December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- Then Zophar the Naamathite spoke and said:
- and because of this I am disturbed. So now my thoughts provide me with an answer, and from my understanding a spirit gives me a reply.
- A rebuke which puts me to shame I hear,
- Do you not know this from olden time, since man was placed upon the earth,
- That the triumph of the wicked is short and the joy of the impious but for a moment?
- Though his pride mount up to the heavens and his head reach to the clouds,
- Yet he perishes forever like the fuel of his fire, and the onlookers say, "Where is he?"
- Like a dream he takes flight and is not found again; he fades away like a vision of the night.
- The eye which saw him does so no more; nor shall his dwelling again behold him.
- Though his frame is full of youthful vigor, this shall lie with him in the dust.
- Though wickedness is sweet in his mouth, and he hides it under his tongue,
- Though he retains it and will not let it go but keeps it still within his mouth,
- Yet in his stomach the food shall turn; it shall be venom of asps inside him.
- The riches he swallowed he shall disgorge; God shall compel his belly to disown them.
- The poison of asps he shall drink in; the viper's fangs shall slay him.
- 1 He shall see no streams of oil, no torrents of honey or milk.
- Restoring his gains, he shall not enjoy them; though his wealth increases, he shall not rejoice.
- Because he has oppressed the poor, and stolen a patrimony he had not built up,
- Though he has known no quiet in his greed, his treasures shall not save him.
- Therefore his prosperity shall not endure,
- and his hands shall yield up his riches.
- When he abounds to overflowing, he shall be brought into straits, and nought shall be left of his goods.
- God shall send against him the fury of his wrath and rain down his missiles of war upon him.
- Should he escape the iron weapon, the bow of bronze shall pierce him through;
- The dart shall come out of his back; terrors shall fall upon him.
- Complete darkness is in store for him; the fire which shall consume him needs not to be fanned.
- The heavens shall reveal his guilt, and the earth shall rise up against him.
- The flood shall sweep away his house with the waters that run off in the day of God's anger.
- This is the portion of a wicked man, and the heritage appointed him by God.
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1  Oil: olive oil, one of the main agricultural products of Palestine, a land proverbially rich in honey and milk.
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