he has watched over the heaps.

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33  The clods of the valley are sweet unto him, and all men draw after him, as there were innumerable before him.

33  He has been found acceptable to the banks of the River of Lamentation, and he will draw any man towards him, and there are countless before him.

33  The depths of the valley shall swallow him, and many shall be drawn in after him, even as there are innumerable ahead of him.

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34  How then comfort ye me in vain? And as for your answers, there remaineth only faithlessness?

34  Therefore, how long will you console me in vain, when your answer is shown to be repugnant to truth?