Zophar Answers Job
20 Then Zophar from Naamah answered:
2 “You upset me, so I must answer you.
I must tell you what I am thinking.
3 You insulted me with your answers!
But I am wise and know how to answer you.
4-5 “You know that the joy of the wicked does not last long.
That has been true a long time, ever since Adam was[a] put on earth.
Those who don’t know God are happy for only a short time.
6 Maybe an evil man’s pride will reach up to the sky,
and his head will touch the clouds.
7 But he will be gone forever like his own body waste.
People who knew him will say, ‘Where is he?’
8 Like a dream, he will fly away, never to be found.
He will be chased away like a bad dream.[b]
9 Those who knew him before will not see him again.
His family will never again get to see him.
10 His children will have to give back what he took from the poor.
His own hands will give up his wealth.
11 When he was young, his bones were strong,
but, like the rest of his body, they will soon lie in the dirt.
12 “Evil tastes sweet in his mouth.
He keeps it under his tongue to enjoy it fully.
13 He hates to let it go
and holds it in his mouth.
14 But that evil will turn sour in his stomach.
It will be like a snake’s bitter poison inside him.
15 The evil man will spit out the riches he has swallowed.
God will make him vomit them up.
16 What he drank will be like a snake’s poison;
it will kill him like the bite of a deadly snake.
17 He will never again enjoy so much wealth—
rivers flowing with honey and cream.[c]
18 He will be forced to give back his profits.
He will not be allowed to enjoy what he worked for,
19 because he hurt the poor and left them with nothing.
He took houses he did not build.
20 “The evil man is never satisfied.
But the things he wants cannot save him.
21 After filling himself, there is nothing left.
His success will not continue.
22 Even while he has plenty, he will be pressed down with trouble.
His problems will come down on him!
23 If he does get all he wants,
God will throw his burning anger against him.
God will attack him and rain down punishment on him.
24 Maybe he will run away from an iron sword,
but then a bronze arrow[d] will strike him down.
25 It will go through his body
and stick out of his back.
Its shining point will pierce his liver,
and he will be shocked with terror.
26 All his treasures will be lost in darkness.
He will be destroyed by a fire, a fire that no human started.
It will destroy everything left in his house.
27 Heaven will prove that he is guilty.
The earth will be a witness against him.
28 His house and everything in it will be carried away
in the flood of God’s anger.
29 That is what God will do to those who are evil.
That is what he plans to give them.”
- Job 20:4 Adam was Or “people were.”
- Job 20:8 bad dream Or “vision of the night.”
- Job 20:17 rivers … cream A figure meaning a plentiful supply of rich food. The word translated “cream” could mean butter, curds, or yogurt.
- Job 20:24 bronze arrow Literally, “bronze bow.” Or “powerful bow,” possibly a bow made of sinew, wood and horn.