2 “Therefore my anxious thoughts cause me to answer because I’m agitated within me. 3 Whenever I hear an insulting rebuke, I respond from my spirit because I understand.”
Destruction Awaits the Wicked
4 “Haven’t you known this from ancient times, since mankind was placed on the earth? 5 The wicked triumph only briefly; the joy of the godless is momentary. 6 Though he grow as tall as the sky, or though his head touches the clouds, 7 he’ll perish forever, like his own excrement; those who saw him will ask, ‘Where is he?’ 8 He’ll vanish[a] like a dream, and no one will find him; he will be chased away like a night vision.”
9 “An eye that gazes at him won’t do so again; and his place won’t even recognize him. 10 His sons will make amends to the poor; their hands will return his wealth. 11 Though his bones were full of youthful vigor; yet they will lie down with him in the dust. 12 Though evil tastes sweet in his mouth, though he conceals it under his tongue, 13 though he savors it and delays swallowing it so he can taste it again and again in his mouth,[b] 14 his food will turn rancid in his stomach— it will become a cobra’s poison inside him.
15 “Though he swallows wealth, he will vomit it; God will dislodge it from his stomach. 16 He will suck the poison of cobras; the fangs[c] of a viper will slay him. 17 He won’t look at the rivers— the torrents of honey and curd.[d]
18 “He will restore what he has attained from his work and won’t consume it; he won’t enjoy the profits from his business transactions, 19 because he has crushed and abandoned the poor; he has seized a house that he didn’t build.
20 “Since his appetite won’t quit;[e] he won’t let anything escape his lust.[f] 21 Because nothing was left for him to devour, therefore his prosperity won’t last. 22 Even though he is satiated and self-sufficient, he suffers— everyone in any sort of trouble will attack him.
23 “It will come about that, when he has filled himself to the full, God[g] will vent his burning anger on him; he will pour it out on him and on his body. 24 Though he dodges an iron weapon, a bronze arrow will pierce him. 25 It will impale him and come out through his back; the point will glisten as it protrudes through his gall bladder, and he will be terrified.
26 “Total darkness has been reserved for his treasures; a fire that has no need to be kindled will devour him and consume whatever remains in his possession.[h] 27 Heaven will reveal his iniquity, while the earth will rise up against him. 28 A flood will wash away his house; dragging it away when God becomes angry. 29 This is what the wicked person inherits from God; it is the inheritance that God appoints for him.”
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