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24 Why doesn't God set a time for judging,
    a day of justice for those who serve him?

People move property lines to get more land;
    they steal sheep and put them with their own flocks.
They take donkeys that belong to orphans,
    and keep a widow's ox till she pays her debts.
They prevent the poor from getting their rights
    and force the needy to run and hide.

So the poor, like wild donkeys,
    search for food in the dry wilderness;
    nowhere else can they find food for their children.
They have to harvest fields they don't own,[a]
    and gather grapes in vineyards of the wicked.
At night they sleep with nothing to cover them,
    nothing to keep them from the cold.
They are drenched by the rain that falls on the mountains,
    and they huddle beside the rocks for shelter.

Evil people make slaves of fatherless infants
    and take the children of the poor in payment for debts.
10 But the poor must go out with no clothes to protect them;
    they must go hungry while harvesting wheat.
11 They press olives for oil, and grapes for wine,
    but they themselves are thirsty.
12 In the cities the wounded and dying cry out,
    but God ignores their prayers.

13 There are those who reject the light;
    they don't understand it or go where it leads.
14 At dawn the murderer gets up
    and goes out to kill the poor,
    and at night he steals.
15 The adulterer waits for twilight to come;
    he covers his face so that no one can see him.
16 At night thieves break into houses,
    but by day they hide and avoid the light.
17 They fear the light of day,
    but darkness holds no terror for them.


18 The wicked are swept away by floods,
    and the land they own is under God's curse;
    they no longer go to work in their vineyards.
19 As snow vanishes in heat and drought,
    so sinners vanish from the land of the living.
20 Not even their mothers remember them now;
    they are eaten by worms and destroyed like fallen trees.
21 That happens because they mistreated widows
    and showed no kindness to childless women.
22 God, in his strength, destroys the mighty;
    God acts—and the wicked die.
23 God may let them live secure,
    but keeps an eye on them all the time.
24 For a while the wicked prosper,
    but then they wither like weeds,
    like stalks of grain that have been cut down.
25 Can anyone deny that this is so?
Can anyone prove that my words are not true?


  1. Job 24:6 Having been cheated out of their own land, the poor are forced to work for others for very small pay.
  2. Job 24:18 Zophar is not named in the text, but this speech is usually assigned to him.

24 “Why does the Almighty not set times(A) for judgment?(B)
    Why must those who know him look in vain for such days?(C)
There are those who move boundary stones;(D)
    they pasture flocks they have stolen.(E)
They drive away the orphan’s donkey
    and take the widow’s ox in pledge.(F)
They thrust the needy(G) from the path
    and force all the poor(H) of the land into hiding.(I)
Like wild donkeys(J) in the desert,
    the poor go about their labor(K) of foraging food;
    the wasteland(L) provides food for their children.
They gather fodder(M) in the fields
    and glean in the vineyards(N) of the wicked.(O)
Lacking clothes, they spend the night naked;
    they have nothing to cover themselves in the cold.(P)
They are drenched(Q) by mountain rains
    and hug(R) the rocks for lack of shelter.(S)
The fatherless(T) child is snatched(U) from the breast;
    the infant of the poor is seized(V) for a debt.(W)
10 Lacking clothes, they go about naked;(X)
    they carry the sheaves,(Y) but still go hungry.
11 They crush olives among the terraces[a];
    they tread the winepresses,(Z) yet suffer thirst.(AA)
12 The groans of the dying rise from the city,
    and the souls of the wounded cry out for help.(AB)
    But God charges no one with wrongdoing.(AC)

13 “There are those who rebel against the light,(AD)
    who do not know its ways
    or stay in its paths.(AE)
14 When daylight is gone, the murderer rises up,
    kills(AF) the poor and needy,(AG)
    and in the night steals forth like a thief.(AH)
15 The eye of the adulterer(AI) watches for dusk;(AJ)
    he thinks, ‘No eye will see me,’(AK)
    and he keeps his face concealed.
16 In the dark, thieves break into houses,(AL)
    but by day they shut themselves in;
    they want nothing to do with the light.(AM)
17 For all of them, midnight is their morning;
    they make friends with the terrors(AN) of darkness.(AO)

18 “Yet they are foam(AP) on the surface of the water;(AQ)
    their portion of the land is cursed,(AR)
    so that no one goes to the vineyards.(AS)
19 As heat and drought snatch away the melted snow,(AT)
    so the grave(AU) snatches away those who have sinned.
20 The womb forgets them,
    the worm(AV) feasts on them;(AW)
the wicked are no longer remembered(AX)
    but are broken like a tree.(AY)
21 They prey on the barren and childless woman,
    and to the widow they show no kindness.(AZ)
22 But God drags away the mighty by his power;(BA)
    though they become established,(BB) they have no assurance of life.(BC)
23 He may let them rest in a feeling of security,(BD)
    but his eyes(BE) are on their ways.(BF)
24 For a little while they are exalted, and then they are gone;(BG)
    they are brought low and gathered up like all others;(BH)
    they are cut off like heads of grain.(BI)

25 “If this is not so, who can prove me false
    and reduce my words to nothing?”(BJ)


  1. Job 24:11 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.