Job 21:7-13 (ESV)
Why do the wicked live, reach old age, and grow mighty in power? Their offspring are established in their presence, and their descendants before their eyes. Their houses are safe from fear, and no rod of God is upon them. Their bull breeds without fail; their cow calves and does not miscarry. They send out their little boys like a flock, and their children dance. They sing to the tambourine and the lyre and rejoice to the sound of the pipe. They spend their days in prosperity, and in peace they go down to Sheol.
Reading the passage in English, I was curious why Job would say the wicked have shalom in Sheol. But the Hebrew word in the verse is actually rega` <07281> meaning "in a moment". From the root word, I would prefer to translate the line:
and in a twinkling they go down to Sheol.
Is this a reasonable translation? Why do the NRSV, NLT, NIV, and others use the word "peace"?
The webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfillment, and delight is what the Hebrew prophets call shalom. We call it peace but it means far more than mere peace of mind or a cease-fire between enemies. In the Bible, shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness and delight—a rich state of affairs in which natural needs are satisfied and natural gifts fruitfully employed, a state of affairs that inspires joyful wonder as its Creator and Savior opens doors and welcomes the creatures in whom he delights. Shalom, in other words, is the way things ought to be.—Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin
Accusing God of allowing the wicked to die quickly and easily doesn't seem out of Job's character, but to say that God delights in them or that they are in a state of wholeness seems a far more radical charge. And to me, that's what using the word "peace" signifies.