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Zophar Speaks: Wickedness Receives Just Retribution

20 Then Zophar the Na′amathite answered:

“Therefore my thoughts answer me,
    because of my haste within me.
I hear censure which insults me,
    and out of my understanding a spirit answers me.
Do you not know this from of old,
    since man was placed upon earth,
that the exulting of the wicked is short,
    and the joy of the godless but for a moment?
Though his height mount up to the heavens,
    and his head reach to the clouds,
he will perish for ever like his own dung;
    those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’
He will fly away like a dream, and not be found;
    he will be chased away like a vision of the night.
The eye which saw him will see him no more,
    nor will his place any more behold him.
10 His children will seek the favor of the poor,
    and his hands will give back his wealth.
11 His bones are full of youthful vigor,
    but it will lie down with him in the dust.

12 “Though wickedness is sweet in his mouth,
    though he hides it under his tongue,
13 though he is loath to let it go,
    and holds it in his mouth,
14 yet his food is turned in his stomach;
    it is the gall of asps within him.
15 He swallows down riches and vomits them up again;
    God casts them out of his belly.
16 He will suck the poison of asps;
    the tongue of a viper will kill him.
17 He will not look upon the rivers,
    the streams flowing with honey and curds.
18 He will give back the fruit of his toil,
    and will not swallow it down;
from the profit of his trading
    he will get no enjoyment.
19 For he has crushed and abandoned the poor,
    he has seized a house which he did not build.

20 “Because his greed knew no rest,
    he will not save anything in which he delights.
21 There was nothing left after he had eaten;
    therefore his prosperity will not endure.
22 In the fulness of his sufficiency he will be in straits;
    all the force of misery will come upon him.
23 To fill his belly to the full
    God[a] will send his fierce anger into him,
    and rain it upon him as his food.[b]
24 He will flee from an iron weapon;
    a bronze arrow will strike him through.
25 It is drawn forth and comes out of his body,
    the glittering point comes out of his gall;
    terrors come upon him.
26 Utter darkness is laid up for his treasures;
    a fire not blown upon will devour him;
    what is left in his tent will be consumed.
27 The heavens will reveal his iniquity,
    and the earth will rise up against him.
28 The possessions of his house will be carried away,
    dragged off in the day of God’s[c] wrath.
29 This is the wicked man’s portion from God,
    the heritage decreed for him by God.”


  1. Job 20:23 Heb he
  2. Job 20:23 Cn: Heb in his flesh
  3. Job 20:28 Heb his

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