Job 21 – New International Version (NIV)


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


a. Job 21:13 Or in an instant
b. Job 21:24 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
c. Job 21:30 Or wicked are reserved for the day of calamity, / that they are brought forth to
d. Job 21:33 Or them, / as a countless throng went

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Job 21 – King James Version (KJV)

Job’s Reply

  1. But Job answered and said,
  2. Hear diligently my speech, And let this be your consolations.
  3. Suffer me that I may speak; And after that I have spoken, mock on.
  4. As for me, is my complaint to man? And if it were so, why should not my spirit be troubled?
  5. Mark me, and be astonished, And lay your hand upon your mouth.
  6. Even when I remember I am afraid, And trembling taketh hold on my flesh.
  7. Wherefore do the wicked live, Become old, yea, are mighty in power?
  8. Their seed is established in their sight with them, And their offspring before their eyes.
  9. Their houses are safe from fear, Neither is the rod of God upon them.
  10. Their bull gendereth, and faileth not; Their cow calveth, and casteth not her calf.
  11. They send forth their little ones like a flock, And their children dance.
  12. They take the timbrel and harp, And rejoice at the sound of the organ.
  13. They spend their days in wealth, And in a moment go down to the grave.
  14. Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; For we desire not the knowledge of thy ways.
  15. What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? And what profit should we have, if we pray unto him?
  16. Lo, their good is not in their hand: The counsel of the wicked is far from me.
  17. How oft is the candle of the wicked put out! And how oft cometh their destruction upon them! God distributeth sorrows in his anger.
  18. They are as stubble before the wind, And as chaff that the storm carrieth away.
  19. God layeth up his iniquity for his children: He rewardeth him, and he shall know it.
  20. His eyes shall see his destruction, And he shall drink of the wrath of the Almighty.
  21. For what pleasure hath he in his house after him, When the number of his months is cut off in the midst?
  22. Shall any teach God knowledge? Seeing he judgeth those that are high.
  23. One dieth in his full strength, Being wholly at ease and quiet.
  24. His breasts are full of milk, And his bones are moistened with marrow.
  25. And another dieth in the bitterness of his soul, And never eateth with pleasure.
  26. They shall lie down alike in the dust, And the worms shall cover them.
  27. Behold, I know your thoughts, And the devices which ye wrongfully imagine against me.
  28. For ye say, Where is the house of the prince? And where are the dwelling places of the wicked?
  29. Have ye not asked them that go by the way? And do ye not know their tokens,
  30. That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? They shall be brought forth to the day of wrath.
  31. Who shall declare his way to his face? And who shall repay him what he hath done?
  32. Yet shall he be brought to the grave, And shall remain in the tomb.
  33. The clods of the valley shall be sweet unto him, And every man shall draw after him, As there are innumerable before him.
  34. How then comfort ye me in vain, Seeing in your answers there remaineth falsehood?