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Job Describes Social Injustice

24 Why doesn’t the Almighty reserve time for judgment?
    And why don’t those who know him perceive his days?
They move boundary stones,[a]
    steal flocks, and pasture them.[b]
They drive away the orphan’s donkey;
    they take the ox of the widow as security for a loan;[c]
They push the needy off the road,
    and force the poor of the land into hiding.

“Look! Like wild donkeys in the wilderness,
    they work diligently as they seek wild game in the desert,
        food for them and their young ones.
They reap fodder in the field
    and glean in the vineyard of the wicked.
They spend the night naked, without clothing,
    with no covering against the cold.
They are wet from mountain rains;
    without shelter, they cling to a rock.

“The fatherless are torn from the breast;
    the poor are taken away as security for a loan.[d]
10 They wander around naked, without clothes;
    hungry, though they carry sheaves of grain.[e]
11 They press oil between the olive groves owned by the wicked;
    they suffer from thirst, even while treading the winepress.
12 From the city, dying men groan aloud,
    and the wounded cries out for help,
        but God charges no one with wrong.

13 “Then there are those who rebel against the light;
    they are not acquainted with its ways;
        and they don’t stay on its course.[f]
14 The murderer rises at dawn to kill the poor and needy;
    at night, he is like a thief.
15 The adulterer watches for twilight,[g]
    saying, ‘No eye is watching me’
        while he veils his face.
16 They break into houses in the dark;
    during the day they remained sealed in.
        They don’t know daylight.
17 As a group, deep darkness is their morning time;
    fear that lives in darkness is their friend.”

Social Injustice will Be Punished

18 “They remain only a short time on the water’s surface;
    their inheritance will be cursed in the land;
        no one will work in their vineyards.
19 As drought and heat evaporate melting snow,
    that’s what Sheol[h] does with sinners.
20 The womb will forget them.
    Maggots will find them to be a delicacy!
They won’t be remembered anymore,
    their iniquity will be cut to pieces like firewood.[i]

21 “They prey on the barren woman,
    and do no favors for widows.
22 God[j] prolongs the life of the strong by his power,
    but they get up in the morning[k] without purpose in life.
23 He gives them security and financial support,
    but he watches everything they do.
24 They’re exalted momentarily, but then they are gone;
    they are humbled,[l] just like all the others.
        They are cut down like heads of corn.
25 If this weren’t so, who can prove that I’m a liar
    by showing that there’s nothing to what I’m saying?”

Footnotes

  1. Job 24:2 Or borders
  2. Job 24:2 The Heb. lacks them
  3. Job 24:3 The Heb. lacks for a loan
  4. Job 24:9 The Heb. lacks for a loan
  5. Job 24:10 The Heb. lacks grain
  6. Job 24:13 Or path
  7. Job 24:15 Lit. twilight
  8. Job 24:19 I.e. the realm of the afterlife
  9. Job 24:20 Lit. like a tree
  10. Job 24:22 Lit. He
  11. Job 24:22 The Heb. lacks in the morning
  12. Job 24:24 Or brought low

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