Job Chapter 20 to 21 : English Standard Version   | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

Other Versions20 Zophar Speaks: The Wicked Will Suffer

20:1 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said:

2“Therefore my thoughts answer me, because of my haste within me. 3I hear censure that insults me, and out of my understanding a spirit answers me. 4Do you not know this from of old, since man was placed on 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 forever 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 that 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 his youthful vigor, but it will lie down with him in the dust.

12“Though evil 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 venom of cobras within him. 15He swallows down riches and vomits them up again; God casts them out of his belly. 16He will suck the poison of cobras; 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 that he did not build.

20“Because he knew no contentment in his belly, he will not let anything in which he delights escape him. 21There was nothing left after he had eaten; therefore his prosperity will not endure. 22In the fullness of his sufficiency he will be in distress; the hand of everyone in misery will come against him. 23To fill his belly to the full God[1] will send his burning anger against him and rain it upon him into his body. 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 gallbladder; terrors come upon him. 26Utter darkness is laid up for his treasures; a fire not fanned 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’s[2] wrath. 29This is the wicked man’s portion from God, the heritage decreed for him by God.”

[1] Hebrew he  [2] Hebrew his

21 Job Replies: The Wicked Do Prosper

21:1 Then Job answered and said:

2“Keep listening to my words, and let this be your comfort. 3Bear with me, and I will speak, and after I have spoken, mock on. 4As for me, is my complaint against man? Why should I not be impatient? 5Look at me and be appalled, and lay your hand over your mouth. 6When I remember I am dismayed, and shuddering seizes my flesh. 7Why do the wicked live, reach old age, and grow mighty in power? 8Their offspring are established in their presence, and their descendants before their eyes. 9Their houses are safe from fear, and no rod of God is upon them. 10Their bull breeds without fail; their cow calves and does not miscarry. 11They send out their little boys like a flock, and their children dance. 12They sing to the tambourine and the lyre and rejoice to the sound of the pipe. 13They spend their days in prosperity, and in peace they go down to Sheol. 14They say to God, ‘Depart from us! We do not desire the knowledge of your ways. 15What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? And what profit do we get if we pray to him?’ 16Behold, is not their prosperity in their hand? The counsel of the wicked is far from me.

17“How often is it that the lamp of the wicked is put out? That their calamity comes upon them? That God[3] distributes pains in his anger? 18That they are like straw before the wind, and like chaff that the storm carries away? 19You say, ‘God stores up their iniquity for their children.’ Let him pay it out to them, that they may know it. 20Let their own eyes see their destruction, and let them drink of the wrath of the Almighty. 21For what do they care for their houses after them, when the number of their months is cut off? 22Will any teach God knowledge, seeing that he judges those who are on high? 23One dies in his full vigor, being wholly at ease and secure, 24his pails[4] full of milk and the marrow of his bones moist. 25Another dies in bitterness of soul, never having tasted of prosperity. 26They lie down alike in the dust, and the worms cover them.

27“Behold, I know your thoughts and your schemes to wrong me. 28For you say, ‘Where is the house of the prince? Where is the tent in which the wicked lived?’ 29Have you not asked those who travel the roads, and do you not accept their testimony 30that the evil man is spared in the day of calamity, that he is rescued in the day of wrath? 31Who declares his way to his face, and who repays him for what he has done? 32When he is carried to the grave, watch is kept over his tomb. 33The clods of the valley are sweet to him; all mankind follows after him, and those who go before him are innumerable. 34How then will you comfort me with empty nothings? There is nothing left of your answers but falsehood.”

[3] Hebrew he  [4] The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain

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