4 “Do you know this from of old,
From the establishment of man on earth,
5 That the triumphing of the wicked is short,
And the joy of the godless momentary?
6 “Though his loftiness reaches the heavens,
And his head touches the clouds,
7 He perishes forever like his refuse;
Those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’
8 “He flies away like a dream, and they cannot find him;
Even like a vision of the night he is chased away.
9 “The eye which saw him sees him no longer,
And his place no longer beholds him.
10 “His sons favor the poor,
And his hands give back his wealth.
11 “His bones are full of his youthful vigor,
But it lies down with him in the dust.
12 “Though evil is sweet in his mouth
And he hides it under his tongue,
13 Though he desires it and will not let it go,
But holds it in his mouth,
14 Yet his food in his stomach is changed
To the venom of cobras within him.
15 “He swallows riches,
But will vomit them up;
God will expel them from his belly.
16 “He sucks the poison of cobras;
The viper’s tongue slays him.
17 “He does not look at the streams,
The rivers flowing with honey and curds.
18 “He returns what he has attained
And cannot swallow it;
As to the riches of his trading,
He cannot even enjoy them.
19 “For he has oppressed and forsaken the poor;
He has seized a house which he has not built.
20 “Because he knew no quiet within him,
He does not retain anything he desires.
21 “Nothing remains for him to devour,
Therefore his prosperity does not endure.
22 “In the fullness of his plenty he will be cramped;
The hand of everyone who suffers will come against him.
23 “When he fills his belly,
God will send His fierce anger on him
And will rain it on him while he is eating.
24 “He may flee from the iron weapon,
But the bronze bow will pierce him.
25 “It is drawn forth and comes out of his back,
Even the glittering point from his gall.
Terrors come upon him,
26 Complete darkness is held in reserve for his treasures,
And unfanned fire will devour him;
It will consume the survivor in his tent.
27 “The heavens will reveal his iniquity,
And the earth will rise up against him.
28 “The increase of his house will depart;
His possessions will flow away in the day of His anger.
29 “This is the wicked man’s portion from God,
Even the heritage decreed to him by God.”