Bible Book List

Job 20 The Voice (VOICE)

20 Zophar the Naamathite reiterated his concern for Job.

Zophar: My anguished thoughts force me to respond
        because I feel an urgency within myself.
    I caught wind of your words that dishonor me,
        but I am prompted to answer based on my own spirit and understanding.
    Don’t you know how it has always been?
        Since humankind was first put here on the earth,
    The celebrations of the wicked have been brief,
        and the joy of the profane lasts only a moment.
    Even if he were tall enough to reach into the heavens
        and his head were to reach to the clouds,
    He would still perish forever, like his own excrement;
        those who once looked upon him would wonder,
        “Where has he gone?”
    Like a dream, he flies off where no one can find him;
        he is chased away only to vanish into the air like a vision of the night.
    The eyes that saw him before see him no more;
        his home doesn’t ever welcome him again.
10     His children beg at the door of the poor;
        his hands render his wealth back to them.
11     The vigor of youth had a home, a residence in his bones,
        but it lies down in the dust with him.

12     Though his wrongdoing is sweet in his mouth,
        though he hides it under his tongue,
13     Though he holds it close and will not let it go
        (but must keep it in his mouth),
14     His food will be transformed within him
        into the bitter venom of the asp.
15     The wealth he has swallowed will be poison.
        He will vomit it up—God will cast it out.
16     It is as they say, “He sucks the venom of asps
        and is slain by the tongue of the viper.”
17     Never again will he gaze at the brook’s edge
        or see streams that flow with milk and honey—
18     The food for which he worked he vomits up or cannot swallow,
        and the gains of his trading, he can never enjoy.
19     After all, he’s an oppressor;
        he’s crushed and forsaken the poor;
        he made his home in a house he stole from another,
        a house he did not build himself.

20     Because he’s never known inner peace,
        he has seized everything he’s ever craved.
21     Because he consumed all he could see, nothing is left;
        his prosperity cannot last.
22     When he is fat with satisfaction,
        the belt of distress will tighten around him
        and the hands of the downtrodden will rise up against him.
23     When he has filled up his belly,
        God will visit him with His ferocious anger;
        it will rain down on him while he is eating.
24     Let him attempt to escape the iron weapon.
        Instead, a bow of bronze will send death to tear into him.
25     When the arrow is drawn it comes out of his back,
        and the shining arrowhead comes out of his organ,
        bringing terror upon him.
26     A great darkness waits for and stalks everything he values.
        A mysterious fire—unstoked yet burning hot—will consume him
        and devour everything and everyone left behind in his tent.
27     The skies will tell on him, exposing his wrongdoing;
        the earth will rebel against him.
28     All that he labored to build will be carried off,
        washed away in the day of God’s furious anger.
29     This is how it will be for the wicked of humanity before God;
        this is the inheritance God bequeaths them.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Job 20 New International Version (NIV)


20 Then Zophar the Naamathite replied:

“My troubled thoughts prompt me to answer
    because I am greatly disturbed.
I hear a rebuke that dishonors me,
    and my understanding inspires me to reply.

“Surely you know how it has been from of old,
    ever since mankind[a] was placed on the earth,
that the mirth of the wicked is brief,
    the joy of the godless lasts but a moment.
Though the pride of the godless person reaches to the heavens
    and his head touches the clouds,
he will perish forever, like his own dung;
    those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’
Like a dream he flies away, no more to be found,
    banished like a vision of the night.
The eye that saw him will not see him again;
    his place will look on him no more.
10 His children must make amends to the poor;
    his own hands must give back his wealth.
11 The youthful vigor that fills his bones
    will lie with him in the dust.

12 “Though evil is sweet in his mouth
    and he hides it under his tongue,
13 though he cannot bear to let it go
    and lets it linger in his mouth,
14 yet his food will turn sour in his stomach;
    it will become the venom of serpents within him.
15 He will spit out the riches he swallowed;
    God will make his stomach vomit them up.
16 He will suck the poison of serpents;
    the fangs of an adder will kill him.
17 He will not enjoy the streams,
    the rivers flowing with honey and cream.
18 What he toiled for he must give back uneaten;
    he will not enjoy the profit from his trading.
19 For he has oppressed the poor and left them destitute;
    he has seized houses he did not build.

20 “Surely he will have no respite from his craving;
    he cannot save himself by his treasure.
21 Nothing is left for him to devour;
    his prosperity will not endure.
22 In the midst of his plenty, distress will overtake him;
    the full force of misery will come upon him.
23 When he has filled his belly,
    God will vent his burning anger against him
    and rain down his blows on him.
24 Though he flees from an iron weapon,
    a bronze-tipped arrow pierces him.
25 He pulls it out of his back,
    the gleaming point out of his liver.
Terrors will come over him;
26     total darkness lies in wait for his treasures.
A fire unfanned will consume him
    and devour what is left in his tent.
27 The heavens will expose his guilt;
    the earth will rise up against him.
28 A flood will carry off his house,
    rushing waters[b] on the day of God’s wrath.
29 Such is the fate God allots the wicked,
    the heritage appointed for them by God.”


  1. Job 20:4 Or Adam
  2. Job 20:28 Or The possessions in his house will be carried off, / washed away
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Viewing of
Cross references