1Then Zophar the Naamathite answered:
2“My troubled thoughts cause me to answer,
because I am very upset.
3You correct me and I am insulted,
but I understand how to answer you.
4“You know how it has been for a long time,
ever since people were first put on the earth.
5The happiness of evil people is brief,
and the joy of the wicked lasts only a moment.
6Their pride may be as high as the heavens,
and their heads may touch the clouds,
7but they will be gone forever, like their own dung.
People who knew them will say, ‘Where are they?’
8They will fly away like a dream
and not be found again;
they will be chased away like a vision in the night.
9Those who saw them will not see them again;
the places where they lived will see them no more.
10Their children will have to pay back the poor,
and they will have to give up their wealth.
11They had the strength of their youth in their bones,
but it will lie with them in the dust of death.
12“Evil may taste sweet in their mouths,
and they may hide it under their tongues.
13They cannot stand to let go of it;
they keep it in their mouths.
14But their food will turn sour in their stomachs,
like the poison of a snake inside them.
15They have swallowed riches, but they will spit them out;
God will make them vomit their riches up.
16They will suck the poison of snakes,
and the snake’s fangs will kill them.
17They will not admire the sparkling streams
or the rivers flowing with honey and cream.
18They must give back what they worked for without eating it;
they will not enjoy the money they made from their trading,
19because they troubled the poor and left them with nothing.
They have taken houses they did not build.
20“Evil people never lack an appetite,
and nothing escapes their selfishness.
21But nothing will be left for them to eat;
their riches will not continue.
22When they still have plenty, trouble will catch up to them,
and great misery will come down on them.
23When the wicked fill their stomachs,
God will send his burning anger against them,
and blows of punishment will fall on them like rain.
24The wicked may run away from an iron weapon,
but a bronze arrow will stab them.
25They will pull the arrows out of their backs
and pull the points out of their livers.
Terrors will come over them;
26total darkness waits for their treasure.
A fire not fanned by people will destroy them
and burn up what is left of their tents.
27The heavens will show their guilt,
and the earth will rise up against them.
28A flood will carry their houses away,
swept away on the day of God’s anger.
29This is what God plans for evil people;
this is what he has decided they will receive.”