Job Chapter 20 to 21 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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Zophar Answers

20 Then Zophar from Naamah answered: 2“Job, you have troubled thoughts. So I must answer you. I must quickly tell you what I am thinking. 3You insulted us with your answers! But I am wise, I know how to answer you. 4–5“You know an evil person’s joy doesn’t last long. That has been true a long time, from the time Adam was put on earth. A person who doesn’t care about God is happy for only a short time. 6Maybe the evil person’s pride will reach up to the sky, and his head will touch the clouds. 7But he will be gone forever, like his own body waste. People who know him will say, ‘Where is he?’ 8Like a dream, he will fly away and no one will ever find him. He will be forced away and forgotten like a bad dream.* 9The people that saw him, won’t see him again. His family will never look at him again. 10The evil person’s children will give back what he took from poor people. The evil person’s own hands must give back his wealth. 11When he was young his bones were strong, but, like the rest of his body, they soon will lie in the dirt. 12“Evil tastes sweet in the bad person’s mouth. He keeps it under his tongue to enjoy it fully. 13A bad person enjoys evil. He hates to let it go. It is like a sweet candy he keeps in his mouth. 14But that evil will become poison in his stomach. It will be like bitter poison inside him, like a snake’s poison. 15The evil man has swallowed riches. But he will vomit them out. God will make the evil person vomit them out. 16The evil person’s drink will be like the poison from snakes. The snake’s fangs will kill him. 17Then the evil person won’t enjoy seeing the rivers that flow with honey and cream. 18The evil person will be forced to give back his profits. He won’t be allowed to enjoy the things he worked for. 19Why? Because the evil person hurt poor people and treated them wrong. He didn’t care about them, and he took their things. He took houses someone else built. 20“The evil person is never satisfied. His wealth can’t save him. 21When he eats, there is nothing left. His success won’t continue. 22While the evil person has plenty, he will become pressed down with trouble. His problems will come down on him! 23When the evil person has eaten all he wants, God will throw his burning anger against that person. God will rain punishment down on the evil person. 24Maybe the evil person will run away from an iron sword. But a bronze arrow will shoot him down. 25The bronze arrow will go all the way through his body, and stick out from his back. Its shining point will pierce his liver, and he will be shocked with terror. 26All his treasures will be destroyed. A fire will destroy him—A fire that no human started. The fire will destroy everything left in his house. 27Heaven will prove that the evil person is guilty. The earth will be a witness against him. 28Everything in his house will be carried away in the flood of God’s anger. 29That is what God will do to evil people. That is what God plans to give them.”

bad dream Or, “vision of the night.”

Job Answers

21 Then Job answered: 2“Listen to what I say. Let that be your way of comforting me. 3Be patient while I speak. Then after I have finished speaking, you may make fun of me. 4“I am not complaining against people. There is a good reason why I am not patient. 5Look at me and be shocked. Put your hand over your mouth, and stare at me in shock! 6When I think about what happened to me I feel afraid, and my body shakes! 7Why do evil people live long lives? Why do they grow old and successful? 8Evil people watch their children grow with them. Evil people live to see their grandchildren. 9Their homes are safe and they are not afraid. God doesn’t use a stick to punish evil people. 10Their bulls never fail to mate. Their cows have baby calves, and the baby calves don’t die at birth. 11Evil people send their children out to play like lambs. Their children dance around. 12They sing and dance to the sound of harps and flutes. 13Evil people enjoy success during their lives. Then they die and go to their grave without suffering. 14But evil people say to God, ‘Leave us alone! We don’t care what you want us to do!’ 15And the evil people say, ‘Who is God All-Powerful? We don’t need to serve him! It won’t help to pray to him!’ 16“It is true, evil people don’t make their own success. I can’t follow their advice. 17But, how often does God blow out the light of evil people? How often does trouble come to the evil people? When does God become angry at them and punish them? 18Does God blow the evil people away, like the wind blows straw, like strong winds blow the grain husks? 19But you say, ‘God punishes a child for his father’s sins.’ No! Let God punish the evil person himself. Then that evil person will know he is being punished for his own sins! 20Let the sinner see his own punishment. Let him feel the anger of God All-Powerful. 21When the evil person’s life is finished, and he is dead, he won’t care about the family he leaves behind. 22“No person can teach knowledge to God. God judges even people in high places. 23One person dies after a full and successful life. He lived a life completely safe and comfortable. 24His body was well fed and his bones were still strong. 25But another person dies after a hard life, with a bitter soul. He never enjoyed anything good. 26In the end, both of those people will lie together in the dirt. The worms will cover them both. 27“But, I know what you are thinking, and I know you want to hurt me. 28You might say: ‘Show me a good man’s house. Now, show me where evil people live.’  29“Surely you have talked with travelers. Surely you will accept their stories. 30Evil people are spared when disaster comes. They survive when God shows his anger. 31Nobody criticizes an evil person to his face for the bad things he did. No person punishes him for the evil he did. 32When that evil person is carried to the grave, a guard will stand near his grave. 33So even the soil in the valley will be pleasant for that evil person. And thousands of people will join the march to his grave. 34“So you can’t comfort me with your empty words. Your answers don’t help at all!”

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