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1Then Job replied:
2"Listen carefully to my words; let this be the consolation you give me.
3Bear with me while I speak, and after I have spoken, mock on.
4"Is my complaint directed to man? Why should I not be impatient?
5Look at me and be astonished; clap your hand over your mouth.
6When I think about this, I am terrified; trembling seizes my body.
7Why do the wicked live on, growing old and increasing in power?
8They see their children established around them, their offspring before their eyes.
9Their homes are safe and free from fear; the rod of God is not upon them.
10Their bulls never fail to breed; their cows calve and do not miscarry.
11They send forth their children as a flock; their little ones dance about.
12They sing to the music of tambourine and harp; they make merry to the sound of the flute.
13They spend their years in prosperity and go down to the grave in peace.
14Yet they say to God, 'Leave us alone! We have no desire to know your ways.
15Who is the Almighty, that we should serve him? What would we gain by praying to him?'
16But their prosperity is not in their own hands, so I stand aloof from the counsel of the wicked.
17"Yet how often is the lamp of the wicked snuffed out? How often does calamity come upon them, the fate God allots in his anger?
18How often are they like straw before the wind, like chaff swept away by a gale?
19It is said,'God stores up a man's punishment for his sons.' Let him repay the man himself, so that he will know it!
20Let his own eyes see his destruction; let him drink of the wrath of the Almighty.
21For what does he care about the family he leaves behind when his allotted months come to an end?
22"Can anyone teach knowledge to God, since he judges even the highest?
23One man dies in full vigor, completely secure and at ease,
24his body well nourished, his bones rich with marrow.
25Another man dies in bitterness of soul, never having enjoyed anything good.
26Side by side they lie in the dust, and worms cover them both.
27"I know full well what you are thinking, the schemes by which you would wrong me.
28You say, 'Where now is the great man's house, the tents where wicked men lived?'
29Have you never questioned those who travel? Have you paid no regard to their accounts--
30that the evil man is spared from the day of calamity, that he is delivered from the day of wrath?
31Who denounces his conduct to his face? Who repays him for what he has done?
32He is carried to the grave, and watch is kept over his tomb.
33The soil in the valley is sweet to him; all men follow after him, and a countless throng goes before him.
34"So how can you console me with your nonsense? Nothing is left of your answers but falsehood!"

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