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Zophar’s Second Speech72

20:1 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered:

20:2 “This is why1 my troubled thoughts bring me back2

because of my feelings3 within me.

20:3 When4 I hear a reproof that dishonors5 me,

then my understanding6 prompts me to answer.7

20:4 “Surely you know8 that it has been from old,

ever since humankind was placed9 on the earth,

20:5 that the elation of the wicked is brief,10

the joy of the godless11 lasts but a moment.12

20:6 Even though his stature13 reaches to the heavens

and his head touches the clouds,

20:7 he will perish forever, like his own excrement;14

those who used to see him will say, ‘Where is he?’

20:8 Like a dream he flies away, never again to be found,15

and like a vision of the night he is put to flight.

20:People16 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 recompense17 the poor;

his own hands18 must return his wealth.

20:11 His bones19 were full of his youthful vigor,20

but that vigor will lie down with him in the dust.

20:12 “If21 evil is sweet in his mouth

and he hides it under his tongue,22

20:13 if he retains it for himself

and does not let it go,

and holds it fast in his mouth,23

20:14 his food is turned sour24 in his stomach;25

it becomes the venom of serpents26 within him.

20:15 The wealth that he consumed27 he vomits up,

God will make him throw it out28 of his stomach.

20:16 He sucks the poison29 of serpents;30

the fangs31 of a viper32 kill him.

20:17 He will not look on the streams,33

the rivers, which are the torrents34

of honey and butter.35

20:18 He gives back the ill-gotten gain36

without assimilating it;37

he will not enjoy the wealth from his commerce.38

20:19 For he has oppressed the poor and abandoned them;39

he has seized a house which he did not build.40

20:20 For he knows no satisfaction in his appetite;41

he does not let anything he desires42 escape.43

20:21 “Nothing is left for him to devour;44

that is why his prosperity does not last.45

20:22 In the fullness of his sufficiency,46

distress47 overtakes him.

the full force of misery will come upon him.48

20:23 “While he is49 filling his belly,

God50 sends his burning anger51 against him,

and rains down his blows upon him.52

20:24 If he flees from an iron weapon,

then an arrow53 from a bronze bow pierces him.

20:25 When he pulls it out54 and it comes out of his back,

the gleaming point55 out of his liver,

terrors come over him.

20:26 Total darkness waits to receive his treasures;56

a fire which has not been kindled57

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 appointment58 from God.”


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