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.
20:9 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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