The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Job
Then answered Sophar the Naamathite:
Strange hesitation thy words breed in me; my thoughts veer to and fro.
Not deaf am I to thy pleadings, but there is a voice in my heart gives me pause.
Certain it is that never since man found a place on earth
did the wrong-doer win lasting triumph; only for a brief moment does knavery bring him content.
Let his pride overtop heaven itself, his head be lifted high as the clouds,
he is for the dung-hill at last; none knows what has become of him.
Vanished and gone like a dream, the phantom of yesternight,
unmarked by human eyes, lost to the scenes he knew!
Crushing poverty shall be his children’s lot; his acts shall yield their own harvest of shame,
all the lusty vigour of his frame doomed, like himself, to silence and the dust.
Sweet in the mouth is the taste of evil-doing; how the tongue cherishes it!
How he treasures it, loth to lose the secret pleasure of his palate!
But once let that food reach his belly, not the gall of adders is so venomous.
The wealth he loved to swallow, disgorge he must; God will make his belly return it;
poisonous as the asp’s head or the viper’s tongue were those juices he sucked,
when he thought to enjoy streams of plenty; honey and cream should have been his in rich abundance.
Endlessly he shall pay for the wrong he did, plagued in the measure of his own false dealings.
He who oppressed and robbed the poor shall never prosper with his ill-gotten fortunes;
he, the insatiable, will not keep what he so coveted;
he, that never had a crust to spare, will be stripped now of all his goods.
Once so full fed, now he goes in need; stands in doubt, with distress crowding in on every side;
ah for a meal to fill his belly with! But no, God’s angry vengeance is let loose on him, raining down all its weapons;
shuns he the steel, to the bow of bronze he falls a prey.
Bright and bitter the drawn sword threatens; about him, dread warriors come and go.✻
He hides away, where thick darkness broods over him;✻ straightway a fire no human hand has kindled threatens to devour him; woe betide any that would take refuge in that dwelling!
Heaven will reveal the story of his crimes, earth itself rise in revolt against him;
all the promise of his race will be laid bare and torn away, in that hour of the Lord’s vengeance.✻
Such is the lot God sends to the wicked, such their divinely appointed doom.
The Holy Bible