Job 20 – New International Version (NIV)


  1. Then Zophar the Naamathite replied:
  2. “My troubled thoughts prompt me to answer because I am greatly disturbed.
  3. I hear a rebuke that dishonors me, and my understanding inspires me to reply.
  4. “Surely you know how it has been from of old, ever since mankind[a] was placed on the earth,
  5. that the mirth of the wicked is brief, the joy of the godless lasts but a moment.
  6. Though the pride of the godless person reaches to the heavens and his head touches the clouds,
  7. he will perish forever, like his own dung; those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’
  8. Like a dream he flies away, no more to be found, banished like a vision of the night.
  9. The eye that saw him will not see him again; his place will look on him no more.
  10. His children must make amends to the poor; his own hands must give back his wealth.
  11. The youthful vigor that fills his bones will lie with him in the dust.
  12. “Though evil is sweet in his mouth and he hides it under his tongue,
  13. though he cannot bear to let it go and lets it linger in his mouth,
  14. yet his food will turn sour in his stomach; it will become the venom of serpents within him.
  15. He will spit out the riches he swallowed; God will make his stomach vomit them up.
  16. He will suck the poison of serpents; the fangs of an adder will kill him.
  17. He will not enjoy the streams, the rivers flowing with honey and cream.
  18. What he toiled for he must give back uneaten; he will not enjoy the profit from his trading.
  19. For he has oppressed the poor and left them destitute; he has seized houses he did not build.
  20. “Surely he will have no respite from his craving; he cannot save himself by his treasure.
  21. Nothing is left for him to devour; his prosperity will not endure.
  22. In the midst of his plenty, distress will overtake him; the full force of misery will come upon him.
  23. When he has filled his belly, God will vent his burning anger against him and rain down his blows on him.
  24. Though he flees from an iron weapon, a bronze-tipped arrow pierces him.
  25. He pulls it out of his back, the gleaming point out of his liver. Terrors will come over him;
  26. total darkness lies in wait for his treasures. A fire unfanned will consume him and devour what is left in his tent.
  27. The heavens will expose his guilt; the earth will rise up against him.
  28. A flood will carry off his house, rushing waters[b] on the day of God’s wrath.
  29. Such is the fate God allots the wicked, the heritage appointed for them by God.”


a. Job 20:4 Or Adam
b. Job 20:28 Or The possessions in his house will be carried off, / washed away

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Job 20 – King James Version (KJV)

Zophar’s Speech

  1. Then answered Zophar the Naamathite, and said,
  2. Therefore do my thoughts cause me to answer, And for this I make haste.
  3. I have heard the check of my reproach, And the spirit of my understanding causeth me to answer.
  4. Knowest thou not this of old, Since man was placed upon earth,
  5. That the triumphing of the wicked is short, And the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?
  6. Though his excellency mount up to the heavens, And his head reach unto the clouds;
  7. Yet he shall perish for ever like his own dung: They which have seen him shall say, Where is he?
  8. He shall fly away as a dream, and shall not be found: Yea, he shall be chased away as a vision of the night.
  9. The eye also which saw him shall see him no more; Neither shall his place any more behold him.
  10. His children shall seek to please the poor, And his hands shall restore their goods.
  11. His bones are full of the sin of his youth, Which shall lie down with him in the dust.
  12. Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, Though he hide it under his tongue;
  13. Though he spare it, and forsake it not; But keep it still within his mouth:
  14. Yet his meat in his bowels is turned, It is the gall of asps within him.
  15. He hath swallowed down riches, and he shall vomit them up again: God shall cast them out of his belly.
  16. He shall suck the poison of asps: The viper’s tongue shall slay him.
  17. He shall not see the rivers, The floods, the brooks of honey and butter.
  18. That which he laboured for shall he restore, And shall not swallow it down: According to his substance shall the restitution be, and he shall not rejoice therein.
  19. Because he hath oppressed and hath forsaken the poor; Because he hath violently taken away an house which he builded not;
  20. Surely he shall not feel quietness in his belly, He shall not save of that which he desired.
  21. There shall none of his meat be left; Therefore shall no man look for his goods.
  22. In the fulness of his sufficiency he shall be in straits: Every hand of the wicked shall come upon him.
  23. When he is about to fill his belly, God shall cast the fury of his wrath upon him, And shall rain it upon him while he is eating.
  24. He shall flee from the iron weapon, And the bow of steel shall strike him through.
  25. It is drawn, and cometh out of the body; Yea, the glittering sword cometh out of his gall: Terrors are upon him.
  26. All darkness shall be hid in his secret places: A fire not blown shall consume him; It shall go ill with him that is left in his tabernacle.
  27. The heaven shall reveal his iniquity; And the earth shall rise up against him.
  28. The increase of his house shall depart, And his goods shall flow away in the day of his wrath.
  29. This is the portion of a wicked man from God, And the heritage appointed unto him by God.