24 “I wish the Almighty would set a time for judging. Those who know God do not see such a day. 2 Wicked people take other people’s land; they steal flocks and take them to new pastures. 3 They chase away the orphan’s donkey and take the widow’s ox when she has no money. 4 They push needy people off the path; all the poor of the land hide from them. 5 The poor become like wild donkeys in the desert who go about their job of finding food. The desert gives them food for their children. 6 They gather hay and straw in the fields and pick up leftover grapes from the vineyard of the wicked. 7 They spend the night naked, because they have no clothes, nothing to cover themselves in the cold. 8 They are soaked from mountain rains and stay near the large rocks because they have no shelter. 9 The fatherless child is grabbed from its mother’s breast; they take a poor mother’s baby to pay for what she owes. 10 So the poor go around naked without any clothes; they carry bundles of grain but still go hungry; 11 they crush olives to get oil and grapes to get wine, but they still go thirsty. 12 Dying people groan in the city, and the injured cry out for help, but God accuses no one of doing wrong.
13 “Those who fight against the light do not know God’s ways or stay in his paths. 14 When the day is over, the murderers get up to kill the poor and needy. At night they go about like thieves. 15 Those who are guilty of adultery watch for the night, thinking, ‘No one will see us,’ and they keep their faces covered. 16 In the dark, evil people break into houses. In the daytime they shut themselves up in their own houses, because they want nothing to do with the light. 17 Darkness is like morning to all these evil people who make friends with the terrors of darkness.
18 “They are like foam floating on the water. Their part of the land is cursed; no one uses the road that goes by their vineyards. 19 As heat and dryness quickly melt the snow, so the grave quickly takes away the sinners. 20 Their mothers forget them, and worms will eat their bodies. They will not be remembered, so wickedness is broken in pieces like a stick. 21 These evil people abuse women who cannot have children and show no kindness to widows. 22 But God drags away the strong by his power. Even though they seem strong, they do not know how long they will live. 23 God may let these evil people feel safe, but he is watching their ways. 24 For a little while they are important, and then they die; they are laid low and buried like everyone else; they are cut off like the heads of grain. 25 If this is not true, who can prove I am wrong? Who can show that my words are worth nothing?”
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