1Then Zophar the Naamathite answered:
2My distress of mind forces me to reply, and this is why a 20:2 this is why: prob. rdg; Heb. obscure. I hasten to speak. 3I have heard arguments that are an outrage to me, but a spirit beyond my understanding gives me the answers. 4Surely you know that since time began, since mortals were first set on the earth, this has been true: 5the triumph of a wicked person is short-lived, the glee of one who is godless lasts but a moment! 6Though in his pride he stands high as the heavens, and his head touches the clouds, 7he will be swept utterly away like his own dung, and those used to seeing him will say, ‘Where is he?’ 8He will fly away like a dream and be found no more, gone like a vision of the night; 9eyes which glimpsed him will do so no more and never again will they see him in his place. 11The youthful vigour which filled his bones will lie with him in the earth. 10 b 20:10–11 Verses 10 and 11 transposed. His sons will curry favour with the poor; his children c 20:10 children: prob. rdg; Heb. hands. will give back his wealth. 12Though evil tastes sweet in his mouth, and he savours it, rolling it round his tongue, 13though he lingers over it and will not let it go, and holds it back on his palate, 14yet his food turns in his stomach, changing to asps' venom within him. 15He gulps down wealth, then spews it up; God makes him vomit it from his stomach. 16He sucks the poison of asps, and the tongue of the viper kills him. 17Not for him to swill down rivers of cream d 20:17 rivers of cream: prob. rdg; Heb. obscure. or torrents of honey and curds; 18he must give back his gains unswallowed, and spew out his profit undigested; 19for he has oppressed and harassed the poor, he has seized houses which he did not build. 20Because his appetite gave him no rest, he let nothing he craved escape him; 21because nothing survived his greed, therefore his wellbeing does not last. 22With every need satisfied his troubles begin, and the full force of hardship strikes him. 23Let that fill his belly! God vents his anger upon him and rains on him cruel blows. 24He is wounded by an iron weapon and pierced by a bronze-tipped arrow; 25the point comes out at his back, the gleaming tip from his gall-bladder. Terrors threaten him, 26darkness unrelieved awaits him e 20:26 awaits him: so Gk; Heb. awaits his stored things. ; a fire that needs no fanning will consume him. Woe betide any survivor in his tent! 27The heavens will lay bare his guilt, and earth will rise up to condemn him. 28A flood will sweep away his house, rushing waters on the day of wrath. 29Such is God's reward for the wicked, the God-ordained portion for the rebel f 20:29 the rebel: prob. rdg; Heb. his word. .