Job 20:5
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
that the mirth of the wicked is brief, the joy of the godless lasts but a moment.

New Living Translation
the triumph of the wicked has been short lived and the joy of the godless has been only temporary?

English Standard Version
that the exulting of the wicked is short, and the joy of the godless but for a moment?

New American Standard Bible
That the triumphing of the wicked is short, And the joy of the godless momentary?

King James Bible
That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
the joy of the wicked has been brief and the happiness of the godless has lasted only a moment?

International Standard Version
The wicked triumph only briefly; the joy of the godless is momentary.

NET Bible
that the elation of the wicked is brief, the joy of the godless lasts but a moment.

New Heart English Bible
that the triumphing of the wicked is short, the joy of the godless but for a moment?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
the triumph of the wicked is short-lived, and the joy of the godless person lasts only a moment?

JPS Tanakh 1917
That the triumphing of the wicked is short, And the joy of the godless but for a moment?

New American Standard 1977
That the triumphing of the wicked is short,
            And the joy of the godless momentary?

Jubilee Bible 2000
that the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?

King James 2000 Bible
That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?

American King James Version
That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?

American Standard Version
That the triumphing of the wicked is short, And the joy of the godless but for a moment?

Douay-Rheims Bible
that the praise of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment.

Darby Bible Translation
The exultation of the wicked is short, and the joy of the ungodly man but for a moment?

English Revised Version
That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the godless but for a moment?

Webster's Bible Translation
That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?

World English Bible
that the triumphing of the wicked is short, the joy of the godless but for a moment?

Young's Literal Translation
That the singing of the wicked is short, And the joy of the profane for a moment,
Study Bible
Zophar: Triumph of the Wicked Short-lived
4"Do you know this from of old, From the establishment of man on earth, 5That 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,…
Cross References
Job 8:12
"While it is still green and not cut down, Yet it withers before any other plant.

Job 8:13
"So are the paths of all who forget God; And the hope of the godless will perish,

Job 8:19
"Behold, this is the joy of His way; And out of the dust others will spring.

Job 34:30
So that godless men would not rule Nor be snares of the people.

Psalm 37:35
I have seen a wicked, violent man Spreading himself like a luxuriant tree in its native soil.

Psalm 37:36
Then he passed away, and lo, he was no more; I sought for him, but he could not be found.

Psalm 94:3
How long shall the wicked, O LORD, How long shall the wicked exult?
Treasury of Scripture

That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?

the triumphing

Job 5:3 I have seen the foolish taking root: but suddenly I cursed his habitation.

Job 15:29-34 He shall not be rich, neither shall his substance continue, neither …

Job 18:5,6 Yes, the light of the wicked shall be put out, and the spark of his …

Job 27:13-23 This is the portion of a wicked man with God, and the heritage of …

Exodus 15:9,10 The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the …

Judges 16:21-30 But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him …

Esther 5:11,12 And Haman told them of the glory of his riches, and the multitude …

Esther 7:10 So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. …

Psalm 37:35,36 I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like …

Psalm 73:18-20 Surely you did set them in slippery places: you cast them down into …

Acts 12:22,23 And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and …

short. Heb. from near. the joy

Job 8:19 Behold, this is the joy of his way, and out of the earth shall others grow.

Job 27:8 For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he has gained, when …

Matthew 7:21 Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom …

Matthew 13:20,21 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that …

Galatians 6:4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing …

James 4:16 But now you rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.

(5) The triumphing of the wicked is short.--He affirms that the destruction of the wicked is not only certain, but speedy. (Comp. Psalm 103:16 and Job 7:8; Job 7:10.)

Verse 5. - That the triumphing of the wicked is short (comp. Psalm 37:35, 36; Psalm 51:1-5; Psalm 73:17-19, etc.). This is one of the main points of dispute between Job and his opponents. It has been previously maintained by Eliphaz (Job 4:8-11; Job 5:3-5; Job 15:21, 29) and by Bildad (Job 8:11-19), as it is now by Zophar, and may be regarded as the traditional belief of the time, which scarcely any ventured to question. His own observation, however, has convinced Job that the fact is otherwise. He has seen the wicked "live, become old, and remain mighty in power" (Job 21:7); he has seen them "spend their days in wealth," and die quietly, as "in a moment" (Job 21:13). In Job 24:2-24 he seems to argue that this is the general, if not universal, lot of such persons. Later on, however, in Job 27:13-23, he retracts this view, or, at any rate, greatly modifies it, admitting that usually retribution does even in this life overtake the wicked. And this seems to be the general sentiment of mankind.

"Raro antecedentem scelestum,
Deseruit pede poena claudlo."


(Horace, 'Od.,' 3:2, ll. 31, 32.) There remains, however, the question whether the triumphing of the wicked can fairly be considered "short," and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment. When we consider the lives of Dionysius the elder, Sylla, Marius, Tiberius, Louis XIV., Napoleon, it is difficult to answer this question in the affirmative. That the triumphing of the wicked is short,.... Their outward prosperity and felicity, of which they make their boast, and in which they glory and triumph for a while; at first Job's friends set out with this notion, that the wicked never flourished and prospered, but it always went ill with them in Providence; but being beat out of that, they own they may be for a small time in flourishing and prosperous circumstances, but it is but for a small time; which may be true in many instances, but it is not invariable and without exception the case: the sense is, it is but a little while that they are in so much mirth and jollity, and triumph over their neighbours, as being in more advantageous circumstances than they; this is said in the original text to be "from near" (h); it is but a little while ago when it began; and; as the Targum paraphrases it, it will be quickly ended:

and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment; the word "wicked", in the former clause, may signify the same person here called the "hypocrite"; but inasmuch as that signifies one restless and troublesome, one that is ungodly, and destitute of the fear of God, that has nothing in him but wickedness, who is continually committing it, and is abandoned to it; it might be thought not to apply to the character of Job, whom Zophar had in his view, and therefore this is added as descriptive of him: an hypocrite is one who seems to be that he is not, holy, righteous, good, and godly; who professes to have what he has not, the true grace of God, and pretends to worship God, but does not do it cordially, and from right principles; and who seeks himself in all he does, and not the glory of God: now there may be a joy in such sort of persons; they may hear ministers gladly, as Herod heard John, and receive the word with joy, as the stony ground hearers did, Mark 6:20; they may seem to delight in the ways and ordinances of God, and even have some tastes of the powers of the world to come, and some pleasing thoughts and hopes of heaven and happiness; as well as they triumph in and boast of their profession of religion and performance of duties, and rejoice in their boastings, which is evil; but then this is like the pleasures of sin, which are but for a season, or like the crackling of thorns under a pot, which make a great noise and blaze, but soon over, Ecclesiastes 7:6; and so their joy in civil as well as religious, things. It is possible Zophar might be so ill natured as to have reference to Job's triumph of faith, Job 19:25; and by this would suggest, that his faith in a living Redeemer, and the joy of it he professed, would be soon over and no more; which shows what spirit he was of.

(h) "de propinquo", Pagninus, Montanus, &c. 5. the hypocrite—literally, "the ungodly" (Ps 37:35, 36).20:1-9 Zophar's discourse is upon the certain misery of the wicked. The triumph of the wicked and the joy of the hypocrite are fleeting. The pleasures and gains of sin bring disease and pain; they end in remorse, anguish, and ruin. Dissembled piety is double iniquity, and the ruin that attends it will be accordingly.
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