Job 20

Zophar Speaks

1Then Zophar the Naamathite replied:

2This is why my unsettling thoughts compel me to answer,

because I am upset!

3I have heard a rebuke that insults me,

and my understanding makes me reply.

4Don’t you know that ever since antiquity,

from the time a human was placed on earth,

5the joy of the wicked has been brief

and the happiness of the godless has lasted only a moment?

6Though his arrogance reaches heaven,

and his head touches the clouds,

7he will vanish forever like his own dung.

Those who know him will ask, “Where is he?”

8He will fly away like a dream and never be found;

he will be chased away like a vision in the night.

9The eye that saw him will see him no more,

and his household will no longer see him.

10His children will beg from the poor,

for his own hands must give back his wealth.

11His frame may be full of youthful vigor,

but it will lie down with him in dust.

12Though evil tastes sweet in his mouth

and he conceals it under his tongue,

13though he cherishes it and will not let it go

but keeps it in his mouth,

14yet the food in his stomach turns

into cobras’ venom inside him.

15He swallows wealth but must vomit it up;

God will force it from his stomach.

16He will suck the poison of cobras;

a viper’s fangs will kill him.

17He will not enjoy the streams,

the rivers flowing with honey and curds.

18He must return the fruit of his labor without consuming it;

he doesn’t enjoy the profits from his trading.

19For he oppressed and abandoned the poor;

he seized a house he did not build.

20Because his appetite is never satisfied,

he does not let anything he desires escape.

21Nothing is left for him to consume;

therefore, his prosperity will not last.

22At the height of his success distress will come to him;

the full weight of misery will crush him.

23When he fills his stomach,

God will send his burning anger against him,

raining it down on him while he is eating.

24If he flees from an iron weapon,

an arrow from a bronze bow will pierce him.

25He pulls it out of his back,

the flashing tip out of his liver.

Terrors come over him.

26Total darkness is reserved for his treasures.

A fire unfanned by human hands will consume him;

it will feed on what is left in his tent.

27The heavens will expose his iniquity,

and the earth will rise up against him.

28The possessions in his house will be removed,

flowing away on the day of God’s anger.

29This is the wicked person’s lot from God,

the inheritance God ordained for him.