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Job 20 Expanded Bible (EXB)

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].”

Expanded Bible (EXB)

The Expanded Bible, Copyright © 2011 Thomas Nelson Inc. All rights reserved.

Job 20 New International Version (NIV)


20 Then Zophar the Naamathite replied:

“My troubled thoughts prompt me to answer
    because I am greatly disturbed.
I hear a rebuke that dishonors me,
    and my understanding inspires me to reply.

“Surely you know how it has been from of old,
    ever since mankind[a] was placed on the earth,
that the mirth of the wicked is brief,
    the joy of the godless lasts but a moment.
Though the pride of the godless person reaches to the heavens
    and his head touches the clouds,
he will perish forever, like his own dung;
    those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’
Like a dream he flies away, no more to be found,
    banished like a vision of the night.
The eye that saw him will not see him again;
    his place will look on him no more.
10 His children must make amends to the poor;
    his own hands must give back his wealth.
11 The youthful vigor that fills his bones
    will lie with him in the dust.

12 “Though evil is sweet in his mouth
    and he hides it under his tongue,
13 though he cannot bear to let it go
    and lets it linger in his mouth,
14 yet his food will turn sour in his stomach;
    it will become the venom of serpents within him.
15 He will spit out the riches he swallowed;
    God will make his stomach vomit them up.
16 He will suck the poison of serpents;
    the fangs of an adder will kill him.
17 He will not enjoy the streams,
    the rivers flowing with honey and cream.
18 What he toiled for he must give back uneaten;
    he will not enjoy the profit from his trading.
19 For he has oppressed the poor and left them destitute;
    he has seized houses he did not build.

20 “Surely he will have no respite from his craving;
    he cannot save himself by his treasure.
21 Nothing is left for him to devour;
    his prosperity will not endure.
22 In the midst of his plenty, distress will overtake him;
    the full force of misery will come upon him.
23 When he has filled his belly,
    God will vent his burning anger against him
    and rain down his blows on him.
24 Though he flees from an iron weapon,
    a bronze-tipped arrow pierces him.
25 He pulls it out of his back,
    the gleaming point out of his liver.
Terrors will come over him;
26     total darkness lies in wait for his treasures.
A fire unfanned will consume him
    and devour what is left in his tent.
27 The heavens will expose his guilt;
    the earth will rise up against him.
28 A flood will carry off his house,
    rushing waters[b] on the day of God’s wrath.
29 Such is the fate God allots the wicked,
    the heritage appointed for them by God.”


  1. Job 20:4 Or Adam
  2. Job 20:28 Or The possessions in his house will be carried off, / washed away
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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