24 1WHY [seeing times are not hidden from the Almighty] does He not set seasons for judgment? Why do those who know Him see not His days [for punishment of the wicked]? 2Some remove the landmarks; they violently take away flocks and pasture them [appropriating land and flocks openly]. 3They drive away the donkey of the fatherless; they take the widow’s ox for a pledge. 4They crowd the poor and needy off the road; the poor and meek of the earth all hide themselves. 5Behold, as wild asses in the desert, [the poor] go forth to their work, seeking diligently for prey and food; the wilderness yields them bread for their children [in roots and herbage]. 6They reap each one his fodder in a field [that is not his own], and they glean the vintage of the wicked man. 7They lie all night naked, without clothing, and have no covering in the cold. 8They are wet with the showers of the mountains and cling to the rock for want of shelter. 9[The violent men whose wickedness seems unnoticed] pluck the fatherless infants from the breast [to sell or make them slaves], and take [the clothing on] the poor for a pledge, 10So that the needy go about naked for lack of clothing, and though hungry, they must carry [but not eat from] the sheaves. 11Among the olive rows [of the wicked, the poor] make oil; they tread [the fresh juice of the grape from] the presses, but suffer thirst. 12From out of the populous city men groan, and the very life of the wounded cries for help; yet God [seemingly] regards not the wrong done them. 13These wrongdoers are of those who rebel against the light; they know not its ways nor stay in its paths. 14The murderer rises with the light; he kills the poor and the needy, and in the night he becomes as a thief. 15The eye also of the adulterer waits for the twilight, saying, No eye shall see me, and he puts a disguise upon his face. 16In the dark, they dig through [the penetrable walls of] houses; by day they shut themselves up; they do not know the sunlight. 17For midnight is morning to all of them; for they are familiar with the terrors of deep darkness. 18[You say] Swiftly such men pass away on the face of the waters; their portion is cursed in the earth; [no treader] turns into their vineyards. 19Drought and heat consume the snow waters; so does Sheol (the place of the dead) those who have sinned. 20The womb shall forget him, the worm shall feed sweetly on him; he shall be no more remembered, and unrighteousness shall be broken like a tree [which cannot be healed]. 21[The evil man] preys upon the barren, childless woman and does no good to the widow. 22Yet [God] prolongs the life of the [wicked] mighty by His power; they rise up when they had despaired of life. 23God gives them security, and they rest on it; and His eyes are upon their ways. 24They are exalted for a little while, and then are gone and brought low; they are taken out of the way as all others are and are cut off as the tops of the ears of grain. 25And if this is not so, who will prove me a liar and make my speech worthless?
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