2 Therefore do my thoughts give answer to me, even by reason of mine agitation that is in me.
ב לָכֵן שְׂעִפַּי יְשִׁיבוּנִי וּבַעֲבוּר חוּשִׁי בִי.
3 I have heard the reproof which putteth me to shame, but out of my understanding my spirit answereth me.
ג מוּסַר כְּלִמָּתִי אֶשְׁמָע וְרוּחַ מִבִּינָתִי יַעֲנֵנִי.
4 Knowest thou not this of old time, since man was placed upon earth,
ד הֲזֹאת יָדַעְתָּ מִנִּי עַד מִנִּי שִׂים אָדָם עֲלֵי אָרֶץ.
5 That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the godless but for a moment?
ה כִּי רִנְנַת רְשָׁעִים מִקָּרוֹב וְשִׂמְחַת חָנֵף עֲדֵי רָגַע.
6 Though his excellency mount up to the heavens, and his head reach unto the clouds;
ו אִם יַעֲלֶה לַשָּׁמַיִם שִׂיאוֹ וְרֹאשׁוֹ לָעָב יַגִּיעַ.
7 Yet he shall perish for ever like his own dung; they that have seen him shall say: ‘Where is he?’
ז כְּגֶלְלוֹ לָנֶצַח יֹאבֵד רֹאָיו יֹאמְרוּ אַיּוֹ.
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.
ח כַּחֲלוֹם יָעוּף וְלֹא יִמְצָאֻהוּ וְיֻדַּד כְּחֶזְיוֹן לָיְלָה.
9 The eye which saw him shall see him no more; neither shall his place any more behold him.
ט עַיִן שְׁזָפַתּוּ וְלֹא תוֹסִיף וְלֹא עוֹד תְּשׁוּרֶנּוּ מְקוֹמוֹ.
10 His children shall appease the poor, and his hands shall restore his wealth.
י בָּנָיו יְרַצּוּ דַלִּים וְיָדָיו תָּשֵׁבְנָה אוֹנוֹ.
11 His bones are full of his youth, but it shall lie down with him in the dust.
יא עַצְמוֹתָיו מָלְאוּ עֲלוּמָו וְעִמּוֹ עַל עָפָר תִּשְׁכָּב.
12 Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue;
יב אִם תַּמְתִּיק בְּפִיו רָעָה יַכְחִידֶנָּה תַּחַת לְשֹׁנוֹ.
13 Though he spare it, and will not let it go, but keep it still within his mouth;
יג יַחְמֹל עָלֶיהָ וְלֹא יַעַזְבֶנָּה וְיִמְנָעֶנָּה בְּתוֹךְ חִכּוֹ.
14 Yet his food in his bowels is turned, it is the gall of asps within him.
יד לַחְמוֹ בְּמֵעָיו נֶהְפָּךְ מְרוֹרַת פְּתָנִים בְּקִרְבּוֹ.
15 He hath swallowed down riches, and he shall vomit them up again; God shall cast them out of his belly.
טו חַיִל בָּלַע וַיְקִאֶנּוּ מִבִּטְנוֹ יֹרִשֶׁנּוּ אֵל.
16 He shall suck the poison of asps; the viper’s tongue shall slay him.
טז רֹאשׁ פְּתָנִים יִינָק תַּהַרְגֵהוּ לְשׁוֹן אֶפְעֶה.
17 He shall not look upon the rivers, the flowing streams of honey and curd.
יז אַל יֵרֶא בִפְלַגּוֹת נַהֲרֵי נַחֲלֵי דְּבַשׁ וְחֶמְאָה.
18 That which he laboured for shall he give back, and shall not swallow it down; according to the substance that he hath gotten, he shall not rejoice.
יח מֵשִׁיב יָגָע וְלֹא יִבְלָע כְּחֵיל תְּמוּרָתוֹ וְלֹא יַעֲלֹס.
