26 Utter darkness waits for his treasured ones; A fire fanned by no man will consume him; Who survives in his tent will be crushed.
kol KHO-shekh ta-MUN litz-pu-NAV t’-a-kh’-LAY-hu AYSH lo nu-PAKH yay-RA sa-REED b’-a-ho-LO
כו כָּל־חֹשֶׁךְ טָמוּן לִצְפּוּנָיו תְּאָכְלֵהוּ אֵשׁ לֹא־נֻפָּח יֵרַע שָׂרִיד בְּאָהֳלוֹ׃
20:26 Who survives in his tent will be crushed
Zophar asserts that anyone associated with an evil person will be punished as a result of that association. Why is it so important to avoid associating with evildoers? Associating with a sinner can cause a desecration of God’s name, since righteous people are thought to be less virtuous due to these inappropriate associations. Furthermore, a righteous person must avoid being influenced by evildoers, lest they lead him to sin. This idea is applied by Rashi (Numbers 3:29) to explain why the tribe of Reuven joined the rebellion of Korach, who was from the Kehat family of the tribe of Levi. “Since the tribe of Reuven was settled in the south when they camped, thus being neighbors of Kehat and his children who were also camped in the south, they joined with Korach in his rebellion. Woe to the wicked, and woe to his neighbor!”