Job 24
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1  Why 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

א  מַדּוּעַ 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.Comment

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

ב  גְּבֻלוֹת יַשִּׂיגוּ עֵדֶר גָּזְלוּ וַיִּרְעוּ׃

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

ג  חֲמוֹר יְתוֹמִים יִנְהָגוּ יַחְבְּלוּ שׁוֹר אַלְמָנָה׃

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

ד  יַטּוּ אