1“Why doesn’t God All-Powerful set times for judgment?
And why can’t his followers know when those times will be?
2“People move property markers to get more of their neighbor’s land.
People steal flocks and lead them to other grasslands.
3They steal a donkey that belongs to an orphan.
They take a widow’s cow until she pays what she owes them.
9 # 24:9 In the Hebrew text this verse follows verse 8. They take a nursing baby from its mother.
They take a poor person’s child to guarantee a loan.
4They force the poor to move out of their way
and to get off the road.
5“The poor are like wild donkeys that go out to the desert to find food.
From morning to night they work to gather food for their children.
6They have to work in the fields, harvesting grain.
They work for the rich,#24:6 the rich Or “the wicked.” gathering grapes in their vineyards.
7They must sleep all night without clothes.
They have no covers to protect them from the cold.
8They are soaked with rain in the mountains.
They stay close to the large rocks for shelter.
10They have no clothes, so they work naked.
They carry piles of grain for others, but they go hungry.
11They press out olive oil
and walk on grapes in the winepress, but they have nothing to drink.
12In the city you can hear the sad sounds of dying people.
Those who are hurt cry out for help, but God does not listen.
13“Some people rebel against the light.
They don’t know what God wants.
They don’t live the way he wants.
14A murderer gets up at dawn and kills poor, helpless people.
And at night he becomes a thief.
15A man who commits adultery waits for the night to come.
He thinks, ‘No one will see me,’ but still, he covers his face.
16When it is dark, evil people go out and break into houses.
But during the day they lock themselves in their homes to avoid the light.
17The darkest night is their morning.
They are friends with the terrors of darkness.
18“You say, ‘Evil people are taken away like things carried away in a flood.
The land they own is cursed, so no one goes to work in their vineyards.
19As hot, dry weather melts away the winter snows,
so the grave takes away those who have sinned.
20Their own mothers will forget them.
Only the worms will want them.
No one will remember them.
They will be broken like a rotten stick!
21These evil people hurt women who have no children to protect them,
and they refuse to help widows.
22By his power God removes the powerful.
Even if they have a high position, they cannot be sure of their lives.
23They might feel safe and secure,
but God is watching how they live.
24They might be successful for a while, but then they will be gone.
Like everyone else, they will be cut down like grain.’
25“I swear these things are true!
Who can prove that I lied?
Who can show that I am wrong?”