Job 21
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1  Then Iyov answered and said:

א  וַיַּעַן אִיּוֹב וַיֹּאמַר.

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

ב  שִׁמְעוּ שָׁמוֹעַ מִלָּתִי וּתְהִי זֹאת תַּנְחוּמֹתֵיכֶם.

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

ג  שָׂאוּנִי וְאָנֹכִי אֲדַבֵּר וְאַחַר דַּבְּרִי תַלְעִיג.

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

ד  הֶאָנֹכִי לְאָדָם שִׂיחִי וְאִם מַדּוּעַ לֹא תִקְצַר רוּחִי.

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

ה  פְּנוּ אֵלַי וְהָשַׁמּוּ וְשִׂימוּ יָד עַל פֶּה.

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

ו  וְאִם זָכַרְתִּי וְנִבְהָלְתִּי וְאָחַז בְּשָׂרִי פַּלָּצוּת.

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

ma-DU-a r’-sha-EEM yikh-YU a-t’-KU gam ga-v’-RU KHA-yil

ז  מַדּוּעַ רְשָׁעִים יִחְיוּ עָתְקוּ גַּם גָּבְרוּ חָיִל.

21:7   Wherefore do the wicked live

Job asks the question which is the crux of the entire book. Why do the righteous suffer while the wicked go unpunished? Though Job is bothered by this because of his personal experiences, he does not abandon his faith in God. If he had, the question would lose its meaning, for the seeming randomness of good and bad fortune only presents a difficulty if one supposes that the world is designed. Job teaches that while it is acceptable to ask the questions, they must come from a place of faith in the Lord and his integrity, rather than denial and doubt.

Comment

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

ח  זַרְעָם נָכוֹן לִפְנֵיהֶם עִמָּם וְצֶאֱצָאֵיהֶם לְעֵינֵיהֶם.

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

ט  בָּתֵּיהֶם שָׁלוֹם מִפָּחַד וְלֹא שֵׁבֶט אֱלוֹהַּ עֲלֵיהֶם.

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

י  שׁוֹרוֹ עִבַּר וְלֹא יַגְעִל תְּפַלֵּט פָּרָתוֹ וְלֹא תְשַׁכֵּל.

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

יא  יְשַׁלְּחוּ כַצֹּאן עֲוִילֵיהֶם וְיַלְדֵיהֶם יְרַקֵּדוּן.

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

יב  יִשְׂאוּ כְּתֹף וְכִנּוֹר וְיִשְׂמְחוּ לְקוֹל עוּגָב.

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

יג  יבלו (יְכַלּוּ) בַטּוֹב יְמֵיהֶם וּבְרֶגַע שְׁאוֹל יֵחָתּוּ.

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

יד  וַיֹּאמְרוּ לָאֵל סוּר מִמֶּנּוּ וְדַעַת דְּרָכֶיךָ לֹא חָפָצְנוּ.

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

טו  מַה שַּׁדַּי כִּי נַעַבְדֶנּוּ וּמַה נּוֹעִיל כִּי נִפְגַּע בּוֹ.

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

טז  הֵן לֹא בְיָדָם טוּבָם עֲצַת רְשָׁעִים רָחֲקָה מֶנִּי.

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?

יז  כַּמָּה נֵר רְשָׁעִים יִדְעָךְ וְיָבֹא עָלֵימוֹ אֵידָם חֲבָלִים יְחַלֵּק בְּאַפּוֹ.

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

יח  יִהְיוּ כְּתֶבֶן לִפְנֵי רוּחַ וּכְמֹץ גְּנָבַתּוּ סוּפָה.

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

יט  אֱלוֹהַּ יִצְפֹּן לְבָנָיו אוֹנוֹ יְשַׁלֵּם אֵלָיו וְיֵדָע.

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

כ  יִרְאוּ עֵינָו כִּידוֹ וּמֵחֲמַת שַׁדַּי יִשְׁתֶּה.

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

כא  כִּי מַה חֶפְצוֹ בְּבֵיתוֹ אַחֲרָיו וּמִסְפַּר חֳדָשָׁיו חֻצָּצוּ.

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

כב  הַלְאֵל יְלַמֶּד דָּעַת וְהוּא רָמִים יִשְׁפּוֹט.

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

כג  זֶה יָמוּת בְּעֶצֶם תֻּמּוֹ כֻּלּוֹ שַׁלְאֲנַן וְשָׁלֵיו.

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

כד  עֲטִינָיו מָלְאוּ חָלָב וּמֹחַ עַצְמוֹתָיו יְשֻׁקֶּה.

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

כה  וְזֶה יָמוּת בְּנֶפֶשׁ מָרָה וְלֹא אָכַל בַּטּוֹבָה.

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

כו  יַחַד עַל עָפָר יִשְׁכָּבוּ וְרִמָּה תְּכַסֶּה עֲלֵיהֶם.

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

כז  הֵן יָדַעְתִּי מַחְשְׁבוֹתֵיכֶם וּמְזִמּוֹת עָלַי תַּחְמֹסוּ.

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

כח  כִּי תֹאמְרוּ אַיֵּה בֵית נָדִיב וְאַיֵּה אֹהֶל מִשְׁכְּנוֹת רְשָׁעִים.

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

כט  הֲלֹא שְׁאֶלְתֶּם עוֹבְרֵי דָרֶךְ וְאֹתֹתָם לֹא תְנַכֵּרוּ.

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

ל  כִּי לְיוֹם אֵיד יֵחָשֶׂךְ רָע לְיוֹם עֲבָרוֹת יוּבָלוּ.

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

לא  מִי יַגִּיד עַל פָּנָיו דַּרְכּוֹ וְהוּא עָשָׂה מִי יְשַׁלֶּם לוֹ.

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

לב  וְהוּא לִקְבָרוֹת יוּבָל וְעַל גָּדִישׁ יִשְׁקוֹד.

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

לג  מָתְקוּ לוֹ רִגְבֵי נָחַל וְאַחֲרָיו כָּל אָדָם יִמְשׁוֹךְ וּלְפָנָיו אֵין מִסְפָּר.

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

לד  וְאֵיךְ תְּנַחֲמוּנִי הָבֶל וּתְשׁוּבֹתֵיכֶם נִשְׁאַר מָעַל.

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Job 20
Job 22

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Job 21