Absence of justice

Why doesn’t the Almighty establish times for punishment?[a]
Why can’t those who know him see his days?
People move boundary stones,
herd flocks they’ve stolen,
drive off an orphan’s donkey,
take a widow’s ox as collateral,
thrust the poor out of the way,
make the land’s needy hide together.
They are like the wild donkeys in the desert;
they go forth at dawn searching for prey;
the wasteland is food for their young.
They gather their food in the field,
glean in unproductive vineyards,
spend the night naked, unclothed,
in the cold without a cover,
wet from mountain rains,
with no refuge, huddled against a rock.
The orphan is stolen from the breast;
the infant[b] of the poor is taken as collateral.
10 The poor go around naked, without clothes,
carry bundles of grain while hungry,
11 crush olives between millstones,[c]
tread winepresses, but remain thirsty.
12 From the city, the dying cry out;
the throat of the mortally wounded screams, but God assigns no blame.

Sinners’ conduct

13 They rebel against light,
don’t acknowledge its direction,
don’t dwell in its paths.
14 The murderer rises at twilight,
kills the poor and needy;
at night, they are like a thief.
15 The adulterer’s eye watches for twilight,
thinking, No eye can see me,
and puts a mask over his face.
16 In the dark they break into houses;
they shut themselves in by day;
they don’t know the light.
17 Deep darkness is morning to them
because they recognize the horror of darkness.
18 They are scum on the water’s surface;
their portion of the land is cursed;
no one walks down a path in the vineyards.
19 Drought and heat steal melted snow,
just as the underworld[d] steals sinners.
20 The womb forgets them;
the worm consumes them;
they aren’t remembered,
and so wickedness is shattered like a tree.
21 They prey on the barren, the childless,
do nothing good for the widow.
22 They drag away the strong by force;
they may get up but without guarantee of survival.
23 They make themselves secure;
they are at ease.
His[e] eyes are on their ways.
24 They are exalted for a short time, but no longer.
They are humbled then gathered in like everyone else;
cut off like heads of grain.
25 If this isn’t so, who can prove me a liar
and make my words disappear?


  1. Job 24:1 Heb lacks for punishment.
  2. Job 24:9 Reading Heb we‘ul (infant) for we‘al (against)
  3. Job 24:11 Heb uncertain
  4. Job 24:19 Heb Sheol
  5. Job 24:23 Or God’s