Zophar’s Second Speech1
20:1 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered:
20:2 “This is why2 my troubled thoughts bring me back3 –
because of my feelings4 within me.
20:3 When5 I hear a reproof that dishonors6 me,
then my understanding7 prompts me to answer.8
20:4 “Surely you know9 that it has been from old,
ever since humankind was placed10 on the earth,
20:5 that the elation of the wicked is brief,11
the joy of the godless12 lasts but a moment.13
20:6 Even though his stature14 reaches to the heavens
and his head touches the clouds,
20:7 he will perish forever, like his own excrement;15
those who used to see him will say, ‘Where is he?’
20:8 Like a dream he flies away, never again to be found,16
and like a vision of the night he is put to flight.
20:9 People17 who had seen him will not see him again,
and the place where he was
will recognize him no longer.
20:10 His sons must recompense18 the poor;
his own hands19 must return his wealth.
20:11 His bones20 were full of his youthful vigor,21
but that vigor will lie down with him in the dust.
20:12 “If22 evil is sweet in his mouth
and he hides it under his tongue,23
20:13 if he retains it for himself
and does not let it go,
and holds it fast in his mouth,24
20:14 his food is turned sour25 in his stomach;26
it becomes the venom of serpents27 within him.
20:15 The wealth that he consumed28 he vomits up,
God will make him throw it out29 of his stomach.
20:16 He sucks the poison30 of serpents;31
the fangs32 of a viper33 kill him.
20:17 He will not look on the streams,34
the rivers, which are the torrents35
of honey and butter.36
20:18 He gives back the ill-gotten gain37
without assimilating it;38
he will not enjoy the wealth from his commerce.39
20:19 For he has oppressed the poor and abandoned them;40
he has seized a house which he did not build.41
20:20 For he knows no satisfaction in his appetite;42
he does not let anything he desires43 escape.44
20:21 “Nothing is left for him to devour;45
that is why his prosperity does not last.46
20:22 In the fullness of his sufficiency,47
distress48 overtakes him.
the full force of misery will come upon him.49
20:23 “While he is50 filling his belly,
God51 sends his burning anger52 against him,
and rains down his blows upon him.53
20:24 If he flees from an iron weapon,
then an arrow54 from a bronze bow pierces him.
20:25 When he pulls it out55 and it comes out of his back,
the gleaming point56 out of his liver,
terrors come over him.
20:26 Total darkness waits to receive his treasures;57
a fire which has not been kindled58
will consume him
and devour what is left in his tent.
20:27 The heavens reveal his iniquity;
the earth rises up against him.
20:28 A flood will carry off his house,
rushing waters on the day of God’s wrath.
20:29 Such is the lot God allots the wicked,
and the heritage of his appointment59 from God.”