1Why does the Almighty not reserve times for judgment?#Ec 9:12; Is 2:12; Ac 1:7
Why do those who know him never see his days?
2The wicked displace boundary markers.
They steal a flock and provide pasture for it.
3They drive away the donkeys owned by the fatherless#Dt 27:19; Jb 22:9; 31:21
and take the widow’s ox as collateral.
4They push the needy off the road;
the poor of the land are forced into hiding.#Jdg 5:6; Pr 28:28; Am 2:7
5Like wild donkeys in the wilderness,
the poor go out to their task of foraging for food;
the desert provides nourishment for their children.
6They gather their fodder in the field
and glean the vineyards of the wicked.
7Without clothing, they spend the night naked,
having no covering against the cold.#Ex 22:26-27; Dt 24:12-13; Jb 22:6
8Drenched by mountain rains,
they huddle against#24:8 Lit they embrace the rocks, shelterless.
9The fatherless infant is snatched from the breast;
the nursing child of the poor is seized as collateral.#24:9 Text emended; MT reads breast; they seize collateral against the poor
10Without clothing, they wander about naked.
They carry sheaves but go hungry.#Dt 24:19; 2Tm 2:6; Jms 5:4
11They crush olives in their presses;#24:11 Lit olives between their rows
they tread the winepresses, but go thirsty.
12From the city, men#24:12 One Hb ms, Syr read the dying groan;
the mortally wounded cry for help,
yet God pays no attention to this crime.#Jb 1:22; Ps 69:26
13The wicked are those who rebel against the light.
They do not recognize its ways
or stay on its paths.
14The murderer rises at dawn
to kill the poor and needy,
and by night he becomes a thief.
15The adulterer’s eye watches for twilight,
thinking, “No eye will see me,”
and he covers his face.
16In the dark they break#24:16 Lit dig into houses;
by day they lock themselves in,#24:16 Lit they seal for themselves
never experiencing the light.
17For the morning is like darkness to them.
Surely they are familiar with the terrors of darkness!
18They float#24:18 Lit are insignificant on the surface of the water.
Their section of the land is cursed,
so that they never go to their vineyards.
19As dry ground and heat snatch away the melted snow,
so Sheol#Jb 7:9; Ps 9:17; Pr 27:20 steals those who have sinned.
20The womb forgets them;
worms feed on them;
they are remembered#Jb 18:17; Pr 10:7; Jr 11:19 no more.
So injustice is broken like a tree.
21They prey on#24:21 LXX, Tg read They harm the childless woman who is unable to conceive,
and do not deal kindly with the widow.
22Yet God drags away#24:22 Or God prolongs the life of the mighty by his power;
when he rises up, they have no assurance of life.
23He gives them a sense of security, so they can rely on it,#Jb 11:18; Ps 4:8; Pr 3:24
but his eyes#Ps 11:4; Pr 15:3; Jr 16:17 watch over their ways.
24They are exalted for a moment, then gone;
they are brought low and shrivel up like everything else.#24:24 LXX reads like a mallow plant in the heat
They wither like heads of grain.#Jb 14:21; Ps 37:10; 106:43
25If this is not true, then who can prove me a liar#Jb 6:28; 27:4; 34:6
and show that my speech is worthless?