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24 “I wish the Almighty would set a time for judging.
    Those who know God do not see such a day.
Wicked people take other people’s land;
    they steal flocks and take them to new pastures.
They chase away the orphan’s donkey
    and take the widow’s ox when she has no money.
They push needy people off the path;
    all the poor of the land hide from them.
The poor become like wild donkeys in the desert
    who go about their job of finding food.
    The desert gives them food for their children.
They gather hay and straw in the fields
    and pick up leftover grapes from the vineyard of the wicked.
They spend the night naked, because they have no clothes,
    nothing to cover themselves in the cold.
They are soaked from mountain rains
    and stay near the large rocks because they have no shelter.
The fatherless child is grabbed from its mother’s breast;
    they take a poor mother’s baby to pay for what she owes.
10 So the poor go around naked without any clothes;
    they carry bundles of grain but still go hungry;
11 they crush olives to get oil
    and grapes to get wine, but they still go thirsty.
12 Dying people groan in the city,
    and the injured cry out for help,
    but God accuses no one of doing wrong.

13 “Those who fight against the light
    do not know God’s ways
    or stay in his paths.
14 When the day is over, the murderers get up
    to kill the poor and needy.
    At night they go about like thieves.
15 Those who are guilty of adultery watch for the night,
    thinking, ‘No one will see us,’
    and they keep their faces covered.
16 In the dark, evil people break into houses.
    In the daytime they shut themselves up in their own houses,
    because they want nothing to do with the light.
17 Darkness is like morning to all these evil people
    who make friends with the terrors of darkness.

18 “They are like foam floating on the water.
    Their part of the land is cursed;
    no one uses the road that goes by their vineyards.
19 As heat and dryness quickly melt the snow,
    so the grave quickly takes away the sinners.
20 Their mothers forget them,
    and worms will eat their bodies.
They will not be remembered,
    so wickedness is broken in pieces like a stick.
21 These evil people abuse women who cannot have children
    and show no kindness to widows.
22 But God drags away the strong by his power.
    Even though they seem strong, they do not know how long they will live.
23 God may let these evil people feel safe,
    but he is watching their ways.
24 For a little while they are important, and then they die;
    they are laid low and buried like everyone else;
    they are cut off like the heads of grain.
25 If this is not true, who can prove I am wrong?
    Who can show that my words are worth nothing?”

24 “Why does the Almighty not set times(A) for judgment?(B)
    Why must those who know him look in vain for such days?(C)
There are those who move boundary stones;(D)
    they pasture flocks they have stolen.(E)
They drive away the orphan’s donkey
    and take the widow’s ox in pledge.(F)
They thrust the needy(G) from the path
    and force all the poor(H) of the land into hiding.(I)
Like wild donkeys(J) in the desert,
    the poor go about their labor(K) of foraging food;
    the wasteland(L) provides food for their children.
They gather fodder(M) in the fields
    and glean in the vineyards(N) of the wicked.(O)
Lacking clothes, they spend the night naked;
    they have nothing to cover themselves in the cold.(P)
They are drenched(Q) by mountain rains
    and hug(R) the rocks for lack of shelter.(S)
The fatherless(T) child is snatched(U) from the breast;
    the infant of the poor is seized(V) for a debt.(W)
10 Lacking clothes, they go about naked;(X)
    they carry the sheaves,(Y) but still go hungry.
11 They crush olives among the terraces[a];
    they tread the winepresses,(Z) yet suffer thirst.(AA)
12 The groans of the dying rise from the city,
    and the souls of the wounded cry out for help.(AB)
    But God charges no one with wrongdoing.(AC)

13 “There are those who rebel against the light,(AD)
    who do not know its ways
    or stay in its paths.(AE)
14 When daylight is gone, the murderer rises up,
    kills(AF) the poor and needy,(AG)
    and in the night steals forth like a thief.(AH)
15 The eye of the adulterer(AI) watches for dusk;(AJ)
    he thinks, ‘No eye will see me,’(AK)
    and he keeps his face concealed.
16 In the dark, thieves break into houses,(AL)
    but by day they shut themselves in;
    they want nothing to do with the light.(AM)
17 For all of them, midnight is their morning;
    they make friends with the terrors(AN) of darkness.(AO)

18 “Yet they are foam(AP) on the surface of the water;(AQ)
    their portion of the land is cursed,(AR)
    so that no one goes to the vineyards.(AS)
19 As heat and drought snatch away the melted snow,(AT)
    so the grave(AU) snatches away those who have sinned.
20 The womb forgets them,
    the worm(AV) feasts on them;(AW)
the wicked are no longer remembered(AX)
    but are broken like a tree.(AY)
21 They prey on the barren and childless woman,
    and to the widow they show no kindness.(AZ)
22 But God drags away the mighty by his power;(BA)
    though they become established,(BB) they have no assurance of life.(BC)
23 He may let them rest in a feeling of security,(BD)
    but his eyes(BE) are on their ways.(BF)
24 For a little while they are exalted, and then they are gone;(BG)
    they are brought low and gathered up like all others;(BH)
    they are cut off like heads of grain.(BI)

25 “If this is not so, who can prove me false
    and reduce my words to nothing?”(BJ)

Footnotes

  1. Job 24:11 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.

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