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Zophar Answers

20 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered:

“My ·troubled thoughts [distress; worries] cause me to ·answer [respond],
    because ·I am very upset [L of the agitation within me].
You ·correct [instruct] me and I am ·insulted [shamed],
    but ·I understand how to answer you [or a spirit beyond my understanding gives me an answer].

“·You [L Do you not…?] know how it has been ·for a long time [since time immemorial],
    ever since ·people were first put [or he put people] on the earth.
The ·happiness [luxuriance; enjoyment] of evil people is brief,
    and the joy of the ·wicked [L godless] lasts only a moment.
·Their pride may be [L They may go] as high as the heavens,
    and their heads may touch the clouds,
but they will ·be gone [perish] forever, like their own dung.
    People who ·knew [L saw] them will say, ‘Where are they?’
They will fly away like a dream
    and not be found again;
    they will be ·chased away [put to flight] like a vision in the night.
·Those who [L The eye that] 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 [or run after] the poor,
    and ·they will have to give up [L their hand will return] 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 [L fight/linger over it and do not] let go of it;
    they ·keep it in their mouths [L hide it under their tongues].
14 But their food ·will turn sour [L turns over] in their stomachs,
    like the poison of a ·snake [asp] inside them.
15 They have swallowed riches, but they will ·spit [vomit] them out;
    God will make them ·vomit [disgorge] ·their riches up [L it from their bellies; Prov. 11:4; 21:6].
16 They will suck the poison of ·snakes [asps],
    and the ·snake’s fangs [L viper’s tongue] will kill them.
17 They will not ·admire [L look at] ·the sparkling streams [or streams of oil]
    or the rivers flowing with honey and ·cream [or butter; or curds].
18 They must give back ·what they worked for [their gains] ·without eating it [unswallowed];
    they will not enjoy the ·money they made from their trading [or benefit of their reward],
19 because they ·troubled the poor and left them with nothing [L crushed and abandoned the poor].
    They have ·taken [stolen] houses they did not build [Prov. 28:27; 29:7].

20 “Evil people never ·lack an appetite [L experience ease/comfort in their bellies],
    and nothing ·escapes their selfishness [L they covet escapes them].
21 But nothing will be left ·for them to eat [or after they eat];
    their riches will not continue.
22 When they still have plenty, ·trouble will catch up to them [L they will have distress],
    and ·great misery [L all the force/hand of trouble] 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 [or raining it on them like their food].
24 The wicked may run away from an iron weapon,
    but a bronze ·arrow [L bow] will ·stab [pierce] them.
25 They will pull the arrows out of their backs
    and pull the points out of their ·livers [L gall bladders].
·Terrors [Dread] will come over them;
26     total darkness ·waits for their treasure [or is stored up for them].
A fire not fanned by people [C perhaps lightning] will ·destroy [L consume] them
    and ·burn up [L horrible things will happen to] ·what is left of [or the survivors in] their tents.
27 The heavens will ·show [reveal] their guilt,
    and the earth will rise up against them.
28 ·A flood will carry their houses away [or The possessions of their house will be taken away],
    ·swept away [L like the torrents] on the day of God’s anger.
29 This is ·what God plans for evil [L the lot/fate of guilty] people;
    ·this is what he has decided they will receive [L the inheritance decreed by God].”