Job 20

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.”

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