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Job 20 New Century Version (NCV)

Zophar Answers

20 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered:

“My troubled thoughts cause me to answer,
    because I am very upset.
You correct me and I am insulted,
    but I understand how to answer you.

“You know how it has been for a long time,
    ever since people were first put on the earth.
The happiness of evil people is brief,
    and the joy of the wicked lasts only a moment.
Their pride may be as high as the heavens,
    and their heads may touch the clouds,
but they will be gone forever, like their own dung.
    People who knew them will say, ‘Where are they?’
They will fly away like a dream
    and not be found again;
    they will be chased away like a vision in the night.
Those who 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 the poor,
    and they will have to give up 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 let go of it;
    they keep it in their mouths.
14 But their food will turn sour in their stomachs,
    like the poison of a snake inside them.
15 They have swallowed riches, but they will spit them out;
    God will make them vomit their riches up.
16 They will suck the poison of snakes,
    and the snake’s fangs will kill them.
17 They will not admire the sparkling streams
    or the rivers flowing with honey and cream.
18 They must give back what they worked for without eating it;
    they will not enjoy the money they made from their trading,
19 because they troubled the poor and left them with nothing.
    They have taken houses they did not build.

20 “Evil people never lack an appetite,
    and nothing escapes their selfishness.
21 But nothing will be left for them to eat;
    their riches will not continue.
22 When they still have plenty, trouble will catch up to them,
    and great misery 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.
24 The wicked may run away from an iron weapon,
    but a bronze arrow will stab them.
25 They will pull the arrows out of their backs
    and pull the points out of their livers.
Terrors will come over them;
26 total darkness waits for their treasure.
A fire not fanned by people will destroy them
    and burn up what is left of their tents.
27 The heavens will show their guilt,
    and the earth will rise up against them.
28 A flood will carry their houses away,
    swept away on the day of God’s anger.
29 This is what God plans for evil people;
    this is what he has decided they will receive.”

New Century Version (NCV)

The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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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