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Job 21 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 21

Job’s Sixth Reply. Then Job answered and said:

At least listen to my words,
    and let that be the consolation you offer.
Bear with me while I speak;
    and after I have spoken, you can mock!
Is my complaint toward any human being?
    Why should I not be impatient?
Look at me and be appalled,
    put your hands over your mouths.
When I think of it, I am dismayed,
    and shuddering seizes my flesh.
[a]Why do the wicked keep on living,
    grow old, become mighty in power?
Their progeny is secure in their sight;
    their offspring are before their eyes.
Their homes are safe, without fear,
    and the rod of God is not upon them.
10 Their bulls breed without fail;
    their cows calve and do not miscarry.
11 They let their young run free like sheep,
    their children skip about.
12 They sing along with drum and lyre,
    and make merry to the sound of the pipe.
13 They live out their days in prosperity,
    and tranquilly go down to Sheol.
14 Yet they say to God, “Depart from us,
    for we have no desire to know your ways!
15 What is the Almighty that we should serve him?
    And what do we gain by praying to him?”
16 Their happiness is not in their own hands.
    The designs of the wicked are far from me!
17 How often is the lamp of the wicked put out?
    How often does destruction come upon them,
    the portion God allots in his anger?
18 Let them be like straw before the wind,
    like chaff the storm carries away!
19 “God is storing up the man’s misery for his children”?—
    let him requite the man himself so that he knows it!
20 Let his own eyes behold his calamity,
    and the wrath of the Almighty let him drink!
21 For what interest has he in his family after him,
    when the number of his months is finished?
22 Can anyone teach God knowledge,
    seeing that he judges those on high?[b]
23 One dies in his full vigor,
    wholly at ease and content;
24 His figure is full and nourished,
    his bones are moist with marrow.
25 Another dies with a bitter spirit,
    never having tasted happiness.
26 Alike they lie down in the dust,
    and worms cover them both.
27 See, I know your thoughts,
    and the arguments you plot against me.
28 For you say, “Where is the house of the great,
    and where the dwelling place of the wicked?”
29 Have you not asked the wayfarers
    and do you not acknowledge the witness they give?
30 On the day of calamity the evil man is spared,
    on the day that wrath is released.
31 Who will charge him to his face about his conduct,
    and for what he has done who will repay him?
32 He is carried to the grave
    and at his tomb they keep watch.
33 Sweet to him are the clods of the valley.
    All humankind will follow after him,
    and countless others before him.
34 How empty the consolation you offer me!
    Your arguments remain a fraud.


  1. 21:7 In vv. 7–29 Job launches into a realistic description of the fate of the wicked, contrary to the claims made by the friends.
  2. 21:22 Those on high: the heavenly beings; cf. 1:6; Ps 82:1–8.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


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