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Zophar Speaks: Wickedness Receives Just Retribution

20 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered:

“Listen! My thoughts urge me to answer
    because of the agitation within me.
I hear censure that insults me,
    and a spirit beyond my understanding answers me.(A)
Do you not know this from of old,
    ever since mortals were placed on earth,(B)
that the exulting of the wicked is short
    and the joy of the godless is but for a moment?(C)
Even though they mount up high as the heavens
    and their head reaches to the clouds,(D)
they will perish forever like their own dung;
    those who have seen them will say, ‘Where are they?’
They will fly away like a dream and not be found;
    they will be chased away like a vision of the night.(E)
The eye that saw them will see them no more,
    nor will their place behold them any longer.(F)
10 Their children will seek the favor of the poor,
    and their hands will give back their wealth.(G)
11 Their bodies, once full of youth,
    will lie down in the dust with them.(H)

12 “Though wickedness is sweet in their mouth,
    though they hide it under their tongues,(I)
13 though they are loath to let it go
    and hold it in their mouths,
14 yet their food is turned in their stomachs;
    it is the venom of asps within them.
15 They swallow down riches and vomit them up again;
    God casts them out of their bellies.
16 They will suck the poison of asps;
    the tongue of a viper will kill them.(J)
17 They will not look on the rivers,
    the streams flowing with honey and curds.(K)
18 They will give back the fruit of their toil
    and will not swallow it down;
from the profit of their trading
    they will get no enjoyment.(L)
19 For they have crushed and abandoned the poor;
    they have seized a house that they did not build.(M)

20 “For they knew no quiet in their bellies;
    in their greed they let nothing escape.(N)
21 There was nothing left after they had eaten;
    therefore their prosperity will not endure.(O)
22 In full sufficiency they will be in distress;
    all the force of misery will come upon them.
23 To fill their belly to the full,
    God[a] will send his fierce anger into them
    and rain it upon them as their food.(P)
24 They will flee from an iron weapon;
    a bronze arrow will strike them through.(Q)
25 It is drawn forth and comes out of their body,
    and the glittering point comes out of their gall;
    terrors come upon them.(R)
26 Utter darkness is laid up for their treasures;
    a fire fanned by no one will devour them;
    what is left in their tent will be consumed.(S)
27 The heavens will reveal their iniquity,
    and the earth will rise up against them.(T)
28 The possessions of their house will be carried away,
    dragged off in the day of God’s[b] wrath.(U)
29 This is the portion of the wicked from God,
    the heritage decreed for them by God.”(V)

Job Replies: The Wicked Often Go Unpunished

21 Then Job answered:

“Listen carefully to my words,
    and let this be your consolation.
Bear with me, and I will speak;
    then after I have spoken, mock on.(W)
As for me, is my complaint addressed to mortals?
    Why should I not be impatient?(X)
Look at me and be appalled,
    and lay your hand upon your mouth.(Y)
When I think of it I am dismayed,
    and shuddering seizes my flesh.
Why do the wicked live on,
    reach old age, and grow mighty in power?(Z)
Their children are established in their presence
    and their offspring before their eyes.(AA)
Their houses are safe from fear,
    and no rod of God is upon them.(AB)
10 Their bull breeds without fail;
    their cow calves and never miscarries.(AC)
11 They send out their little ones like a flock,
    and their children dance around.
12 They sing to the tambourine and the lyre
    and rejoice to the sound of the pipe.(AD)
13 They spend their days in prosperity,
    and in peace they go down to Sheol.(AE)
14 They say to God, ‘Leave us alone!
    We do not desire to know your ways.(AF)
15 What is the Almighty,[c] that we should serve him?
    And what profit do we get if we pray to him?’(AG)
16 Is not their prosperity indeed their own achievement?[d]
    The plans of the wicked are repugnant to me.(AH)

17 “How often is the lamp of the wicked put out?
    How often does calamity come upon them?
    How often does God[e] distribute pains in his anger?(AI)
18 How often are they like straw before the wind
    and like chaff that the storm carries away?(AJ)
19 You say, ‘God stores up their iniquity for their children.’
    Let it be paid back to them, so that they may know it.(AK)
20 Let their own eyes see their destruction,
    and let them drink of the wrath of the Almighty.[f](AL)
21 For what do they care for their household after them,
    when the number of their months is cut off?
22 Will any teach God knowledge,
    seeing that he judges those who are on high?(AM)
23 One dies in full prosperity,
    being wholly at ease and secure,
24 his loins full of milk
    and the marrow of his bones moist.
25 Another dies in bitterness of soul,
    never having tasted of good.
26 They lie down alike in the dust,
    and the worms cover them.(AN)

27 “Oh, I know your thoughts
    and your schemes to wrong me.
28 For you say, ‘Where is the house of the prince?
    Where is the tent in which the wicked lived?’(AO)
29 Have you not asked those who travel the roads,
    and do you not accept their testimony,
30 that the wicked are spared in the day of calamity
    and are rescued in the day of wrath?(AP)
31 Who declares their way to their face,
    and who repays them for what they have done?
32 When they are carried to the grave,
    a watch is kept over their tomb.
33 The clods of the valley are sweet to them;
    everyone will follow after,
    and those who went before are innumerable.(AQ)
34 How then will you comfort me with empty nothings?
    There is nothing left of your answers but falsehood.”


  1. 20.23 Heb he
  2. 20.28 Heb his
  3. 21.15 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  4. 21.16 Heb in their hand
  5. 21.17 Heb he
  6. 21.20 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai

24 The following day they came to Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 On Peter’s arrival, Cornelius met him and, falling at his feet, worshiped him. 26 But Peter made him get up, saying, “Stand up; I am only a mortal.”(A) 27 And as he talked with him, he went in and found that many had assembled, 28 and he said to them, “You yourselves know that it is improper for a Jew to associate with or to visit an outsider, but God has shown me that I should not call anyone profane or unclean.(B) 29 So when I was sent for, I came without objection. Now may I ask why you sent for me?”

30 Cornelius replied, “Four days ago at this very hour, at three o’clock, I was praying in my house when suddenly a man in dazzling clothes stood before me. 31 He said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your alms have been remembered before God. 32 Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon, who is called Peter; he is staying in the home of Simon, a tanner, by the sea.’ 33 Therefore I sent for you immediately, and you have been kind enough to come. So now all of us are here in the presence of God to listen to all that the Lord has commanded you to say.”

Gentiles Hear the Good News

34 Then Peter began to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality,(C) 35 but in every people anyone who fears him and practices righteousness[a] is acceptable to him.(D) 36 You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all.(E) 37 That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.(F) 39 We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree,(G) 40 but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear,(H) 41 not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.(I) 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead.(J) 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”(K)

Gentiles Receive the Holy Spirit

44 While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word.(L) 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the gentiles,(M) 46 for they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter said, 47 “Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”(N) 48 So he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they invited him to stay for several days.(O)

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  1. 10.35 Or acts justly