2 “A wise person would not answer with empty words or fill his stomach with the hot east wind. 3 He would not argue with useless words or make speeches that have no value. 4 But you even destroy respect for God and limit the worship of him. 5 Your sin teaches your mouth what to say; you use words to trick others. 6 It is your own mouth, not mine, that shows you are wicked; your own lips testify against you.
7 “You are not the first man ever born; you are not older than the hills. 8 You did not listen in on God’s secret council. But you limit wisdom to yourself. 9 You don’t know any more than we know. You don’t understand any more than we understand. 10 Old people with gray hair are on our side; they are even older than your father. 11 Is the comfort God gives you not enough for you, even when words are spoken gently to you? 12 Has your heart carried you away from God? Why do your eyes flash with anger? 13 Why do you speak out your anger against God? Why do these words pour out of your mouth?
14 “How can anyone be pure? How can someone born to a woman be good? 15 God places no trust in his holy ones, and even the heavens are not pure in his eyes. 16 How much less pure is one who is terrible and rotten and drinks up evil as if it were water!
17 “Listen to me, and I will tell you about it; I will tell you what I have seen. 18 These are things wise men have told; their ancestors told them, and they have hidden nothing. 19 (The land was given to their fathers only, and no foreigner lived among them.) 20 The wicked suffer pain all their lives; the cruel suffer during all the years saved up for them. 21 Terrible sounds fill their ears, and when things seem to be going well, robbers attack them. 22 Evil people give up trying to escape from the darkness; it has been decided that they will die by the sword. 23 They wander around and will become food for vultures. They know darkness will soon come. 24 Worry and suffering terrify them; they overwhelm them, like a king ready to attack, 25 because they shake their fists at God and try to get their own way against the Almighty. 26 They stubbornly charge at God with thick, strong shields.
27 “Although the faces of the wicked are thick with fat, and their bellies are fat with flesh, 28 they will live in towns that are ruined, in houses where no one lives, which are crumbling into ruins. 29 The wicked will no longer get rich, and the riches they have will not last; the things they own will no longer spread over the land. 30 They will not escape the darkness. A flame will dry up their branches; God’s breath will carry the wicked away. 31 The wicked should not fool themselves by trusting what is useless. If they do, they will get nothing in return. 32 Their branches will dry up before they finish growing and will never turn green. 33 They will be like a vine whose grapes are pulled off before they are ripe, like an olive tree that loses its blossoms. 34 People without God can produce nothing. Fire will destroy the tents of those who take money to do evil, 35 who plan trouble and give birth to evil, whose hearts plan ways to trick others.”
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