Zophar’s Second Speech

20:1 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered:
20:2 “This is why my troubled thoughts bring me back –
because of my feelings within me.
20:3 When I hear a reproof that dishonors me,
then my understanding prompts me to answer.
20:4 “Surely you know that it has been from old,
ever since humankind was placed on the earth,
20:5 that the elation of the wicked is brief,
the joy of the godless lasts but a moment.
20:6 Even though his stature reaches to the heavens
and his head touches the clouds,
20:7 he will perish forever, like his own excrement;
those who used to see him will say, ‘Where is he?’
20:8 Like a dream he flies away, never again to be found,
and like a vision of the night he is put to flight.
20:9 People who had seen him will not see him again,
and the place where he was
will recognize him no longer.
20:10 His sons must recompense the poor;
his own hands must return his wealth.
20:11 His bones were full of his youthful vigor,
but that vigor will lie down with him in the dust.

20:12 “If evil is sweet in his mouth
and he hides it under his tongue,
20:13 if he retains it for himself
and does not let it go,
and holds it fast in his mouth,
20:14 his food is turned sour in his stomach;
it becomes the venom of serpents within him.
20:15 The wealth that he consumed he vomits up,
God will make him throw it out of his stomach.
20:16 He sucks the poison of serpents;
the fangs of a viper kill him.
20:17 He will not look on the streams,
the rivers, which are the torrents
of honey and butter.
20:18 He gives back the ill-gotten gain
without assimilating it;
he will not enjoy the wealth from his commerce.
20:19 For he has oppressed the poor and abandoned them;
he has seized a house which he did not build.
20:20 For he knows no satisfaction in his appetite;
he does not let anything he desires escape.

20:21 “Nothing is left for him to devour;
that is why his prosperity does not last.
20:22 In the fullness of his sufficiency,
distress overtakes him.
the full force of misery will come upon him.

20:23 “While he is filling his belly,
God sends his burning anger against him,
and rains down his blows upon him.
20:24 If he flees from an iron weapon,
then an arrow from a bronze bow pierces him.
20:25 When he pulls it out and it comes out of his back,
the gleaming point out of his liver,
terrors come over him.
20:26 Total darkness waits to receive his treasures;
a fire which has not been kindled
will consume him
and devour what is left in his tent.
20:27 The heavens reveal his iniquity;
the earth rises up against him.
20:28 A flood will carry off his house,
rushing waters on the day of God’s wrath.
20:29 Such is the lot God allots the wicked,
and the heritage of his appointment from God.”