201-2Job, you upset me. Now I'm impatient to answer.
3What you have said is an insult,
but I know how to reply to you.
4Surely you know that from ancient times,
when human beings were first placed on earth,
5no wicked people have been happy for long.
6They may grow great, towering to the sky,
so great that their heads reach the clouds,
7but they will be blown away like dust.
Those who used to know them
will wonder where they have gone.
8They will vanish like a dream, like a vision at night,
and never be seen again.
9The wicked will disappear from the place where they used to live;
10and their children will make good what they stole from the poor.
11Their bodies used to be young and vigorous,
but soon they will turn to dust.
12-13Evil tastes so good to them
that they keep some in their mouths to enjoy its flavour.
14But in their stomachs the food turns bitter,
as bitter as any poison could be.
15The wicked vomit up the wealth they stole;
God takes it back, even out of their stomachs.
16What evil people swallow is like poison;
it kills them like the bite of a deadly snake.
17They will not live to see rivers of olive oil20.17 Probable text They will… olive oil; Hebrew unclear.
or streams that flow with milk and honey.
18They will have to give up all they have worked for;
they will have no chance to enjoy their wealth,
19because they oppressed and neglected the poor
and seized houses someone else had built.
20Their greed is never satisfied.
21When they eat, there is nothing left over,
but now their prosperity comes to an end.
22At the height of their success
all the weight of misery will crush them.
23Let them eat all they want!
God will punish them in fury and anger.
24When they try to escape from an iron sword,
a bronze bow will shoot them down.
25Arrows stick through their bodies;
the shiny points drip with their blood,
and terror grips their hearts.
26Everything they have saved is destroyed;
a fire not lit by human hands
burns them and all their families.
27Heaven reveals their sin,
and the earth gives testimony against them.
28All their wealth will be destroyed
in the flood of God's anger.
29This is the fate of the wicked,
the fate that God assigns to them.