2 “My disturbing thoughts make me answer, and because of them I am upset. 3 I have heard criticism that makes me ashamed, but a spirit beyond my understanding gives me answers.
A Wicked Person’s Joy Is Short, His Pain Long
4 “Don’t you know that from ancient times, from the time humans were placed on earth, 5 the triumph of the wicked is short-lived, and the joy of the godless person lasts only a moment? 6 If his height reaches to the sky and his head touches the clouds, 7 he will certainly rot[a] like his own feces. Those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’ 8 He will fly away like a dream and not be found. He will be chased away like a vision in the night. 9 Eyes that saw him will see him no more. His home will not look at him again. 10 His children will have to ask the poor for help. His own hands will have to give back his wealth. 11 His bones, once full of youthful vigor, will lie down with him in the dust.
12 “Though evil is sweet in his mouth and he hides it under his tongue. . . . 13 Though he savors it and won’t let go of it and he holds it on the roof of his mouth, 14 the food in his belly turns sour. It becomes snake venom in his stomach. 15 He vomits up the riches that he swallowed. God forces them out of his stomach. 16 The godless person sucks the poison of snakes. A viper’s fang kills him. 17 He won’t be able to drink from the streams or from the rivers of honey and buttermilk. 18 He will give back what he earned without enjoying it. He will get no joy from the profits of his business 19 because he crushed and abandoned the poor. He has taken by force a house that he didn’t build. 20 He will never know peace in his heart. He will never allow anything he desires to escape his grasp. 21 “Nothing is left for him to eat. His prosperity won’t last. 22 Even with all his wealth the full force of misery comes down on him. 23 Let that misery fill his belly. God throws his burning anger at the godless person and makes his wrath come down on him like rain. 24 If that person flees from an iron weapon, a bronze bow will pierce him. 25 He pulls it out, and it comes out of his back. The glittering point comes out of his gallbladder.
“Terrors come quickly to the godless person: 26 Total darkness waits in hiding for his treasure. A fire that no one fans will burn him. Whatever is left in his tent will be devoured. 27 Heaven exposes his sin. Earth rises up against him. 28 A flood will sweep away his house, a flash flood on the day of his anger. 29 This is the reward God gives to the wicked person, the inheritance God has appointed for him.”
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