Then Zophar the Na'amathite answered:
"Therefore my thoughts answer me, because of my haste within me.
I hear censure which insults me, and out of my understanding a spirit answers me.
Do you not know this from of old, since man was placed upon earth,
that the exulting of the wicked is short, and the joy of the godless but for a moment?
Though his height mount up to the heavens, and his head reach to the clouds,
he will perish for ever like his own dung; those who have seen him will say, 'Where is he?'
He will fly away like a dream, and not be found; he will be chased away like a vision of the night.
The eye which saw him will see him no more, nor will his place any more behold him.
His children will seek the favor of the poor, and his hands will give back his wealth.
His bones are full of youthful vigor, but it will lie down with him in the dust.
"Though wickedness is sweet in his mouth, though he hides it under his tongue,
though he is loath to let it go, and holds it in his mouth,
yet his food is turned in his stomach; it is the gall of asps within him.
He swallows down riches and vomits them up again; God casts them out of his belly.
He will suck the poison of asps; the tongue of a viper will kill him.
He will not look upon the rivers, the streams flowing with honey and curds.
He will give back the fruit of his toil, and will not swallow it down; from the profit of his trading he will get no enjoyment.
For he has crushed and abandoned the poor, he has seized a house which he did not build.
"Because his greed knew no rest, he will not save anything in which he delights.
There was nothing left after he had eaten; therefore his prosperity will not endure.
In the fulness of his sufficiency he will be in straits; all the force of misery will come upon him.
To fill his belly to the full God will send his fierce anger into him, and rain it upon him as his food.
He will flee from an iron weapon; a bronze arrow will strike him through.
It is drawn forth and comes out of his body, the glittering point comes out of his gall; terrors come upon him.
Utter darkness is laid up for his treasures; a fire not blown upon will devour him; what is left in his tent will be consumed.
The heavens will reveal his iniquity, and the earth will rise up against him.
The possessions of his house will be carried away, dragged off in the day of God's wrath.
This is the wicked man's portion from God, the heritage decreed for him by God."
Then Job answered:
"Listen carefully to my words, and let this be your consolation.
Bear with me, and I will speak, and after I have spoken, mock on.
As for me, is my complaint against man? Why should I not be impatient?
Look at me, and be appalled, and lay your hand upon your mouth.
When I think of it I am dismayed, and shuddering seizes my flesh.
Why do the wicked live, reach old age, and grow mighty in power?
Their children are established in their presence, and their offspring before their eyes.
Their houses are safe from fear, and no rod of God is upon them.
Their bull breeds without fail; their cow calves, and does not cast her calf.
They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance.
They sing to the tambourine and the lyre, and rejoice to the sound of the pipe.
They spend their days in prosperity, and in peace they go down to Sheol.
They say to God, 'Depart from us! We do not desire the knowledge of thy ways.
What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? And what profit do we get if we pray to him?'
Behold, is not their prosperity in their hand? The counsel of the wicked is far from me.
"How often is it that the lamp of the wicked is put out? That their calamity comes upon them? That God distributes pains in his anger?
That they are like straw before the wind, and like chaff that the storm carries away?
You say, 'God stores up their iniquity for their sons.' Let him recompense it to themselves, that they may know it.
Let their own eyes see their destruction, and let them drink of the wrath of the Almighty.
For what do they care for their houses after them, when the number of their months is cut off?
Will any teach God knowledge, seeing that he judges those that are on high?
One dies in full prosperity, being wholly at ease and secure,
his body full of fat and the marrow of his bones moist.
Another dies in bitterness of soul, never having tasted of good.
They lie down alike in the dust, and the worms cover them.
"Behold, I know your thoughts, and your schemes to wrong me.
For you say, 'Where is the house of the prince? Where is the tent in which the wicked dwelt?'
Have you not asked those who travel the roads, and do you not accept their testimony
that the wicked man is spared in the day of calamity, that he is rescued in the day of wrath?
Who declares his way to his face, and who requites him for what he has done?
When he is borne to the grave, watch is kept over his tomb.
The clods of the valley are sweet to him; all men follow after him, and those who go before him are innumerable.
How then will you comfort me with empty nothings? There is nothing left of your answers but falsehood."
And on the following day they entered Caesare'a. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his kinsmen and close friends.
When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him.
But Peter lifted him up, saying, "Stand up; I too am a man."
And as he talked with him, he went in and found many persons gathered;
and he said to them, "You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit any one of another nation; but God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.
So when I was sent for, I came without objection. I ask then why you sent for me."
And Cornelius said, "Four days ago, about this hour, I was keeping the ninth hour of prayer in my house; and behold, a man stood before me in bright apparel,
saying, 'Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God.
Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon who is called Peter; he is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the seaside.'
So I sent to you at once, and you have been kind enough to come. Now therefore we are all here present in the sight of God, to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord."
And Peter opened his mouth and said: "Truly I perceive that God shows no partiality,
but in every nation any one who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.
You know the word which he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace by Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all),
the word which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism which John preached:
how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
And we are witnesses to all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree;
but God raised him on the third day and made him manifest;
not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.
And he commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that he is the one ordained by God to be judge of the living and the dead.
To him all the prophets bear witness that every one who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."
While Peter was still saying this, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word.
And the believers from among the circumcised who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles.
For they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared,
"Can any one forbid water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?"
And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (Revised Standard Version - Holy Bible)