20 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said,
“Therefore my disquieting thoughts make me answer,
Because of the uneasiness that is within me.
“I have heard the reproof which insults me,
But the spirit of my understanding makes me answer.
“Do you not know this from the old days,
Since the time that man was placed on the earth,
That the triumphing of the wicked is short,
And the joy of the godless is only for a moment?
“Though his pride reaches the heavens
And his head touches the clouds,
Yet he perishes forever like his own refuse;
Those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’
“He flies away like a dream and cannot be found;
Yes, he is chased away like a vision of the night.
“The eye which saw him sees him no longer,
Neither does his [accustomed] place behold him any longer.
“His sons favor the poor [and pay his obligations],
And his hands give back his [ill-gotten] wealth.
“His bones are full of youthful strength
But it lies down with him in the dust.
“Though evil and wickedness are sweet in his mouth
And he hides it under his tongue,
Though he desires it and will not let it go
But holds it in his mouth,
Yet his food turns [to poison] in his stomach;
It is the venom of vipers within him.
“He swallows [his ill-gotten] riches,
But will vomit them up;
God will drive them out of his belly.
“He sucks the poison of vipers [which ill-gotten wealth contains];
The viper’s tongue slays him.
“He does not look at the rivers,
The flowing streams of honey and butter [to enjoy his wealth].
“He gives back what he has labored for and attained
And cannot swallow it [down to enjoy it];
As to the riches of his labor,
He cannot even enjoy them.
“For he has oppressed and neglected the poor;
He has violently taken away houses which he did not build.
“Because he knew no quietness or calm within him [because of his greed],
He does not retain anything he desires.
“There is nothing left of what he devoured;
Therefore his prosperity does not endure.
“In the fullness of his excess (great abundance) he will be in trouble;
The hand of everyone who suffers will come against him [he is miserable on every side].
“When he fills his belly,
God will send His fierce anger on him
And will rain it upon him while he is eating.
“He may flee from the iron weapon,
But the bow of bronze will pierce him through.
“The arrow is drawn forth and it comes out of his back [after passing through his body];
Yes, the glittering point comes out of his gall.
Terrors march in upon him;
Complete darkness (misfortune) is held in reserve for his treasures.
An unfanned fire will devour him;
It will consume the survivor in his tent.
“The heavens will reveal his wickedness and guilt,
And the earth will rise up against him.
“The produce and increase of his house will depart [with the victors];
His possessions will be dragged away in the day of God’s wrath.
“This is the wicked man’s portion from God,
And the heritage decreed and appointed to him by God.”
21 Then Job answered and said,
“Listen carefully to my speech,
And let this be the consolation.
“Bear with me, and I also will speak;
And after I have spoken, you may [continue to] mock [me].
“As for me, is my complaint to man or about him?
And why should I not be impatient and my spirit troubled?
“Look at me and be astonished and appalled;
And put your hand over your mouth.
“Even when I remember, I am troubled and afraid;
Horror and trembling take hold of my flesh.
“Why do the wicked still live,
Become old, and become mighty in power?
“Their children and descendants are established with them in their sight,
And their offspring before their eyes.
“Their houses are safe from fear;
And the rod of God is not on them.
“His bull breeds and does not fail;
His cow calves and does not miscarry.
“They send forth their little ones like a flock,
And their children skip about.
“They lift up their voices and sing to the tambourine and the lyre
And rejoice to the sound of the flute.
“They fully enjoy their days in prosperity,
And so go down to Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead) in a [peaceful] moment.
“Yet they say to God, ‘Depart from us,
For we do not desire the knowledge of Your ways.
‘Who [and what] is [a]the Almighty, that we should serve Him?
And what would we gain if we plead with Him?’
“But notice, the prosperity of the wicked is not in their hand (in their power);
The counsel of the wicked [and the mystery of God’s dealings with the ungodly] is far from my comprehension.
“How often [then] is it that the lamp of the wicked is put out,
And that their disaster falls on them?
Does God distribute pain and destruction and sorrow [to them] in His anger?
“Are they like straw before the wind,
And like chaff that the storm steals and carries away?
“You say, ‘God stores away [the punishment of] man’s wickedness for his children.’
Let God repay him so that he may know and experience it.
“Let his own eyes see his destruction,
And let him drink of the wrath of the Almighty.
“For what pleasure does he have in his house and family after he is dead,
When the number of his months [of life] is cut off?
“Can anyone teach God knowledge,
Seeing that He judges those on high?
“One dies in his full strength,
Being wholly at ease and quiet and satisfied;
His pails are full of milk [his sides are filled out with fat],
And the marrow of his bones is moist,
Whereas another dies with a bitter soul,
Never even tasting pleasure or good fortune.
“Together they lie down in the dust,
And the worms cover them.
“Behold, I know your thoughts,
And the plots by which you would wrong me.
“For you say, ‘Where is the house of the noble man?
And where is the tent, the dwelling place of the wicked?’
“Have you not asked those who travel this way,
And do you not recognize their witness?
“That evil men are [now] reserved for the day of disaster and destruction,
They will be led away on the day of [God’s] wrath?
“But who will confront him with his actions and rebuke him face to face,
And who will repay him for what he has done?
“When he is carried to his grave,
A guard will keep watch over his tomb.
