Job 20 The Voice (VOICE)
20 Zophar the Naamathite reiterated his concern for Job.
2 Zophar: My anguished thoughts force me to respond
because I feel an urgency within myself.
3 I caught wind of your words that dishonor me,
but I am prompted to answer based on my own spirit and understanding.
4 Don’t you know how it has always been?
Since humankind was first put here on the earth,
5 The celebrations of the wicked have been brief,
and the joy of the profane lasts only a moment.
6 Even if he were tall enough to reach into the heavens
and his head were to reach to the clouds,
7 He would still perish forever, like his own excrement;
those who once looked upon him would wonder,
“Where has he gone?”
8 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.
9 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.