2 “Therefore my disquieting thoughts make me [a]respond, Even because of my [b]inward agitation. 3 I listened to the reprimand which insults me, And the spirit of my understanding makes me answer. 4 Do you know this from ancient times, From the establishment of mankind on earth, 5 That the rejoicing of the wicked is short, And the joy of the godless momentary? 6 Though his arrogance [c]reaches the heavens, And his head touches the clouds, 7 He perishes forever like his refuse; Those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’ 8 He flies away like a dream, and they cannot find him; Like a vision of the night he is chased away. 9 The eye which saw him sees him no longer, And his place no longer beholds him. 10 His sons [d]favor the poor, And his hands give back his wealth. 11 His bones are full of his youthful strength, But it lies down with him [e]in the dust.
12 “Though evil tastes sweet in his mouth And he hides it under his tongue, 13 Though he [f]desires it and will not let it go, But holds it in his [g]mouth, 14 Yet his food in his stomach is changed To the [h]venom of cobras within him. 15 He swallows riches, But will vomit them up; God will expel them from his belly. 16 He sucks the poison of cobras; The viper’s tongue kills him. 17 He does not look at the streams, The rivers flowing with honey and curds. 18 He returns the product of his labor And cannot swallow it; As to the riches of his trading, He cannot even enjoy them. 19 For he has oppressed and neglected the poor; He has seized a house which he has not built.
20 “Because he knew no quiet [i]within him, He does not retain anything he desires. 21 Nothing remains [j]for him to devour, Therefore his prosperity does not endure. 22 In the fullness of his excess he will be cramped; The hand of everyone who suffers will come against him. 23 When he fills his belly, God will send His fierce anger on him And rain it on him [k]while he is eating. 24 He may flee from the iron weapon, But the bronze bow will pierce him. 25 It is drawn and comes out of his back, Even the flashing point from his gallbladder; Terrors come upon him, 26 Complete darkness is held in reserve for his treasures, And unfanned fire will devour him; It will consume the survivor in his tent. 27 The heavens will reveal his guilt, And the earth will rise up against him. 28 The increase of his house will disappear; His possessions will flow away on the day of His anger. 29 This is a wicked person’s portion from God, The inheritance decreed to him by God.”
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