1Job spoke next. He said: 2Listen careful y to my words; let this be the consolation you allow me. 3Permit me to speak in my turn; you may jeer when I have spoken. 4Is my complaint just about a fellow-mortal? I have good grounds to be perturbed! 5Give your attention to me; you wil be dumbfounded and wil place your hand over your mouth. 6I myself am appalled at the very thought, and my flesh creeps. 7Why do the wicked stil live on, their power increasing with their age? 8They see their posterity assured, and their offspring secure before their eyes. 9The peace of their houses has nothing to fear, the rod that God wields is not for them. 10No mishap with their bull at breeding-time, nor miscarriage with their cow at calving. 11They let their infants frisk like lambs, their children dance like deer. 12They sing to the tambourine and harp, and rejoice to the sound of the pipe. 13They end their lives in happiness and go down in peace to Sheol. 14Yet these are the ones who say to God, 'Go away! We do not want to learn your ways. 15What is the point of our serving Shaddai? What should we gain from praying to him?' 16Surely they have won their own prosperity, since God is kept so far from their plans? 17Do we often see the light of the wicked put out, or disaster overtake him, or the retribution of Goddestroy his possessions, 18or the wind blow him away like a straw, or a whirlwind carry him off like chaff? 19So God is storing up punishment for his children? But the wicked himself should be punished, andshould know it! 20He himself should witness his own ruin, and himself drink the anger of Shaddai. 21Once he is gone, what joy can he gain from his family, once the number of his months has been cutoff? 22But who can teach wisdom to God, to him who is judge of those on high? 23And again: one person dies in the ful ness of strength, in all possible happiness and ease, 24thighs padded with fat and the marrow in the bones good and moist. 25Another dies in bitterness of heart, never having tasted happiness. 26They lie together down in the dust and the worms soon cover them both. 27Oh, I know what is in your minds, what you so spiteful y think about me! 28'What has become of the great lord's house,' you say, 'where is the tent where the wicked used tolive?' 29Have you never questioned people who travel, do you not understand the testimony they give: 30on the day of disaster, the wicked is spared, on the day of retribution, he is kept safe? 31And who is there then to reproach him for his deeds and to pay him back for the things he has done? 32He is carried away to the cemetery, and a watch is kept at his tomb. 33The clods of the ravine lie easy on him, and the whole population walk behind. 34So what sense is there in your empty consolation? your answers are the left-overs of infidelity!
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