24 “Why is it that times have not been stored up by the Almighty himself,+
And the very ones knowing him have not beheld his days?+
2 There are those who move back boundary marks;+
A drove they have snatched away, that they may shepherd [it].*
4 They turn aside the poor ones from the way;+
At the same time the afflicted of the earth have kept themselves hidden.
5 Look! [As] zebras+ in the wilderness
They have gone forth in their activity, looking for food.
The desert plain [gives] to each one bread for the boys.
6 In the field its fodder they harvest,
And the vineyard of the wicked one they hastily despoil.
8 From the rainstorm of the mountains they get drenched,
And because there is no shelter+ they have to hug a rock.
9 They snatch away a fatherless boy even from the breast,+
And what is on the afflicted one they take as a pledge.+
11 Between the terrace walls they pass the noontime;*
Winepresses they have to tread, and yet they go thirsty.+
12 From out of the city the dying keep groaning,
And the soul of deadly wounded ones cries for help;+
13 As for them, they proved to be among the rebels against light;+
They did not recognize its ways,
And they did not dwell in its roadways.
14 At daylight the murderer gets up,
He proceeds to slay the afflicted and the poor one;+
15 As for the eye of the adulterer,+ it has watched for evening darkness,+
Saying, ‘No eye will behold me!’+
And over his face he puts a covering.
16 In the darkness he has dug into houses;
By day they must keep themselves locked in.
They have not known daylight.+
17 For morning is the same as deep shadow+ for them,
For they recognize what the sudden terrors of deep shadow are.
18 He is swift on the surface of the waters.
Their tract of land will be cursed in the earth.+
He will not turn toward the way of the vineyards.
20 The womb will forget him, the maggot will sweetly suck him,+
He will be remembered no more.+
And unrighteousness will be broken just like a tree.+
21 He is having dealings with a barren woman who does not bear,
And with a widow,+ to whom he does no good.
22 And he will certainly draw away strong people by his power;
He will rise up and not be sure of his life.*
23 He will grant him to become confident+ that he may support himself;
And his eyes will be upon their ways.+
24 They have become high up a little while, then they are no more,+
And they have been brought low;+ like everyone else they are plucked off,
And like the head of an ear of grain they are cut off.
25 So really now, who will make me out a liar
Or reduce my word to nothing?”