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Job 24

1Why are times for judgment not reserved by Shaddai? Even those close to Him cannot foresee His actions.

ma-DU-a mi-sha-DAI lo nitz-p'-NU i-TEEM v'-yo-d'-AV lo KHA-zu ya-MAV

אמַדּוּעַ מִשַּׁדַּי לֹא־נִצְפְּנוּ עִתִּים וידעו [וְיֹדְעָיו] לֹא־חָזוּ יָמָיו׃

24:1   Even those close to Him cannot foresee His actions

A careful reading shows that Iyov is not complaining about his punishment, but about the fact that he cannot see the end of his suffering. Similarly, in Sefer Tehillim (44:24), the People of Israel complain to God about their long exile from the Land of Israel: “Rouse Yourself; why do You sleep, O Hashem? Awaken, do not reject us forever.” They cannot bear the seemingly endless exile from their homeland. It is always much easier to suffer if the end is in sight.

2People remove boundary-stones; They carry off flocks and pasture them;

בגְּבֻלוֹת יַשִּׂיגוּ עֵדֶר גָּזְלוּ וַיִּרְעוּ׃

3They lead away the donkeys of the fatherless, And seize the widow's bull as a pledge;

גחֲמוֹר יְתוֹמִים יִנְהָגוּ יַחְבְּלוּ שׁוֹר אַלְמָנָה׃

4They chase the needy off the roads; All the poor of the land are forced into hiding.

דיַטּוּ אֶבְיוֹנִים מִדָּרֶךְ יַחַד חֻבְּאוּ עֲנִיֵּי־אָרֶץ׃

5Like the wild asses of the wilderness, They go about their tasks, seeking food; The wilderness provides each with food for his lads;

ההֵן פְּרָאִים בַּמִּדְבָּר יָצְאוּ בְּפָעֳלָם מְשַׁחֲרֵי לַטָּרֶף עֲרָבָה לוֹ לֶחֶם לַנְּעָרִים׃

6They harvest fodder in the field, And glean the late grapes in the vineyards of the wicked.

ובַּשָּׂדֶה בְּלִילוֹ יקצירו [יִקְצוֹרוּ] וְכֶרֶם רָשָׁע יְלַקֵּשׁוּ׃

7They pass the night naked for lack of clothing, They have no covering against the cold;

זעָרוֹם יָלִינוּ מִבְּלִי לְבוּשׁ וְאֵין כְּסוּת בַּקָּרָה׃

8They are drenched by the mountain rains, And huddle against the rock for lack of shelter.

חמִזֶּרֶם הָרִים יִרְטָבוּ וּמִבְּלִי מַחְסֶה חִבְּקוּ־צוּר׃

9They snatch the fatherless infant from the breast, And seize the child of the poor as a pledge.

טיִגְזְלוּ מִשֹּׁד יָתוֹם וְעַל־עָנִי יַחְבֹּלוּ׃

10They go about naked for lack of clothing, And, hungry, carry sheaves;

יעָרוֹם הִלְּכוּ בְּלִי לְבוּשׁ וּרְעֵבִים נָשְׂאוּ עֹמֶר׃

11Between rows [of olive trees] they make oil, And, thirsty, they tread the winepresses.

יאבֵּין־שׁוּרֹתָם יַצְהִירוּ יְקָבִים דָּרְכוּ וַיִּצְמָאוּ׃

12Men groan in the city; The souls of the dying cry out; Yet Hashem does not regard it as a reproach.

יבמֵעִיר מְתִים יִנְאָקוּ וְנֶפֶשׁ־חֲלָלִים תְּשַׁוֵּעַ וֶאֱלוֹהַּ לֹא־יָשִׂים תִּפְלָה׃

13They are rebels against the light; They are strangers to its ways, And do not stay in its path.

יגהֵמָּה הָיוּ בְּמֹרְדֵי־אוֹר לֹא־הִכִּירוּ דְרָכָיו וְלֹא יָשְׁבוּ בִּנְתִיבֹתָיו׃

14The murderer arises in the evening To kill the poor and needy, And at night he acts the thief.

ידלָאוֹר יָקוּם רוֹצֵחַ יִקְטָל־עָנִי וְאֶבְיוֹן וּבַלַּיְלָה יְהִי כַגַּנָּב׃

15The eyes of the adulterer watch for twilight, Thinking, “No one will glimpse me then.” He masks his face.

טווְעֵין נֹאֵף שָׁמְרָה נֶשֶׁף לֵאמֹר לֹא־תְשׁוּרֵנִי עָיִן וְסֵתֶר פָּנִים יָשִׂים׃

16In the dark they break into houses; By day they shut themselves in; They do not know the light.

טזחָתַר בַּחֹשֶׁךְ בָּתִּים יוֹמָם חִתְּמוּ־לָמוֹ לֹא־יָדְעוּ אוֹר׃

17For all of them morning is darkness; It is then that they discern the terror of darkness.

יזכִּי יַחְדָּו בֹּקֶר לָמוֹ צַלְמָוֶת כִּי־יַכִּיר בַּלְהוֹת צַלְמָוֶת׃

18May they be flotsam on the face of the water; May their portion in the land be cursed; May none turn aside by way of their vineyards.

יחקַל־הוּא עַל־פְּנֵי־מַיִם תְּקֻלַּל חֶלְקָתָם בָּאָרֶץ לֹא־יִפְנֶה דֶּרֶךְ כְּרָמִים׃

19May drought and heat snatch away their snow waters, And Sheol, those who have sinned.

יטצִיָּה גַם־חֹם יִגְזְלוּ מֵימֵי־שֶׁלֶג שְׁאוֹל חָטָאוּ׃

20May the womb forget him; May he be sweet to the worms; May he be no longer remembered; May wrongdoers be broken like a tree.

כיִשְׁכָּחֵהוּ רֶחֶם מְתָקוֹ רִמָּה עוֹד לֹא־יִזָּכֵר וַתִּשָּׁבֵר כָּעֵץ עַוְלָה׃

21May he consort with a barren woman who bears no child, Leave his widow deprived of good.

כארֹעֶה עֲקָרָה לֹא תֵלֵד וְאַלְמָנָה לֹא יְיֵטִיב׃

22Though he has the strength to seize bulls, May he live with no assurance of survival.

כבוּמָשַׁךְ אַבִּירִים בְּכֹחוֹ יָקוּם וְלֹא־יַאֲמִין בַּחַיִּין׃

23Yet [Hashem] gives him the security on which he relies, And keeps watch over his affairs.

כגיִתֶּן־לוֹ לָבֶטַח וְיִשָּׁעֵן וְעֵינֵיהוּ עַל־דַּרְכֵיהֶם׃

24Exalted for a while, let them be gone; Be brought low, and shrivel like mallows, And wither like the heads of grain.

כדרוֹמּוּ מְּעַט וְאֵינֶנּוּ וְהֻמְּכוּ כַּכֹּל יִקָּפְצוּן וּכְרֹאשׁ שִׁבֹּלֶת יִמָּלוּ׃

25Surely no one can confute me, Or prove that I am wrong.

כהוְאִם־לֹא אֵפוֹ מִי יַכְזִיבֵנִי וְיָשֵׂם לְאַל מִלָּתִי׃