The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Job
But Job answered:
Listen, do but listen to me, and then, if you will, repent of your charity;
let me have my say, and then mock on.
It is not as if I bore a grudge against man; I have better reason than that to be indignant.
Mark my complaint well, and you shall be astonished, hold your breath✻ in amazement,
as I too tremble with dismay at the thought of it.
How is it that godless men live on, meet with advancement, enjoy their riches undisturbed?
Long they live, to see their posterity thrive about them, kinsmen and grandsons thronging all around.
Safe and sound their dwelling-place; God’s scourge passes them by;
never bull of theirs failed to gender, cow to calve;
blithe as lambs the little children go out to play;
everywhere is tambour and harp-playing, everywhere the pipe’s merry note.
So, full of ease, their life passes, and they go down at last without a struggle to the grave.
And these are the men who bade God keep his distance from them, refused to learn his will;✻
what right had he, the Omnipotent, to their obedience, what advantage would they gain by offering prayer to him?
These are the godless folk whose counsel I must shun because they cannot command their own good fortune!
Tell me, how often in very deed are the hopes of the wicked extinguished, engulfed by the flood? Does God’s vengeance often deal out misfortune to them,
sweeping them away like chaff before the wind, ashes beneath the storm?
But perhaps God is reserving for the children punishment of their father’s sins? Nay, let the sinner himself feel the retribution when it comes;
his own eyes must see the blow fall, his own lips drink in the divine vengeance!
Little he cares what befalls his posterity after he is gone, though halved be the time of its continuance.
The God that passes judgement on his angels needs none to instruct him!✻
Here is one man goes to his death sound and strong, rich and happy,
well covered with flesh, his bones full of marrow;
another, all misery and poverty,
and he, no less than the other, has dust for bed, worms for coverlet.
Spare me those thoughts I know already, those reasons that would crush me!
What becomes of the tyrant’s palace, of the evil-doer’s home, at last?
Ask any wayfarer (you say) that knows them, and you shall hear the same account of the matter:
The rogue’s villainy is being reserved for future punishment, he is being slowly drawn on to his doom.
Fools, how can anyone bring home his guilt to him now, punish the wrong he did?
He is being slowly drawn on to his tomb, where he shall wait on in the ranks of the dead;
made welcome in the dark valley,✻ whither all men shall follow, as numberless that went before him.
Vain is all your consolation, while the answer you give me matches so ill with truth.
The Holy Bible