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Job 20 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 20

Zophar’s Second Speech. Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said:

So now my thoughts provide an answer for me,
    because of the feelings within me.
A rebuke that puts me to shame I hear,
    and from my understanding a spirit gives me a reply.
Do you not know this: from of old,
    since human beings were placed upon the earth,
The triumph of the wicked is short
    and the joy of the impious but for a moment?
Though his pride mount up to the heavens
    and his head reach to the clouds,
Yet he perishes forever like the dung he uses for fuel,
    and onlookers say, “Where is he?”
Like a dream he takes flight and cannot be found;
    he fades away like a vision of the night.
The eye which saw him does so no more;
    nor shall his dwelling again behold him.
10 His sons will restore to the poor,
    and his hands will yield up his riches.
11 Though his bones are full of youthful vigor,
    it shall lie with him in the dust.
12 Though wickedness is sweet in his mouth,
    and he hides it under his tongue,
13 Though he retains it and will not let it go
    but keeps it still within his mouth,
14 Yet in his stomach the food shall turn;
    it shall be venom of asps inside him.
15 The riches he swallowed he shall vomit up;
    God shall make his belly disgorge them.
16 The poison of asps he shall drink in;
    the viper’s fangs shall slay him.
17 He shall see no streams of oil,[a]
    no torrents of honey or milk.
18 He shall give back his gains, never used;
    like his profit from trade, never enjoyed.
19 Because he has oppressed and neglected the poor,
    and stolen a house he did not build;
20 For he has known no quiet in his greed,
    in his treasure he cannot save himself.
21 None of his survivors will consume it,
    therefore his prosperity shall not endure.
22 When he has more than enough, distress shall be his,
    every sort of trouble shall come upon him.
23 When he has filled his belly,
    God shall send against him the fury of his wrath
    and rain down his missiles upon him.
24 Should he escape an iron weapon,
    a bronze bow shall pierce him through;
25 The dart shall come out of his back,
    a shining point out of his gall-bladder:
    terrors fall upon him.
26 Complete darkness is in store for his treasured ones;
    a fire unfanned shall consume him;
    any survivor in his tent shall be destroyed.
27 The heavens shall reveal his guilt,
    and the earth rise up against him.
28 The flood shall sweep away his house,
    torrents in the day of God’s anger.
29 This is the portion of the wicked,
    the heritage appointed him by God.[b]


  1. 20:17 Oil: olive oil, one of the main agricultural products of ancient Palestine, a land proverbially rich in honey and milk; see Ex 3:8; etc.
  2. 20:29 Zophar ends his lecture in the style of Bildad (cf. 18:19) with a summary appraisal of what he has been saying about the fate of the wicked.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


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