2 “My troubled thoughts force me to answer you. That’s because I’m very upset. 3 What you have just said dishonors me. So I really have to reply to you.
4 “I’m sure you must know how things have always been. They’ve been that way ever since human beings were placed on this earth. 5 Those who are evil are happy for only a short time. The joy of ungodly people lasts only for a moment. 6 Their pride might reach all the way up to the heavens. Their heads might touch the clouds. 7 But they will disappear forever, like the waste from their own bodies. Anyone who has seen them will say, ‘Where did they go?’ 8 Like a dream they will fly away. They will never be seen again. They will be driven away like visions in the night. 9 The eyes that saw them won’t see them anymore. Even their own families won’t remember them. 10 Their children must pay back what they took from poor people. Their own hands must give back the wealth they stole. 11 They might feel young and very strong. But they will soon lie down in the dust of their graves.
12 “Anything that is evil tastes sweet to them. They keep it under their tongues for a while. 13 They can’t stand to let it go. So they hold it in their mouths. 14 But their food will turn sour in their stomachs. It will become like the poison of a serpent inside them. 15 They will spit out the rich food they swallowed. God will make their stomachs throw it up. 16 They will suck the poison of a serpent. The fangs of an adder will kill them. 17 They won’t enjoy streams that flow with honey. They won’t enjoy rivers that flow with cream. 18 What they worked for they must give back before they can eat it. They won’t enjoy what they have earned. 19 They’ve crushed poor people and left them with nothing. They’ve taken over houses they didn’t even build.
20 “No matter how much they have, they always long for more. But their treasure can’t save them. 21 There isn’t anything left for them to eat up. Their success won’t last. 22 While they are enjoying the good life, trouble will catch up with them. Terrible suffering will come on them. 23 When they’ve filled their stomachs, God will pour out his great anger on them. He’ll strike them down with blow after blow. 24 They might run away from iron weapons. But arrows that have bronze tips will wound them. 25 They will pull the arrows out of their backs. They will remove the shining tips from their livers. They will be filled with terror. 26 Total darkness hides and waits for their treasures. God will send a fire that will destroy them. It will burn up everything that’s left in their tents. 27 Heaven will show their guilt to everyone. The earth will be a witness against them. 28 A flood will carry their houses away. Rushing water will wash them away on the day when God judges. 29 Now you know what God will do to sinful people. Now you know what he has planned for them.”
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