Job 21
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Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  Iyov said in reply:

א  וַיַּעַן אִיּוֹב וַיֹּאמַר׃

2  Listen well to what I say, And let that be your consolation.

ב  שִׁמְעוּ שָׁמוֹעַ מִלָּתִי וּתְהִי־זֹאת תַּנְחוּמֹתֵיכֶם׃

3  Bear with me while I speak, And after I have spoken, you may mock.

ג  שָׂאוּנִי וְאָנֹכִי אֲדַבֵּר וְאַחַר דַּבְּרִי תַלְעִיג׃

4  Is my complaint directed toward a man? Why should I not lose my patience?

ד  הֶאָנֹכִי לְאָדָם שִׂיחִי וְאִם־מַדּוּעַ לֹא־תִקְצַר רוּחִי׃

5  Look at me and be appalled, And clap your hand to your mouth.

ה  פְּנוּ־אֵלַי וְהָשַׁמּוּ וְשִׂימוּ יָד עַל־פֶּה׃

6  When I think of it I am terrified; My body is seized with shuddering.

ו  וְאִם־זָכַרְתִּי וְנִבְהָלְתִּי וְאָחַז בְּשָׂרִי פַּלָּצוּת׃

7  Why do the wicked live on, Prosper and grow wealthy?

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   Why do the wicked live on

This question that Iyov asks is the crux of the entire book: Why do the righteous suffer while the wicked go unpunished? Though Iyov is troubled by this because of his personal experiences, he does not abandon his faith in God. If he did, the question would lose its meaning, for the seeming randomness of good and bad fortunes presents a difficulty only if one supposes that the world is ruled by a benevolent God. Iyov teaches that while it is acceptable to ask the questions, they must come from a place of faith in Hashem and His integrity, rather than denial and doubt.Comment

8  Their children are with them always, And they see their children’s children.

ח  זַרְעָם נָכוֹן לִפְנֵיהֶם עִמָּם וְצֶאֱצָאֵיהֶם לְעֵינֵיהֶם׃

9  Their homes are secure, without fear; They do not feel the rod of Hashem.

ט  בָּתֵּיהֶם שָׁלוֹם מִפָּחַד וְלֹא שֵׁבֶט אֱלוֹהַּ עֲלֵיהֶם׃

10  Their bull breeds and does not fail; Their cow calves and never miscarries;

י  שׁוֹרוֹ עִבַּר וְלֹא יַגְעִל תְּפַלֵּט פָּרָתוֹ וְלֹא תְשַׁכֵּל׃

11  They let their infants run loose like sheep, And their children skip about.

יא  יְשַׁלְּחוּ כַצֹּאן עֲוִילֵיהֶם וְיַלְדֵיהֶם יְרַקֵּדוּן׃

12  They sing to the music of timbrel and lute, And revel to the tune of the pipe;

יב  יִשְׂאוּ כְּתֹף וְכִנּוֹר וְיִשְׂמְחוּ לְקוֹל עוּגָב׃

13  They spend their days in happiness, And go down to Sheol in peace.

יג  יבלו [יְכַלּוּ] בַטּוֹב יְמֵיהֶם וּבְרֶגַע שְׁאוֹל יֵחָתּוּ׃

14  They say to Hashem, “Leave us alone, We do not want to learn Your ways;

יד  וַיֹּאמְרוּ לָאֵל סוּר מִמֶּנּוּ וְדַעַת דְּרָכֶיךָ לֹא חָפָצְנוּ׃

15  What is Shaddai that we should serve Him? What will we gain by praying to Him?”

טו  מַה־שַׁדַּי כִּי־נַעַבְדֶנּוּ וּמַה־נּוֹעִיל כִּי נִפְגַּע־בּוֹ׃

16  Their happiness is not their own doing. (The thoughts of the wicked are beyond me!)

טז  הֵן לֹא בְיָדָם טוּבָם עֲצַת רְשָׁעִים רָחֲקָה מֶנִּי׃

17  How seldom does the lamp of the wicked fail, Does the calamity they deserve befall them, Does He apportion [their] lot in anger!

