December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- Then Job said in reply:
- 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 man? And why should I not be impatient?
- Look at me and be astonished, put your hands over your mouths.
- When I think of it, I am dismayed, and horror takes hold on my flesh.
- Why do the wicked survive, grow old, become mighty in power?
- Their progeny is secure in their sight; they see before them their kinsfolk and their offspring.
- Their homes are safe and without fear, nor is the scourge of God upon them.
- Their bulls gender without fail; their cows calve and do not miscarry.
- These folk have infants numerous as lambs, and their children dance.
- They sing to the timbrel and harp, and make merry to the sound of the flute.
- They live out their days in prosperity, and tranquilly go down to the nether world.
- Yet they say to God, "Depart from us, for we have no wish to learn your ways!
- What is the Almighty that we should serve him? And what gain shall we have if we pray to him?"
- If their happiness is not in their own hands and if the counsel of the wicked is repulsive to God,
- How often is the lamp of the wicked put out? How often does destruction come upon them, the portion he allots in his anger?
- Let them be like straw before the wind, and like chaff which the storm snatches away!
- May God not store up the man's misery for his children; let him requite the man himself so that he feels it,
- Let his own eyes see the calamity, and the wrath of the Almighty let him drink!
- For what interest has he in his family after him, when the number of his months is finished?
- 1 Can anyone teach God knowledge, seeing that he judges those on high?
- One dies in his full vigor, wholly at ease and content;
- His figure is full and nourished, and his bones are rich in marrow.
- Another dies in bitterness of soul, having never tasted happiness.
- Alike they lie down in the dust, and worms cover them both.
- Behold, I know your thoughts, and the arguments you rehearse against me.
- For you say, "Where is the house of the magnate, and where the dwelling place of the wicked?"
- Have you not asked the wayfarers and do you not recognize their monuments?
- Nay, the evil man is spared calamity when it comes;
- and on the day he is carried to the grave
- Who will charge him with his conduct to his face, and for what he has done who will repay him?
- Sweet to him are the clods of the valley, and over him the funeral mound keeps watch, While all the line of mankind follows him, and the countless others who have gone before.
- How then can you offer me vain comfort, while in your answers perfidy remains?
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1  Those on high: the angels.
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