24 Why doesn’t God set a time for court? Why don’t his people know where he can be found? 2 Sinners remove boundary markers and take care of sheep they have stolen. 3 They cheat orphans and widows by taking their donkeys and oxen. 4 The poor are trampled and forced to hide 5 in the desert, where they and their children must live like wild donkeys and search for food. 6 If they want grain or grapes,[a] they must go to the property of these sinners. 7 They sleep naked in the cold, because they have no cover, 8 and during a storm their only shelters are caves among the rocky cliffs.
9 Children whose fathers have died are taken from their mothers as payment for a debt. 10 Then they are forced to work naked in the grain fields because they have no clothes, and they go hungry. 11 They crush olives to make oil and grapes to make wine— but still they go thirsty. 12 And along the city streets, the wounded and dying cry out, yet God does nothing.
Some Reject the Light
13 Some rebel and refuse to follow the light. 14 Soon after sunset they murder the poor and the needy, and at night they steal.
15 Others wait for the dark, thinking they won’t be seen if they sleep with the wife or husband of someone else. 16 Robbers hide during the day, then break in after dark because they reject the light. 17 They prefer night to day, since the terrors of the night are their friends.
Sinners Are Filthy Foam
18 Those sinners are filthy foam on the surface of the water. And so, their fields and vineyards will fall under a curse and won’t produce. 19 Just as the heat of summer swallows the snow, the world of the dead swallows those who sin. 20 Forgotten here on earth, and with their power broken, they taste sweet to worms.
21 Sinners take advantage of widows and other helpless women.[b] 22 But God’s mighty strength destroys those in power. Even if they seem successful, they are doomed to fail. 23 God may let them feel secure, but they are never out of his sight. 24 Great for a while; gone forever! Sinners are mowed down like weeds, then they wither and die. 25 If I haven’t spoken the truth, then prove me wrong.
24.6If they want grain or grapes: Poor people were allowed to gather what was left in the fields and vineyards after the harvest.
24.21women: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 21.
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