“The [dirt] clods of the valley are sweet to him [and gently cover him],
Moreover, all men will follow after him [to a grave],
While countless ones go before him.
“How then can you vainly comfort me with empty words,
Since your answers remain untrue?”
22 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said,
“Can a vigorous man be of use to God,
Or a wise man be useful to himself?
“Is it any pleasure or joy to [b]the Almighty that you are righteous?
Or is it of benefit to Him that you make your ways perfect?
“Is it because of your fear of Him that He corrects you,
That He enters into judgment against you?
“Is not your wickedness great,
And your sins without end?
“For you have taken pledges of your brothers without cause,
And stripped men naked.
“You have not given water to the weary to drink,
And you have withheld bread from the hungry.
“But the land is possessed by the man with power,
And the favored and honorable man dwells in it.
“You have sent widows away empty-handed,
And the arms (strength) of the fatherless have been broken.
“Therefore snares surround you,
And sudden dread terrifies and overwhelms you;
Or darkness, so that you cannot see,
And a flood of water covers you.
“Is not God in the height of heaven?
And behold the distant stars, how high they are!
“You say, ‘What does God know [about me]?
Can He judge through the thick darkness?
‘Thick clouds are a hiding place for Him, so that He cannot see,
And He walks on the vault (circle) of the heavens.’
“Will you keep to the ancient path
That wicked men walked [in the time of Noah],
Men who were snatched away before their time,
Whose foundations were poured out like a river?
“They said to God, ‘Depart from us!
What can the Almighty do for us or to us?’
“Yet He filled their houses with good things;
But the counsel of the wicked and ungodly is far from me.
“The righteous see it and are glad;
And the innocent mock and laugh at them, saying,
‘Surely our adversaries are cut off and destroyed,
And fire has consumed their abundance.’
“Now yield and submit yourself to Him [agree with God and be conformed to His will] and be at peace;
In this way [you will prosper and great] good will come to you.
“Please receive the law and instruction from His mouth
And establish His words in your heart and keep them.
“If you return to the Almighty [and submit and humble yourself before Him], you will be built up [and restored];
If you remove unrighteousness far from your tents,
And place your gold in the dust,
And the gold of Ophir among the stones of the brooks [considering it of little value],
And make the Almighty your gold
And your precious silver,
Then you will have delight in the Almighty,
And you will lift up your face to God.
“You will pray to Him, and He will hear you,
And you will pay your vows.
“You will also decide and decree a thing, and it will be established for you;
And the light [of God’s favor] will shine upon your ways.
“When you are cast down and humbled, you will speak with confidence,
And the humble person He will lift up and save.
“He will even rescue the one [for whom you intercede] who is not innocent;
And he will be rescued through the cleanness of your hands.”
1 Paul, an apostle (special messenger, personally chosen representative) of Christ Jesus (the Messiah) by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
To the church of God which is at Corinth, and to all the [a]saints (God’s people) throughout Achaia (southern Greece):
2 Grace to you and peace [inner calm and spiritual well-being] from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Blessed [gratefully praised and adored] be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts and encourages us in every trouble so that we will be able to comfort and encourage those who are in any kind of trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For just as Christ’s sufferings are ours in abundance [as they overflow to His followers], so also our comfort [our reassurance, our encouragement, our consolation] is abundant through Christ [it is truly more than enough to endure what we must]. 6 But if we are troubled and distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted and encouraged, it is for your comfort, which works [in you] when you patiently endure the same sufferings which we [b]experience. 7 And our [c]hope for you [our confident expectation of good for you] is firmly grounded [assured and unshaken], since we know that just as you share as partners in our sufferings, so also you share as partners in our comfort.
8 For we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about [d]our trouble in [the west coast province of] Asia [Minor], how we were utterly weighed down, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life [itself]. 9 Indeed, we felt within ourselves that we had received the sentence of death [and were convinced that we would die, but this happened] so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead. 10 He rescued us from so great a threat of death, and will continue to rescue us. On Him we have set our hope. And He will again rescue us [from danger and draw us near], 11 while you join in helping us by your prayers. Then thanks will be given by many persons on our behalf for the gracious gift [of deliverance] granted to us through the prayers of many [believers].
Do not withhold Your compassion and tender mercy from me, O Lord;
Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me.
For innumerable evils have encompassed me;
My sins have overtaken me, so that I am not able to see.
They are more numerous than the hairs of my head,
And my heart has failed me.
Be pleased, O Lord, to save me;
O Lord, make haste to help me.
Let those be ashamed and humiliated together
Who seek my life to destroy it;
Let those be turned back [in defeat] and dishonored
Who delight in my hurt.
Let those be appalled and desolate because of their shame
Who say to me, “Aha, aha [rejoicing in my misfortune]!”
Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
Let those who love Your salvation say continually,
“The Lord be magnified!”
Even though I am afflicted and needy,
Still the Lord takes thought and is mindful of me.
You are my help and my rescuer.
O my God, do not delay.
The rich and poor have a common bond;
The Lord is the Maker of them all.
A prudent and far-sighted person sees the evil [of sin] and hides himself [from it],
But the naive continue on and are punished [by suffering the consequences of sin].
The reward of humility [that is, having a realistic view of one’s importance] and the [reverent, worshipful] fear of the Lord
Is riches, honor, and life.