Zophar’s Second Speech
20 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said,
2 “Therefore my disquieting thoughts bring me back
for the sake of my inward excitement.
3 I hear discipline that insults me,
and a spirit beyond my understanding answers me.
4 “Did you know this from of old,
since the setting of the human being on earth,
5 that the rejoicing of the wicked is short,
and the joy of the godless lasts only a moment?
6 Even though his stature mounts up to the heaven,
and his head reaches to the clouds,
7 he will perish forever like his dung;
those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’
8 He will fly away like a dream, and they will not find him,
and he will be chased away like a vision of the night.
9 The eye that saw him will not see him again,
and his place will no longer behold him.
10 His children will seek favors from the poor,
and his hands will return his wealth.
11 His bones were full of his vigor,
but it will lie down with him on the dust.
12 “Though wickedness tastes sweet in his mouth,
and he hides it under his tongue,
13 though he spares it and does not let it go
and holds it back in the midst of his palate,
14 in his bowels his food is turned,
the venom of horned vipers is within him.
15 He swallows riches, but he vomits them up;
God drives them out from his stomach.
16 He will suck the poison of horned vipers;
the viper’s tongue will kill him.
17 He will not enjoy the streams,
the torrents of honey and curds.
18 Returning the products of his toil, he will not swallow;
according to the profit of his trade, he will not enjoy,
19 for he has oppressed; he has abandoned the poor;
he has seized a house but did not build it.
20 Because he has not known satisfaction in his stomach,
he lets nothing escape that he desires.
21 There is nothing left after he has eaten;
therefore his prosperity will not endure.
22 In the fullness of his excess he will be in distress;
all of misery’s power will come upon him.
23 When his stomach fills up, God will send his burning anger upon him,
and he will let it rain down upon him as his food.
24 “He will flee from an iron weapon,
but an arrow of bronze will pierce him.
25 He draws it forth, and it comes out from his body,
and the glittering point comes from his gall-bladder;
terrors come upon him.
26 Total darkness is hidden for his treasures;
an unfanned fire will devour him;
the remnant will be consumed in his tent.
27 The heavens will reveal his guilt,
and the earth will rise up against him.
28 The products of his house will be carried away
like gushing waters on the day of his wrath.
29 This is a wicked human being’s portion from God
and the inheritance of his decree from God.”
Job’s Seventh Speech: A Response to Zophar
21 Then Job answered and said,
2 “Listen carefully to my words,
and let this be your consolation.
3 Bear with me, and I myself will speak;
then after my speaking you can mock.
4 As for me, is my complaint for human beings?
And if so, why cannot I be impatient?
5 Turn to me and be appalled,
and place your hand on your mouth.
6 And when I think of it, I am horrified,
and shuddering seizes my flesh.
7 “Why do the wicked live,
grow old, even grow mighty in power?
8 With them their offspring are established before them,
and their descendants before their eyes.
9 Their houses are safe without fear,
and the rod of God is not upon them.
10 His bull breeds and does not fail;
his cow calves and does not miscarry.
11 They send out their little ones like the flock,
and their children dance around.
12 They sing to the tambourine and lyre,
and they rejoice to the sound of the long flute.
13 They spend their days in prosperity,
and in peace they go down to Sheol.
14 And they say to God, ‘Turn away from us,
for we do not desire to know your ways.
15 Who is Shaddai that we should serve him,
or what would we benefit when we plead with him?’
16 Look, their prosperity is not in their hands;
the schemes of the wicked are repugnant to me.
17 “How often is the lamp of the wicked put out,
and their disaster comes upon them?
He distributes pains in his anger.
18 How often are they like straw before the wind,
and like chaff that the storm carries away?
19 ‘God stores up his iniquity for his children’?
Then let him repay it to him that he may know.
20 Let his eyes see his decay,
and let him drink from the wrath of Shaddai,
21 for what does he care for his house after him,
when the number of his months is cut off?
22 Can anyone teach knowledge to God,
since he himself judges high ones?
23 This one dies in full prosperity,
completely at ease and secure.
24 His vats are full with milk
and the marrow of his bones is moist.
25 Yet another dies with a bitter inner self
and has not tasted prosperity.
26 They lie down together in the dust,
and maggots cover them.
27 “Look, I know your thoughts
and the schemes you devise against me.
28 For you say, ‘Where is the nobleman’s house,
and where are the tents in which the wicked dwell?’
29 Do you not ask those traveling the roads,
and do you not take notice of their accounts?
30 Indeed, the wicked is spared from the day of disaster;
he is delivered from the day of wrath.
31 Who denounces his way to his face?
And who repays him for what he has done?
32 When he is brought to the grave,
then someone stands guard over the tomb.
33 The clods of the valley are sweet to him;
everyone will follow after him,
and before him they are innumerable.
34 So how will you comfort me with emptiness,
when fraud is left in your answers?”