Job continues to speak
24:1In chapter 24, Job speaks about the bad things that happen in the world. He does not understand why God does not punish bad people. Then he remembers that bad people die in the end, like everyone else.
1 Why has Almighty God not yet decided the time
when he will judge wicked people?
People who serve him faithfully continue to wait for justice.
2 Wicked men move the stones that show the edge of their neighbour's land.
They take their neighbour's land and his sheep for themselves.
3 They take away a donkey
that belongs to a child who has no family.
They take an ox away from a widow,
when they lend money to her.
4 They stop poor people from receiving justice.
Poor people have to run away from them and hide.
5 Poor people have to look for food to eat,
like wild donkeys in the desert.
They have to find food for their children to eat.
6 They find grain in the fields of other people.
They pick grapes that remain in the vineyards of wicked people.
7 They have no clothes to wear during the cold nights.
They sleep without anything to cover themselves.
8 The rain that falls in the mountains makes them very wet.
So they hide among the rocks where they try to keep dry.
9 When wicked people lend money to poor people,
they even take a child whose father has died away from his mother.
10 Poor people have to go out with no clothes to wear.
They are hungry while they carry the crops of other people.
11 They squeeze oil from olives
that grow in the fields of other people.
They also make wine from other people's grapes.
But they themselves are thirsty.
12 In the cities, people who are dying cry with pain.
They call for help,
but God does not punish the people who have hurt them.
13 Some people refuse to live in the light.
They do not understand it.
They do not go along the good way that it shows to them.
14 Murderers rob people when it is still dark.
They kill poor, weak people during the night.
15 Adulterers wait until it is becoming dark.
They think that no one will see them.
They cover their faces
so that no one will recognize them.
16 Robbers go into people's homes in the dark
to take away their things.
But they stay inside during the day.
They never go out in the light.
17 They all like to do evil things at night,
rather than in the light of morning.
They are not afraid of things that happen in the dark,
as other people are.
18 You may say, “Floods of water carry away wicked people.
24:18In verses 18–24, Job seems to be repeating things that his friends have been saying. They are not things that he himself agrees with.
God curses the land that belongs to them.
Nobody goes to work in their vineyards.
19 Snow soon disappears
when the weather is very hot or very dry.
In the same way, death quickly takes away people who do bad things.
20 Their mothers soon forget them.
Worms eat their bodies.
No one remembers those wicked people.
They are like dead trees that people have cut down.
21 Those wicked people are cruel to women who have no children.
They are not kind to widows.
22 But God uses his strength to remove powerful people.
When he attacks wicked people,
their lives are in his hands.
23 God allows them to feel safe.
But he is always watching everything that they do.
24 Wicked people may have success for a short time,
but suddenly they disappear!
Like everyone else, they fall to the ground.
They become like crops that people cut down at harvest time.”
25 What I have said is true.
Nobody can say that I am telling lies.
You cannot think that my words are useless.’