Parallel
24
1“I wish God All-Powerful would set a time for judging.
People who know God look for such a day, but they do not see it.
2Wicked people take other people’s land.
They steal flocks of sheep and take them to new pastures.
3They chase away the orphan’s donkey.
And they take the widow’s ox when she cannot pay what she owes.
4They push needy people off the path.
So all the poor people of the land hide from them.
5The poor become like wild donkeys in the desert.
They go about their job of finding food.
The desert gives them food for their children.
6They gather hay and straw in the fields.
And they pick up leftover grapes from the evil man’s vineyard.
7They spend the night naked, because they have no clothes.
They have nothing to cover themselves in the cold.
8They are soaked from mountain rains.
They stay near the large rocks because they have no shelter.
9The child who has no father is grabbed from its mother’s breast.
They take a poor mother’s baby to pay for what she owes.
10So the poor go around naked because they have no clothes.
They carry bundles of grain for evil people, but they still go hungry.
11They crush olives to get oil.
And they crush grapes in the winepresses, but they still are thirsty.
12Dying people groan in the city.
People who are injured cry out for help.
But God accuses no one of doing wrong.
13“There are people who fight against the light.
God’s ways are strange to them.
And they do not stay in the lighted path.
14When the light of day is gone, the murderer gets up.
He kills poor and needy people.
At night he goes about like a thief.
15The person who is guilty of adultery watches for the night.
He thinks, ‘No one will see me.’
And he keeps his face covered.
16In the dark, evil people break into houses.
But in the daytime they shut themselves up in their own houses.
They want nothing to do with the light.
17Darkness is like morning to all these evil people.
They 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.
19Heat and dryness quickly take away the melted snow.
In the same way, the place for the dead quickly takes away those who have sinned.
20The evil person’s mother will even forget him.
The worms will eat his body.
He will no longer be remembered.
So wickedness is broken in pieces like a stick.
21These evil men are unfair to women who cannot have children.
And they show no kindness to widows.
22God drags away strong men by his power.
But even though they seem strong, they do not know how long they will live.
23God may let these evil people feel safe.
But he is watching their ways.
24For a little while they are important, and then they are gone.
They are made unimportant and gathered up like everyone else.
They are cut off like the tops of stalks of grain.
25If this is not true, who can prove I am wrong?
And who can show that my words are worth nothing?”