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11 “Can papyrus reeds grow tall without a marsh?
    Can marsh grass flourish without water?
12 While they are still flowering, not ready to be cut,
    they begin to wither more quickly than grass.
13 The same happens to all who forget God.
    The hopes of the godless evaporate.
14 Their confidence hangs by a thread.
    They are leaning on a spider’s web.
15 They cling to their home for security, but it won’t last.
    They try to hold it tight, but it will not endure.
16 The godless seem like a lush plant growing in the sunshine,
    its branches spreading across the garden.
17 Its roots grow down through a pile of stones;
    it takes hold on a bed of rocks.
18 But when it is uprooted,
    it’s as though it never existed!
19 That’s the end of its life,
    and others spring up from the earth to replace it.

20 “But look, God will not reject a person of integrity,
    nor will he lend a hand to the wicked.
21 He will once again fill your mouth with laughter
    and your lips with shouts of joy.
22 Those who hate you will be clothed with shame,
    and the home of the wicked will be destroyed.”

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20 “The wicked writhe in pain throughout their lives.
    Years of trouble are stored up for the ruthless.
21 The sound of terror rings in their ears,
    and even on good days they fear the attack of the destroyer.
22 They dare not go out into the darkness
    for fear they will be murdered.
23 They wander around, saying, ‘Where can I find bread?’[a]
    They know their day of destruction is near.
24 That dark day terrifies them.
    They live in distress and anguish,
    like a king preparing for battle.
25 For they shake their fists at God,
    defying the Almighty.
26 Holding their strong shields,
    they defiantly charge against him.

27 “These wicked people are heavy and prosperous;
    their waists bulge with fat.
28 But their cities will be ruined.
    They will live in abandoned houses
    that are ready to tumble down.
29 Their riches will not last,
    and their wealth will not endure.
    Their possessions will no longer spread across the horizon.

30 “They will not escape the darkness.
    The burning sun will wither their shoots,
    and the breath of God will destroy them.
31 Let them no longer fool themselves by trusting in empty riches,
    for emptiness will be their only reward.
32 They will be cut down in the prime of life;
    their branches will never again be green.
33 They will be like a vine whose grapes are harvested too early,
    like an olive tree that loses its blossoms before the fruit can form.
34 For the godless are barren.
    Their homes, enriched through bribery, will burn.

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Footnotes

  1. 15:23 Greek version reads He is appointed to be food for a vulture.

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