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Job 20 Common English Bible (CEB)

Traditional belief

20 Zophar from Naamah said:

Therefore, my troubled thoughts make me turn back—
    because of my inner turmoil.
I hear teaching that insults me,
    but I am forced to answer based on my own understanding.[a]
Do you know this from long ago—
        from when humans were placed on earth—
    that the rejoicing of the wicked is short,
        the joy of the godless, brief?
Though their height reaches heaven
    and their heads touch the clouds,
    they will perish forever like their dung;
    those who saw them will say, “Where are they?”
They will disappear like a dream,
        and none will find them,
    carried away like a nighttime vision.
The eye that saw them will do so no more;
    they won’t be seen again at home.
10 Their children will repay the poor;
    their hands will give back their wealth.
11 Vigor filled their bones
    and now sleeps with them in the dust.
12 Though wickedness is sweet in their mouths,
    they hide it under their tongues;
13     they like it, won’t let it go;
    they hold it in their cheeks.
14 Food turns their stomachs,
    becoming a cobra’s poison inside.
15 They swallow wealth and vomit it;
    God dislodges it from their belly.
16 They suck cobra’s poison;
    a viper’s tongue kills them.
17 They won’t experience streams,
    rivers of honey, and brooks of cream.
18 They won’t receive the reward for their labor;
    they won’t enjoy the wealth from their business.
19 They crushed and abandoned the poor;
    stole a house they didn’t build;
20     didn’t know contentment in their belly;
    couldn’t escape with their treasure.
21 Nothing remained of their food,
    so their riches will not endure.
22 Even in their plenty, they are hard-pressed;
    all sorts of trouble come on them.
23 Let God[b] fill their belly,
    unleash his burning anger on them,
    rain punishing blows on them.
24 If they flee an iron weapon,
    a bronze bow pierces them.
25 They pull it out, but it sticks out from their backs;
    its shaft in their liver brings terror.
26 Complete darkness waits for their treasured possessions;
    fire that no one stoked consumes them;
        what’s left in their tent is ruined.
27 Heaven exposes their guilt;
    earth opposes them.
28 Their household wealth will be carried off
    by rushing streams on the day of his anger.
29 This is a wicked person’s lot from God,
    their heritage decreed by God.


  1. Job 20:3 Heb uncertain
  2. Job 20:23 Or him
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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