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Job Continues

Why Doesn’t God Set a Time?

24 Why doesn’t God
    set a time for court?
Why don’t his people know
    where he can be found?
Sinners remove boundary markers
and take care of sheep
    they have stolen.
They cheat orphans and widows
by taking their donkeys
    and oxen.
The poor are trampled
and forced to hide
    in the desert,
where they and their children
must live like wild donkeys
    and search for food.
If they want grain or grapes,[a]
they must go to the property
    of these sinners.
They sleep naked in the cold,
    because they have no cover,
and during a storm
their only shelters are caves
    among the rocky cliffs.

Children whose fathers have died
are taken from their mothers
    as payment for a debt.
10 Then they are forced to work
    naked in the grain fields
because they have no clothes,
    and they go hungry.
11 They crush olives to make oil
and grapes to make wine—
    but still they go thirsty.
12 And along the city streets,
the wounded and dying cry out,
    yet God does nothing.

Some Reject the Light

13 Some rebel and refuse
    to follow the light.
14 Soon after sunset they murder
the poor and the needy,
    and at night they steal.

15 Others wait for the dark,
    thinking they won’t be seen
if they sleep with the wife
    or husband of someone else.
16 Robbers hide during the day,
then break in after dark
    because they reject the light.
17 They prefer night to day,
since the terrors of the night
    are their friends.

Sinners Are Filthy Foam

18 Those sinners are filthy foam
    on the surface of the water.
And so, their fields and vineyards
will fall under a curse
    and won’t produce.
19 Just as the heat of summer
    swallows the snow,
the world of the dead
    swallows those who sin.
20 Forgotten here on earth,
and with their power broken,
    they taste sweet to worms.

21 Sinners take advantage of widows
    and other helpless women.[b]
22 But God’s mighty strength
    destroys those in power.
Even if they seem successful,
    they are doomed to fail.
23 God may let them feel secure,
but they are never
    out of his sight.
24 Great for a while; gone forever!
Sinners are mowed down
    like weeds,
    then they wither and die.
25 If I haven’t spoken the truth,
    then prove me wrong.

Footnotes

  1. 24.6 If they want grain or grapes: Poor people were allowed to gather what was left in the fields and vineyards after the harvest.
  2. 24.21 women: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 21.

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