24 “Why doesn’t God open the court and listen to my case? Why must the godly wait for him in vain? For a crime wave has engulfed us—landmarks are moved, flocks of sheep are stolen, and even the donkeys of the poor and fatherless are taken. Poor widows must surrender the little they have as a pledge to get a loan. The needy are kicked aside; they must get out of the way. Like the wild donkeys in the desert, the poor must spend all their time just getting barely enough to keep soul and body together. They are sent into the desert to search for food for their children. They eat what they find that grows wild and must even glean the vineyards of the wicked. All night they lie naked in the cold, without clothing or covering. They are wet with the showers of the mountains and live in caves for want of a home.

“The wicked snatch fatherless children from their mother’s breasts, and take a poor man’s baby as a pledge before they will loan him any money or grain. 10 That is why they must go about naked, without clothing, and are forced to carry food while they are starving. 11 They are forced to press out the olive oil without tasting it and to tread out the grape juice as they suffer from thirst. 12 The bones of the dying cry from the city; the wounded cry for help; yet God does not respond to their moaning.

13 “The wicked rebel against the light and are not acquainted with the right and the good. 14-15 They are murderers who rise in the early dawn to kill the poor and needy; at night they are thieves and adulterers, waiting for the twilight ‘when no one will see me,’ they say. They mask their faces so no one will know them. 16 They break into houses at night and sleep in the daytime—they are not acquainted with the light. 17 The black night is their morning; they ally themselves with the terrors of the darkness.

18 “But how quickly they disappear from the face of the earth. Everything they own is cursed. They leave no property for their children. 19 Death consumes sinners as drought and heat consume snow. 20 Even the sinner’s own mother shall forget him. Worms shall feed sweetly on him. No one will remember him anymore. For wicked men are broken like a tree in the storm. 21 For they have taken advantage of the childless who have no protecting sons. They refuse to help the needy widows.

22-23 “Yet sometimes[a] it seems as though God preserves the rich by his power and restores them to life when anyone else would die. God gives them confidence and strength, and helps them in many ways. 24 But though they are very great now, yet in a moment they shall be gone like all others, cut off like heads of grain. 25 Can anyone claim otherwise? Who can prove me a liar and claim that I am wrong?”

Footnotes

  1. Job 24:22 Yet sometimes, implied.
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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