19 For he hath oppressed and forsaken the poor; he hath violently taken away a house, and he shall not build it up.
יט כִּי רִצַּץ עָזַב דַּלִּים בַּיִת גָּזַל וְלֹא יִבְנֵהוּ.
20 Because he knew no quietness within him, in his greed he suffered nought to escape,
כ כִּי לֹא יָדַע שָׁלֵו בְּבִטְנוֹ בַּחֲמוּדוֹ לֹא יְמַלֵּט.
21 There was nothing left that he devoured not–therefore his prosperity shall not endure.
כא אֵין שָׂרִיד לְאָכְלוֹ עַל כֵּן לֹא יָחִיל טוּבוֹ.
22 In the fulness of his sufficiency he shall be in straits; the hand of every one that is in misery shall come upon him.
כב בִּמְלֹאות שִׂפְקוֹ יֵצֶר לוֹ כָּל יַד עָמֵל תְּבֹאֶנּוּ.
23 It shall be for the filling of his belly; He shall cast the fierceness of His wrath upon him, and shall cause it to rain upon him into his flesh.
כג יְהִי לְמַלֵּא בִטְנוֹ יְשַׁלַּח בּוֹ חֲרוֹן אַפּוֹ וְיַמְטֵר עָלֵימוֹ בִּלְחוּמוֹ.
24 If he flee from the iron weapon, the bow of brass shall strike him through.
כד יִבְרַח מִנֵּשֶׁק בַּרְזֶל תַּחְלְפֵהוּ קֶשֶׁת נְחוּשָׁה.
25 He draweth it forth, and it cometh out of his body; yea, the glittering point cometh out of his gall; terrors are upon him.
כה שָׁלַף וַיֵּצֵא מִגֵּוָה וּבָרָק מִמְּרֹרָתוֹ יַהֲלֹךְ עָלָיו אֵמִים.
26 All darkness is laid up for his treasures; a fire not blown by man shall consume him; it shall go ill with him that is left in his tent.
kol KHO-shekh ta-MUN litz-pu-NAV t’-a-kh’-LAY-hu aysh lo nu-PAKH yay-RA sa-REED b’-a-ha-LO
כו כָּל חֹשֶׁךְ טָמוּן לִצְפּוּנָיו תְּאָכְלֵהוּ אֵשׁ לֹא נֻפָּח יֵרַע שָׂרִיד בְּאָהֳלוֹ.
20:26 It shall go ill with him that is left in his tent
Zophar asserts that anyone who is associated with an evil person will be punished by reason of that association. This verse is also used by the Sages to demonstrate that someone who teaches an unfit student will be punished. Why is it so important not to associate with evil doers? Since other people judge based on one’s associations, associating with a sinner can cause a desecration of God’s since righteous people are thought to be less righteous than they are because of their associations. However, the main reason is that a righteous man must avoid being influenced by sinners, lest they turn him to sin. This idea is applied by the commentator Rashi in order to explain why the tribe of Reuben joined in the rebellion of Korah the son of Kohath. “Since the tribe of Reuben was settled in the south when they camped, thus being neighbors of Kohath and his children who were also camped in the south, they joined with Korah in his rebellion. Woe to the wicked, and woe to his neighbor!”
27 The heavens shall reveal his iniquity, and the earth shall rise up against him.
כז יְגַלּוּ שָׁמַיִם עֲוֹנוֹ וְאֶרֶץ מִתְקוֹמָמָה לוֹ.
28 The increase of his house shall depart, his goods shall flow away in the day of his wrath.
כח יִגֶל יְבוּל בֵּיתוֹ נִגָּרוֹת בְּיוֹם אַפּוֹ.
29 This is the portion of a wicked man from God, and the heritage appointed unto him by God.
כט זֶה חֵלֶק אָדָם רָשָׁע מֵאֱלֹהִים וְנַחֲלַת אִמְרוֹ מֵאֵל.