Absence of justice
1Why doesn’t the Almighty establish times for punishment?#Heb lacks for punishment.
Why can’t those who know him see his days?
2People move boundary stones,
herd flocks they’ve stolen,
3drive off an orphan’s donkey,
take a widow’s ox as collateral,
4thrust the poor out of the way,
make the land’s needy hide together.
5They are like the wild donkeys in the desert;
they go forth at dawn searching for prey;
the wasteland is food for their young.
6They gather their food in the field,
glean in unproductive vineyards,
7spend the night naked, unclothed,
in the cold without a cover,
8wet from mountain rains,
with no refuge, huddled against a rock.
9The orphan is stolen from the breast;
the infant#Reading Heb we‘ul (infant) for we‘al (against) of the poor is taken as collateral.
10The poor go around naked, without clothes,
carry bundles of grain while hungry,
11crush olives between millstones,#Heb uncertain
tread winepresses, but remain thirsty.
12From the city, the dying cry out;
the throat of the mortally wounded screams, but God assigns no blame.
13They rebel against light,
don’t acknowledge its direction,
don’t dwell in its paths.
14The murderer rises at twilight,
kills the poor and needy;
at night, they are like a thief.
15The adulterer’s eye watches for twilight,
thinking, No eye can see me,
and puts a mask over his face.
16In the dark they break into houses;
they shut themselves in by day;
they don’t know the light.
17Deep darkness is morning to them
because they recognize the horror of darkness.
18They are scum on the water’s surface;
their portion of the land is cursed;
no one walks down a path in the vineyards.
19Drought and heat steal melted snow,
just as the underworld#Heb Sheol steals sinners.
20The womb forgets them;
the worm consumes them;
they aren’t remembered,
and so wickedness is shattered like a tree.
21They prey on the barren, the childless,
do nothing good for the widow.
22They drag away the strong by force;
they may get up but without guarantee of survival.
23They make themselves secure;
they are at ease.
His#Or God’s eyes are on their ways.
24They are exalted for a short time, but no longer.
They are humbled then gathered in like everyone else;
cut off like heads of grain.
25If this isn’t so, who can prove me a liar
and make my words disappear?