יז  כַּמָּה נֵר־רְשָׁעִים יִדְעָךְ וְיָבֹא עָלֵימוֹ אֵידָם חֲבָלִים יְחַלֵּק בְּאַפּוֹ׃

18  Let them become like straw in the wind, Like chaff carried off by a storm.

יח  יִהְיוּ כְּתֶבֶן לִפְנֵי־רוּחַ וּכְמֹץ גְּנָבַתּוּ סוּפָה׃

19  [You say,] “Hashem is reserving his punishment for his sons”; Let it be paid back to him that he may feel it,

יט  אֱלוֹהַּ יִצְפֹּן־לְבָנָיו אוֹנוֹ יְשַׁלֵּם אֵלָיו וְיֵדָע׃

20  Let his eyes see his ruin, And let him drink the wrath of Shaddai!

כ  יִרְאוּ עינו [עֵינָיו] כִּידוֹ וּמֵחֲמַת שַׁדַּי יִשְׁתֶּה׃

21  For what does he care about the fate of his family, When his number of months runs out?

כא  כִּי מַה־חֶפְצוֹ בְּבֵיתוֹ אַחֲרָיו וּמִסְפַּר חֳדָשָׁיו חֻצָּצוּ׃

22  Can Hashem be instructed in knowledge, He who judges from such heights?

כב  הַלְאֵל יְלַמֶּד־דָּעַת וְהוּא רָמִים יִשְׁפּוֹט׃

23  One man dies in robust health, All tranquil and untroubled;

כג  זֶה יָמוּת בְּעֶצֶם תֻּמּוֹ כֻּלּוֹ שַׁלְאֲנַן וְשָׁלֵיו׃

24  His pails are full of milk; The marrow of his bones is juicy.

כד  עֲטִינָיו מָלְאוּ חָלָב וּמֹחַ עַצְמוֹתָיו יְשֻׁקֶּה׃

25  Another dies embittered, Never having tasted happiness.

כה  וְזֶה יָמוּת בְּנֶפֶשׁ מָרָה וְלֹא־אָכַל בַּטּוֹבָה׃

26  They both lie in the dust And are covered with worms.

כו  יַחַד עַל־עָפָר יִשְׁכָּבוּ וְרִמָּה תְּכַסֶּה עֲלֵיהֶם׃

27  Oh, I know your thoughts, And the tactics you will devise against me.

כז  הֵן יָדַעְתִּי מַחְשְׁבוֹתֵיכֶם וּמְזִמּוֹת עָלַי תַּחְמֹסוּ׃

28  You will say, “Where is the house of the great man— And where the tent in which the wicked dwelled?”

כח  כִּי תֹאמְרוּ אַיֵּה בֵית־נָדִיב וְאַיֵּה אֹהֶל מִשְׁכְּנוֹת רְשָׁעִים׃

29  You must have consulted the wayfarers; You cannot deny their evidence.

כט  הֲלֹא שְׁאֶלְתֶּם עוֹבְרֵי דָרֶךְ וְאֹתֹתָם לֹא תְנַכֵּרוּ׃

30  For the evil man is spared on the day of calamity, On the day when wrath is led forth.

ל  כִּי לְיוֹם אֵיד יֵחָשֶׂךְ רָע לְיוֹם עֲבָרוֹת יוּבָלוּ׃

31  Who will upbraid him to his face? Who will requite him for what he has done?

לא  מִי־יַגִּיד עַל־פָּנָיו דַּרְכּוֹ וְהוּא־עָשָׂה מִי יְשַׁלֶּם־לוֹ׃

32  He is brought to the grave, While a watch is kept at his tomb.

לב  וְהוּא לִקְבָרוֹת יוּבָל וְעַל־גָּדִישׁ יִשְׁקוֹד׃

33  The clods of the wadi are sweet to him, Everyone follows behind him, Innumerable are those who precede him.

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

34  Why then do you offer me empty consolation? Of your replies only the perfidy remains.

 

לד  וְאֵיךְ תְּנַחֲמוּנִי הָבֶל וּתְשׁוּבֹתֵיכֶם נִשְׁאַר־מָעַל׃

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Job 20
Job 22

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Job 21

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