1Zophar of Naamath spoke next. He said: 2My thoughts urge me to reply to this, and hence the impatience that grips me. 3I have put up with prating that outrages me and now my mind inspires me with an answer. 4Do you not know, that since time began and human beings were set on the earth, 5the triumph of the wicked has always been brief, and the sinner's gladness has never lasted long? 6Towering to the sky he may have been, his head touching the clouds; 7but he vanishes, like a phantom, once for al , while those who used to see him, ask, 'Where is he?' 8Like a dream that leaves no trace he takes his flight, like a vision in the night he flies away. 9The eye accustomed to see him sees him no more, his home wil never set eyes on him again. 10His sons will have to reimburse the poor and his children pay back his riches. 11His bones used to be ful of youthful vigour: and there it lies, in the dust with him, now! 12Evil was sweet to his mouth, he would shelter it under his tongue; 13cultivating it careful y, he would let it linger on his palate. 14Such food goes bad in his bel y, working inside him like the poison of a viper. 15Now he has to vomit up the wealth that he has swal owed, God makes him disgorge it. 16He used to suck vipers' venom, and the tongue of the adder kills him. 17No more will he know the streams of oil or the torrents of honey and cream. 18When he gives back his winnings, his cheerfulness wil fade, and the satisfied air he had whenbusiness was thriving. 19Since he once destroyed the huts of the poor, plundering houses instead of building them up, 20since his avarice could never be satisfied, now al his hoarding will not save him; 21since nothing could escape his greed, his prosperity wil not last. 22When he has everything he needs, want wil seize him, and misery wil light on him with all its force. 23On him God looses al his burning wrath, hurling against his flesh a hail of arrows. 24If he escapes the weapons of iron, the bow of bronze wil transfix him. 25Out of his back sticks an arrow, from his gal a shining point. The terrors advance on him, 26all the hidden darknesses are waiting to carry him off. A fire unlit by human hand devours him, andconsumes what is left in his tent. 27The heavens lay bare his iniquity, and the earth rises up against him. 28The income of his house pours away, like the torrents, on the day of retribution. 29Such is the fate God reserves for the wicked, the inheritance he assigns to the accursed!
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