1 ‘Why does the Almighty not set times for judgment? Why must those who know him look in vain for such days?
2 Men move boundary stones; they pasture flocks they have stolen.
3 They drive away the orphan’s donkey and take the widow’s ox in pledge.
4 They thrust the needy from the path and force all the poor of the land into hiding.
5 Like wild donkeys in the desert, the poor go about their labor of foraging food; the wasteland provides food for their children.
6 They gather fodder in the fields and glean in the vineyards of the wicked.
7 Lacking clothes, they spend the night naked; they have nothing to cover themselves in the cold.
8 They are drenched by mountain rains and hug the rocks for lack of shelter.
9 The fatherless child is snatched from the breast; the infant of the poor is seized for a debt.
10 Lacking clothes, they go about naked; they carry the sheaves, but still go hungry.
11 They crush olives among the terraces ; they tread the winepresses, yet suffer thirst.
12 The groans of the dying rise from the city, and the souls of the wounded cry out for help. But God charges no one with wrongdoing.
13 ‘There are those who rebel against the light, who do not know its ways or stay in its paths.
14 When daylight is gone, the murderer rises up and kills the poor and needy; in the night he steals forth like a thief.
15 The eye of the adulterer watches for dusk; he thinks, ‘No eye will see me,’ and he keeps his face concealed.
16 In the dark, men break into houses, but by day they shut themselves in; they want nothing to do with the light.
17 For all of them, deep darkness is their morning ; they make friends with the terrors of darkness.
18 ‘Yet they are foam on the surface of the water; their portion of the land is cursed, so that no one goes to the vineyards.
19 As heat and drought snatch away the melted snow, so the grave snatches away those who have sinned.
20 The womb forgets them, the worm feasts on them; evil men are no longer remembered but are broken like a tree.
21 They prey on the barren and childless woman, and to the widow show no kindness.
22 But God drags away the mighty by his power; though they become established, they have no assurance of life.
23 He may let them rest in a feeling of security, but his eyes are on their ways.
24 For a little while they are exalted, and then they are gone; they are brought low and gathered up like all others; they are cut off like heads of grain.
25 ‘If this is not so, who can prove me false and reduce my words to nothing?’