Zophar Depicts the Portion of the Wicked
201 Then Zophar the Naamathite made answer and said, 2 For this cause my thoughts are troubling me and driving me on. 3 I have to give ear to arguments which put me to shame, and your answers to me are wind without wisdom. 4 Have you knowledge of this from early times, when man was placed on the earth, 5 That the pride of the sinner is short, and the joy of the evil-doer but for a minute? 6 Though he is lifted up to the heavens, and his head goes up to the clouds; 7 Like the waste from his body he comes to an end for ever: those who have seen him say, Where is he? 8 He is gone like a dream, and is not seen again; he goes in flight like a vision of the night. 9 The eye which saw him sees him no longer; and his place has no more knowledge of him.
10 His children are hoping that the poor will be kind to them, and his hands give back his wealth. 11 His bones are full of young strength, but it will go down with him into the dust. 12 Though evil-doing is sweet in his mouth, and he keeps it secretly under his tongue; 13 Though he takes care of it, and does not let it go, but keeps it still in his mouth; 14 His food becomes bitter in his stomach; the poison of snakes is inside him. 15 He takes down wealth as food, and sends it up again; it is forced out of his stomach by God. 16 He takes the poison of snakes into his mouth, the tongue of the snake is the cause of his death. 17 Let him not see the rivers of oil, the streams of honey and milk. 18 He is forced to give back the fruit of his work, and may not take it for food; he has no joy in the profit of his trading. 19 Because he has been cruel to the poor, turning away from them in their trouble; because he has taken a house by force which he did not put up; 20 There is no peace for him in his wealth, and no salvation for him in those things in which he took delight. 21 He had never enough for his desire; for this cause his well-being will quickly come to an end. 22 Even when his wealth is great, he is full of care, for the hand of everyone who is in trouble is turned against him.
23 God gives him his desire, and sends the heat of his wrath on him, making it come down on him like rain. 24 He may go in flight from the iron spear, but the arrow from the bow of brass will go through him; 25 He is pulling it out, and it comes out of his back; and its shining point comes out of his side; he is overcome by fears. 26 All his wealth is stored up for the dark: a fire not made by man sends destruction on him, and on everything in his tent. 27 The heavens make clear his sin, and the earth gives witness against him. 28 The produce of his house is taken away into another country, like things given into the hands of others in the day of wrath. 29 This is the reward of the evil man, and the heritage given to him by God.
Job Asserts the Prosperity of the Wicked
211 Then Job made answer and said, 2 Give attention with care to my words; and let this be your comfort. 3 Let me say what is in my mind, and after that, go on making sport of me. 4 As for me, is my outcry against man? is it then to be wondered at if my spirit is troubled? 5 Take note of me and be full of wonder, put your hand on your mouth. 6 At the very thought of it my flesh is shaking with fear.
7 Why is life given to the evil-doers? why do they become old and strong in power? 8 Their children are ever with them, and their offspring before their eyes. 9 Their houses are free from fear, and the rod of God does not come on them. 10 Their ox is ready at all times to give seed; their cow gives birth, without dropping her young. 11 They send out their young ones like a flock, and their children have pleasure in the dance, 12 They make songs to the instruments of music, and are glad at the sound of the pipe. 13 Their days come to an end without trouble, and suddenly they go down to the underworld. 14 Though they said to God, Go away from us, for we have no desire for the knowledge of your ways. 15 What is the Ruler of all, that we may give him worship? and what profit is it to us to make prayer to him? 16 Truly, is not their well-being in their power? (The purpose of the evil-doers is far from me.)
17 How frequently is the light of the evil-doers put out, or does trouble come on them? how frequently does his wrath take them with cords? 18 How frequently are they as dry stems before the wind, or as grass taken away by the storm-wind? 19 You say, God keeps punishment stored up for his children. Let him send it on the man himself, so that he may have the punishment of it! 20 Let his eyes see his trouble, and let him be full of the wrath of the Ruler of all! 21 For what interest has he in his house after him, when the number of his months is ended? 22 Is anyone able to give teaching to God? for he is the judge of those who are on high. 23 One comes to his end in complete well-being, full of peace and quiet: 24 His buckets are full of milk, and there is no loss of strength in his bones. 25 And another comes to his end with a bitter soul, without ever tasting good. 26 Together they go down to the dust, and are covered by the worm.
27 See, I am conscious of your thoughts, and of your violent purposes against me; 28 For you say, Where is the house of the ruler, and where is the tent of the evil-doer? 29 Have you not put the question to the travellers, and do you not take note of their experience? 30 How the evil man goes free in the day of trouble, and has salvation in the day of wrath? 31 Who will make his way clear to his face? and if he has done a thing, who gives him punishment for it? 32 He is taken to his last resting-place, and keeps watch over it. 33 The earth of the valley covering his bones is sweet to him, and all men come after him, as there were unnumbered before him. 34 Why then do you give me comfort with words in which there is no profit, when you see that there is nothing in your answers but deceit?