Amplified Bible

Job 20

Zophar Says, “The Triumph of the Wicked Is Short”

1Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said,

“Therefore my disquieting thoughts make me answer,
Because of the uneasiness that is within me.

“I have heard the reproof which insults me,
But the spirit of my understanding makes me answer.

“Do you not know this from the old days,
Since the time that man was placed on the earth,

That the triumphing of the wicked is short,
And the joy of the godless is only for a moment?

“Though his pride reaches the heavens
And his head touches the clouds,

Yet he perishes forever like his own refuse;
Those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’

“He flies away like a dream and cannot be found;
Yes, he is chased away like a vision of the night.

“The eye which saw him sees him no longer,
Neither does his [accustomed] place behold him any longer.
“His sons favor the poor [and pay his obligations],
And his hands give back his [ill-gotten] wealth.
“His bones are full of youthful strength
But it lies down with him in the dust.

“Though evil and wickedness are sweet in his mouth
And he hides it under his tongue,
Though he desires it and will not let it go
But holds it in his mouth,
Yet his food turns [to poison] in his stomach;
It is the venom of vipers within him.
“He swallows [his ill-gotten] riches,
But will vomit them up;
God will drive them out of his belly.
“He sucks the poison of vipers [which ill-gotten wealth contains];
The viper’s tongue slays him.
“He does not look at the rivers,
The flowing streams of honey and butter [to enjoy his wealth].
“He gives back what he has labored for and attained
And cannot swallow it [down to enjoy it];
As to the riches of his labor,
He cannot even enjoy them.
“For he has oppressed and neglected the poor;
He has violently taken away houses which he did not build.

“Because he knew no quietness or calm within him [because of his greed],
He does not retain anything he desires.
“There is nothing left of what he devoured;
Therefore his prosperity does not endure.
“In the fullness of his excess (great abundance) he will be in trouble;
The hand of everyone who suffers will come against him [he is miserable on every side].
“When he fills his belly,
God will send His fierce anger on him
And will rain it upon him while he is eating.
“He may flee from the iron weapon,
But the bow of bronze will pierce him through.
The arrow is drawn forth and it comes out of his back [after passing through his body];
Yes, the glittering point comes out of his gall.
Terrors march in upon him;
Complete darkness (misfortune) is held in reserve for his treasures.
An unfanned fire will devour him;
It will consume the survivor in his tent.
“The heavens will reveal his wickedness and guilt,
And the earth will rise up against him.
“The produce and increase of his house will depart [with the victors];
His possessions will be dragged away in the day of God’s wrath.
“This is the wicked man’s portion from God,
And the heritage decreed and appointed to him by God.”

The Message

Job 20

Zophar Attacks Job—The Second Round

Savoring Evil as a Delicacy

11-3 Zophar from Naamath again took his turn:

“I can’t believe what I’m hearing!
    You’ve put my teeth on edge, my stomach in a knot.
How dare you insult my intelligence like this!
    Well, here’s a piece of my mind!

4-11 “Don’t you even know the basics,
    how things have been since the earliest days,
    when Adam and Eve were first placed on earth?
The good times of the wicked are short-lived;
    godless joy is only momentary.
The evil might become world famous,
    strutting at the head of the celebrity parade,
But still end up in a pile of dung.
    Acquaintances look at them with disgust and say, ‘What’s that?’
They fly off like a dream that can’t be remembered,
    like a shadowy illusion that vanishes in the light.
Though once notorious public figures, now they’re nobodies,
    unnoticed, whether they come or go.
Their children will go begging on skid row,
    and they’ll have to give back their ill-gotten gain.
Right in the prime of life,
    and youthful and vigorous, they’ll die.

12-19 “They savor evil as a delicacy,
    roll it around on their tongues,
Prolong the flavor, a dalliance in decadence—
    real gourmets of evil!
But then they get stomach cramps,
    a bad case of food poisoning.
They gag on all that rich food;
    God makes them vomit it up.
They gorge on evil, make a diet of that poison—
    a deadly diet—and it kills them.
No quiet picnics for them beside gentle streams
    with fresh-baked bread and cheese, and tall, cool drinks.
They spit out their food half-chewed,
    unable to relax and enjoy anything they’ve worked for.
And why? Because they exploited the poor,
    took what never belonged to them.

20-29 “Such God-denying people are never content with what they have
        or who they are;
    their greed drives them relentlessly.
They plunder everything
    but they can’t hold on to any of it.
Just when they think they have it all, disaster strikes;
    they’re served up a plate full of misery.
When they’ve filled their bellies with that,
    God gives them a taste of his anger,
    and they get to chew on that for a while.
As they run for their lives from one disaster,
    they run smack into another.
They’re knocked around from pillar to post,
    beaten to within an inch of their lives.
They’re trapped in a house of horrors,
    and see their loot disappear down a black hole.
Their lives are a total loss—
    not a penny to their name, not so much as a bean.
God will strip them of their sin-soaked clothes
    and hang their dirty laundry out for all to see.
Life is a complete wipeout for them,
    nothing surviving God’s wrath.
There! That’s God’s blueprint for the wicked—
    what they have to look forward to.”