Job 24

The Apparent Indifference of God

24:1 “Why are times not appointed by the Almighty?

Why do those who know him not see his days?

24:2 Men move boundary stones;

they seize the flock and pasture them.

24:3 They drive away the orphan’s donkey;

they take the widow’s ox as a pledge.

24:4 They turn the needy from the pathway,

and the poor of the land hide themselves together.

24:5 Like wild donkeys in the desert

they go out to their labor,

seeking diligently for food;

the wasteland provides food for them

and for their children.

24:6 They reap fodder in the field,

and glean in the vineyard of the wicked.

24:7 They spend the night naked because they lack clothing;

they have no covering against the cold.

24:8 They are soaked by mountain rains

and huddle in the rocks because they lack shelter.

24:9 The fatherless child is snatched from the breast,

the infant of the poor is taken as a pledge.

24:10 They go about naked, without clothing,

and go hungry while they carry the sheaves.

24:11 They press out the olive oil between the rows of olive trees;

they tread the winepresses while they are thirsty.

24:12 From the city the dying groan,

and the wounded cry out for help,

but God charges no one with wrongdoing.

24:13 There are those who rebel against the light;

they do not know its ways

and they do not stay on its paths.

24:14 Before daybreak the murderer rises up;

he kills the poor and the needy;

in the night he is like a thief.

24:15 And the eye of the adulterer watches for the twilight,

thinking, ‘No eye can see me,’

and covers his face with a mask.

24:16 In the dark the robber breaks into houses,

but by day they shut themselves in;

they do not know the light.

24:17 For all of them, the morning is to them

like deep darkness;

they are friends with the terrors of darkness.

24:18 “You say, ‘He is foam on the face of the waters;

their portion of the land is cursed

so that no one goes to their vineyard.

24:19 The drought as well as the heat carry away

the melted snow;

so the grave takes away those who have sinned.

24:20 The womb forgets him,

the worm feasts on him,

no longer will he be remembered.

Like a tree, wickedness will be broken down.

24:21 He preys on the barren and childless woman,

and does not treat the widow well.

24:22 But God drags off the mighty by his power;

when God rises up against him, he has no faith in his life.

24:23 God may let them rest in a feeling of security,

but he is constantly watching all their ways.

24:24 They are exalted for a little while,

and then they are gone,

they are brought low like all others,

and gathered in,

and like a head of grain they are cut off.’

24:25 “If this is not so, who can prove me a liar

and reduce my words to nothing?”