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Zophar’s Second Speech

20 Then[a] Zophar the Naamathite answered and said,

“Therefore my disquieting thoughts bring me back
for the sake of[b] my inward excitement.[c]
I hear discipline that insults me,
and a spirit beyond my understanding answers me.
“Did you[d] know this from of old,
since the setting of the human being on earth,
that the rejoicing of the wicked is short,[e]
and the joy of the godless lasts only a moment?[f]
Even though his stature mounts up to the heaven,
and his head reaches to the clouds,
he will perish forever like his dung;
those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’
He will fly away like a dream, and they will not find him,
and he will be chased away like a vision of the night.
The eye that saw him will not see him again,[g]
and his place will no longer behold him.
10 His children will seek favors from the poor,
and his hands will return his wealth.
11 His bones were full of his vigor,
but[h] it will lie down with him on[i] the dust.
12 “Though wickedness tastes sweet in his mouth,
and he hides it under his tongue,
13 though he spares it and does not let it go
and holds it back in the midst of his palate,
14 in his bowels his food is turned,
the venom of horned vipers is within him.[j]
15 He swallows riches, but[k] he vomits them[l] up;
God drives them[m] out from his stomach.
16 He will suck the poison of horned vipers;
the viper’s tongue will kill him.
17 He will not enjoy the streams,[n]
the torrents of honey and curds.
18 Returning the products of his toil, he will not swallow;[o]
according to the profit of his trade, he will not enjoy,[p]
19 for he has oppressed; he has abandoned the poor;
he has seized a house but[q] did not build it.
20 Because he has not known satisfaction in his stomach,
he lets nothing escape that he desires.[r]
21 There is nothing left after he has eaten;[s]
therefore his prosperity will not endure.
22 In the fullness of his excess he will be in distress;[t]
all of misery’s power will come upon him.
23 When his stomach fills up,[u] God will send his burning anger[v] upon him,
and he will let it rain down upon him[w] as his food.
24 “He will flee from an iron weapon,
but an arrow of bronze will pierce him.
25 He draws it forth, and it comes out from his body,
and the glittering point comes from his gall-bladder;
terrors come upon him.
26 Total darkness[x] is hidden for his treasures;[y]
an unfanned fire[z] will devour him;
the remnant[aa] will be consumed[ab] in his tent.
27 The heavens will reveal his guilt,
and the earth will rise up against him.
28 The products of his house will be carried away[ac]
like gushing waters[ad] on the day of his wrath.
29 This is a wicked human being’s portion from God
and the inheritance of his decree from God.”[ae]


  1. Job 20:1 Hebrew “And”
  2. Job 20:2 Literally “and in because of”
  3. Job 20:2 Or “my inward haste”
  4. Job 20:4 Singular
  5. Job 20:5 Literally “from near”
  6. Job 20:5 Literally “is until a moment”
  7. Job 20:9 Literally “and it will not do again”
  8. Job 20:11 Hebrew “and”
  9. Job 20:11 Or “in”
  10. Job 20:14 Literally “in his entrails”
  11. Job 20:15 Hebrew “and”
  12. Job 20:15 Hebrew “it”
  13. Job 20:15 Hebrew “it”
  14. Job 20:17 Literally “He will not look on streams”
  15. Job 20:18 Hebrew “and he will not swallow”
  16. Job 20:18 Literally “and he will not taste”
  17. Job 20:19 Or “and”
  18. Job 20:20 Literally “in his desire he does not let be saved”
  19. Job 20:21 Literally “There is not a remnant at his eating”
  20. Job 20:22 Literally “it will be in distress for him”
  21. Job 20:23 Literally “It will be to fill up his stomach”
  22. Job 20:23 Literally “the blaze of his nose/anger”
  23. Job 20:23 Or “them”
  24. Job 20:26 Literally “All darkness”
  25. Job 20:26 Or “His treasures are hidden by total darkness”
  26. Job 20:26 Literally “a fire not fanned”
  27. Job 20:26 Of his treasures
  28. Job 20:26 Literally “will be evil,” or “will be bad”
  29. Job 20:28 Or “the produce of his house will go away into exile”
  30. Job 20:28 Or “by gushing waters”
  31. Job 20:29 Or “and the inheritance decreed for him by God” (compare ESV, NJPS)