Zophar: Destruction Awaits the Wicked
1 Then Zophar the Naamathite replied:
2 “So my anxious thoughts compel me to answer,
because of the turmoil within me.
3 I have heard a rebuke that insults me,
and my understanding prompts a reply.
4 Do you not know that from antiquity,
since man was placed on the earth,
5 the triumph of the wicked has been brief
and the joy of the godless momentary?
6 Though his arrogance reaches the heavens,
and his head touches the clouds,
7 he will perish forever, like his own dung;
those who had seen him will ask, ‘Where is he?’
8 He will fly away like a dream, never to be found;
he will be chased away like a vision in the night.
9 The eye that saw him will see him no more,
and his place will no longer behold him.
10 His sons will seek the favor of the poor,
for his own hands must return his wealth.
11 The youthful vigor that fills his bones
will lie down with him in the dust.
12 Though evil is sweet in his mouth
and he conceals it under his tongue,
13 though he cannot bear to let it go
and keeps it in his mouth,
14 yet in his stomach his food sours
into the venom of cobras within him.
15 He swallows wealth but vomits it out;
God will force it from his stomach.
16 He will suck the poison of cobras;
the fangs of a viper will kill him.
17 He will not enjoy the streams,
the rivers flowing with honey and cream.
18 He must return the fruit of his labor without consuming it;
he cannot enjoy the profits of his trading.
19 For he has oppressed and forsaken the poor;
he has seized houses he did not build.
20 Because his appetite is never satisfied,
he cannot escape with his treasure.
21 Nothing is left for him to consume;
thus his prosperity will not endure.
22 In the midst of his plenty, he will be distressed;
the full force of misery will come upon him.
23 When he has filled his stomach,
God will vent His fury upon him,
raining it down on him as he eats.
24 Though he flees from an iron weapon,
a bronze-tipped arrow will pierce him.
25 It is drawn out of his back,
the gleaming point from his liver. a
Terrors come over him.
26 Total darkness is reserved for his treasures.
A fire unfanned will consume him
and devour what is left in his tent.
27 The heavens will expose his iniquity,
and the earth will rise up against him.
28 The possessions of his house will be removed,
flowing away on the day of God’s wrath.
29 This is the wicked man’s portion from God,
the inheritance God has appointed him.”
25 a Literally from his gall