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Sophar declares the shortness of the prosperity of the wicked: and their sudden downfall.

[1] Then Sophar the Naamathite answered, and said: [2] Therefore various thoughts succeed one another in me, and my mind is hurried away to different things. [3] The doctrine with which thou reprovest me, I will hear, and the spirit of my understanding shall answer for me. [4] This I know from the beginning, since man was placed upon the earth, [5] That the praise of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment.

[6] If his pride mount up even to heaven, and his head touch the clouds: [7] In the end he shall be destroyed like a dunghill, and they that has seen him shall say: Where is he? [8] As a dream that fleeth away he shall not be found, he shall pass as a vision of the night: [9] The eyes that had seen him, shall see him no more, neither shall his place any more behold him. [10] His children shall be oppressed with want, and his hands shall render him his sorrow.

[11] His bones shall be filled with the vices of his youth, and they shall sleep with him in the dust. [12] For when evil shall be sweet in his mouth, he will hide it under his tongue. [13] He will spare it, and not leave it, and will hide it in his throat. [14] His bread in his belly shall be turned into the gall of asps within him. [15] The riches which he hath swallowed; he shall vomit up, and God shall draw them out of his belly.

[16] He shall suck the head of asps, and the viper' s tongue shall kill him. [17] (Let him not see the streams of the river, the brooks of honey and of butter.) [18] He shall be punished for all that he did, and yet shall not be consumed: according to the multitude of his devices so also shall he suffer. [19] Because he broke in and stripped the poor: he hath violently taken away a house which he did not build. [20] And yet his belly was not filled: and when he hath the things he coveted, he shall not be able to possess them.

[18] According to the multitude of his devices: That is, his stratagems to gratify his passions and to oppress and destroy the poor.

[21] There was nothing left of his meat, and therefore nothing shall continue of his goods: [22] When he shall be filled, he shall be straitened, he shall burn, and every sorrow shall fall upon him. [23] May his belly be filled, that God may send forth the wrath of his indignation upon him, and rain down his war upon him. [24] He shall flee from weapons of iron, and shall fall upon a bow of brass. [25] The sword is drawn out, and cometh forth from its scabbard, and glittereth in his bitterness: the terrible ones shall go and come upon him.

[26] All darkness is hid in his secret places: a fire that is not kindled shall devour him, he shall be afflicted when left in his tabernacle. [27] The heavens shall reveal his iniquity, and the earth shall rise up against him. [28] The offspring of his house shall be exposed, he shall be pulled down in the day of God' s wrath. [29] This is the portion of a wicked man from God, and the inheritance of his doings from the Lord.

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