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Zophar Speaks: Wickedness Receives Just Retribution
1Then Zophar the Na'amathite answered:
2"Therefore my thoughts answer me,
because of my haste within me.
3I hear censure which insults me,
and out of my understanding a spirit answers me.
4Do you not know this from of old,
since man was placed upon earth,
5that the exulting of the wicked is short,
and the joy of the godless but for a moment?
6Though his height mount up to the heavens,
and his head reach to the clouds,
7he will perish for ever like his own dung;
those who have seen him will say, 'Where is he?'
8He will fly away like a dream, and not be found;
he will be chased away like a vision of the night.
9The eye which saw him will see him no more,
nor will his place any more behold him.
10His children will seek the favor of the poor,
and his hands will give back his wealth.
11His bones are full of youthful vigor,
but it will lie down with him in the dust.
12"Though wickedness is sweet in his mouth,
though he hides it under his tongue,
13though he is loath to let it go,
and holds it in his mouth,
14yet his food is turned in his stomach;
it is the gall of asps within him.
15He swallows down riches and vomits them up again;
God casts them out of his belly.
16He will suck the poison of asps;
the tongue of a viper will kill him.
17He will not look upon the rivers,
the streams flowing with honey and curds.
18He will give back the fruit of his toil,
and will not swallow it down;
from the profit of his trading
he will get no enjoyment.
19For he has crushed and abandoned the poor,
he has seized a house which he did not build.
20"Because his greed knew no rest,
he will not save anything in which he delights.
21There was nothing left after he had eaten;
therefore his prosperity will not endure.
22In the fulness of his sufficiency he will be in straits;
all the force of misery will come upon him.
23To fill his belly to the full
Goda will send his fierce anger into him,
and rain it upon him as his food.b
24He will flee from an iron weapon;
a bronze arrow will strike him through.
25It is drawn forth and comes out of his body,
the glittering point comes out of his gall;
terrors come upon him.
26Utter darkness is laid up for his treasures;
a fire not blown upon will devour him;
what is left in his tent will be consumed.
27The heavens will reveal his iniquity,
and the earth will rise up against him.
28The possessions of his house will be carried away,
dragged off in the day of God'sc wrath.
29This is the wicked man's portion from God,
the heritage decreed for him by God."