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0 [katapi NOTE: the NJB re-orders chapters 24 to 27 as follows: Ch.24. vss.1-6, 10-11, 1-9, 1-14, 16a, 15, 16b, 17, 25; Ch.25. vss.1-6; Ch.26. vss.5-14, 1-4; Ch.27: vss.1-23; Ch.24: vss.18-24.]            
1 Why does Shaddai not make known the times he has fixed; why do his faithful never see his Days?            
2 The wicked move boundary-marks away, they carry off flock and shepherd.            
3 They drive away the orphan's donkey, as security, they seize the widow's ox.            
4 The needy have to keep out of the way, poor country people have to keep out of sight.            
5 Like wild desert donkeys, they go out to work, searching from dawn for food, and at evening for something on which to feed their children.            
6 They go harvesting in the field of some scoundrel, they go pilfering in the vineyards of the wicked.            
7 They spend the night naked, lacking clothes, with no covering against the cold.            
8 Mountain rainstorms cut them through, unsheltered, they hug the rocks.            
9 The orphan child is torn from the breast, the child of the poor is exacted as security.            
10 They go about naked, lacking clothes, and starving while they carry the sheaves.            
11 Two little walls, their shelter at high noon; parched with thirst, they have to tread the winepress.            
12 From the towns come the groans of the dying and the gasp of the wounded crying for help. Yet God remains deaf to prayer!            
13 In contrast, there are those who reject the light: who know nothing of its ways and who do not frequent its paths.            
14 When all is dark the murderer leaves his bed to kill the poor and needy. During the night the thief goes on the prowl,            
15 [v.15] The eye of the adulterer watches for twilight, 'No one will see me,' he mutters as he masks his face. [v.16b] In the daytime they keep out of sight, these people who do not want to know the light.            
16 [v.16a] breaking into houses while the darkness lasts.            
17 For all of them, morning is a time of shadow dark as death, since that is when they know what fear is.            
18 He is no more than a straw floating on the water, his estate is accursed throughout the land, nobody goes near his vineyard. [Zophar] Jb.24.18-25          
19 As drought and heat make snow disappear, so does Sheol anyone who has sinned.            
20 The womb that shaped him forgets him and his name is recalled no longer. Thus wickedness is blasted as a tree is struck.            
21 He used to ill-treat the childless woman and show no kindness to the widow.            
22 But he who lays mighty hold on tyrants rises us to take away a life that seemed secure.            
23 He let him build his hopes on false security, but kept his eyes on every step he took.            
24 He had his time of glory, now he vanishes, wilting like the saltwort once it is picked, and withering like an ear of corn.            
25 Is this not so? Who can prove me a liar or show that my words have no substance?            

© Paul Ingram 2019.