Job 20

Zophar Answers

20 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered:

2 “My troubled thoughts cause me to answer,
because I am very upset.
3 You correct me and I am insulted,
but I understand how to answer you.

4 “You know how it has been for a long time,
ever since people were first put on the earth.
5 The happiness of evil people is brief,
and the joy of the wicked lasts only a moment.
6 Their pride may be as high as the heavens,
and their heads may touch the clouds,
7 but they will be gone forever, like their own dung.
People who knew them will say, ‘Where are they?’
8 They will fly away like a dream
and not be found again;
they will be chased away like a vision in the night.
9 Those who saw them will not see them again;
the places where they lived will see them no more.
10 Their children will have to pay back the poor,
and they will have to give up their wealth.
11 They had the strength of their youth in their bones,
but it will lie with them in the dust of death.

12 “Evil may taste sweet in their mouths,
and they may hide it under their tongues.
13 They cannot stand to let go of it;
they keep it in their mouths.
14 But their food will turn sour in their stomachs,
like the poison of a snake inside them.
15 They have swallowed riches, but they will spit them out;
God will make them vomit their riches up.
16 They will suck the poison of snakes,
and the snake’s fangs will kill them.
17 They will not admire the sparkling streams
or the rivers flowing with honey and cream.
18 They must give back what they worked for without eating it;
they will not enjoy the money they made from their trading,
19 because they troubled the poor and left them with nothing.
They have taken houses they did not build.

20 “Evil people never lack an appetite,
and nothing escapes their selfishness.
21 But nothing will be left for them to eat;
their riches will not continue.
22 When they still have plenty, trouble will catch up to them,
and great misery will come down on them.
23 When the wicked fill their stomachs,
God will send his burning anger against them,
and blows of punishment will fall on them like rain.
24 The wicked may run away from an iron weapon,
but a bronze arrow will stab them.
25 They will pull the arrows out of their backs
and pull the points out of their livers.
Terrors will come over them;
26 total darkness waits for their treasure.
A fire not fanned by people will destroy them
and burn up what is left of their tents.
27 The heavens will show their guilt,
and the earth will rise up against them.
28 A flood will carry their houses away,
swept away on the day of God’s anger.
29 This is what God plans for evil people;
this is what he has decided they will receive.”

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