2 Therefore do my thoughts give me an answer, and I make haste [to offer it] for this reason.
3 I have heard the reproof which puts me to shame, but out of my understanding my spirit answers me.
4 Do you not know from of old, since the time that man was placed on the earth,
5 That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the godless and defiled is but for a moment?
6 Though his [proud] height mounts up to the heavens and his head reaches to the clouds,
7 Yet he will perish forever like his own dung; those who have seen him will say, Where is he?
8 He will fly away like a dream and will not be found; yes, he will be chased away as a vision of the night.
9 The eye which saw him will see him no more, neither will his [accustomed] place any more behold him.
10 The poor will oppress his children, and his hands will give back his [ill-gotten] wealth.
11 His bones are full of youthful energy, 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 but keeps it still within his mouth,
14 Yet his food turns [to poison] in his stomach; it is the venom of asps within him.
15 He has swallowed down [his ill-gotten] riches, and he shall vomit them up again; God will cast them out of his belly.
16 He shall suck the poison of asps [which ill-gotten wealth contains]; the viper’s tongue shall slay him.
17 He shall not look upon the rivers, the flowing streams of honey and butter [to enjoy his wealth].
18 That which he labored for shall he give back and shall not swallow it down [to enjoy it]; according to his wealth shall the restitution be, and he shall not rejoice in it.
19 For he has oppressed and forsaken the poor; he has violently taken away a house which he did not build.
20 Because his desire and greed knew no quietness within him, he will not save anything of that in which he delights.
21 There was nothing left that he did not devour; therefore his prosperity will not endure.
22 In the fullness of his sufficiency [in the time of his great abundance] he shall be poor and in straits; every hand of everyone who is in misery shall come upon him [he is but a wretch on every side].
23 When he is about to fill his belly [as in the wilderness when God sent the quails], God will cast the fierceness of His wrath upon him and will rain it upon him while he is eating.
24 He will flee from the iron weapon, but the bow of bronze shall strike him through.
25 [The arrow] is drawn forth and it comes out after passing through his body; yes, the glittering point comes out of his gall. Terrors march in upon him;
26 Every misfortune is laid up for his treasures. A fire not blown by man shall devour him; it shall consume what is left in his tent [and it shall go ill with him who remains there].
27 The heavens shall reveal his iniquity, and the earth shall rise up against him.
28 The produce and increase of his house will go into exile [with the victors], dragged away in the day of [God’s] wrath.
29 This is the wicked man’s portion from God, and the heritage appointed to him by God.
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