Chapter 20

1 Then Sophar the Minæan answered and said,

2 I did not suppose that thou wouldest answer thus: neither do ye understand more than I. 3 I will hear my shameful reproach; and the spirit of my understanding answers me.

4 Hast thou not known these things of old, from the time that man was set upon the earth? 5 But the mirth of the ungodly is a signal downfall,


and the joy of transgressors is destruction: 6 although his gifts should go up to heaven, and his 1sacrifice reach the clouds. 7 For when he shall seem to be now established, then he shall utterly perish: and they that knew him shall say, Where is he? 8 Like a dream that has fled away, he shall not be found; and he has fled like a vision of the night. 9 The eye has looked upon him, but shall not see him again; and his place shall no longer perceive him. 10 Let his inferiors destroy his children, and let his hands 2kindle the fire of sorrow. 11 His bones have been filled with vigour of his youth, and it shall lie down with him in the dust.

12 Though evil be sweet in his mouth, though he will hide it under his tongue; 13 though he will not spare it, and will not leave it, but will keep it in the midst of his throat: 14 yet he shall not at all be able to help himself; the gall of an asp is in his belly.

15 His wealth unjustly collected shall be vomited up; a messenger of 3wrath shall drag him out of his house. 16 And let him suck the 4poison of serpents, and let the serpent's tongue slay him. 17 Let him not see the 5milk of the pastures, nor the 6supplies of honey and butter. 18 He has laboured unprofitably and in vain, for wealth of which he shall not taste: it is as a lean thing, unfit for food, which he cannot swallow. 19 For he has broken down the houses of many 7mighty men: and he has plundered an habitation, though he built it not. 20 There is no security to his possessions; he shall not be saved by his desire. 21 There is nothing remaining of his provisions; therefore his goods shall not flourish. 22 But when he shall seem to be just satisfied, he shall be 8straitened; and all distress shall come upon him.

23 If by any means he would fill his belly, let God send upon him the fury of wrath; let him bring a torrent of pains upon him. 24 And he shall by no means escape from the power of the sword; let the brazen bow wound him. 25 And let the arrow pierce through his body; and 9let the stars be against his dwelling-place: let terrors come upon him. 26 And let all darkness wait for him: a fire that burns not out shall consume him; and let a stranger plague his house. 27 And let the heaven reveal his iniquities, and the earth rise up against him. 28 Let destruction bring his house to an end; let a day of wrath come upon him. 29 This is the portion of an ungodly man from the Lord, and the possession of his goods appointed him by 10the all-seeing God.

1 Or, meat-offering.

2 Alex. ψηλαφήσουσιν, 'feel after.'

3 Alex. death.

4 Gr. rage, or, mind.

5 Gr. milking.

6 Gr. pastures.

7 Alex. powerless.

8 Or, bruised, or, wounded.

9 Alex. suffer not a man to walk in his habitations.

10 Gr. the overseer


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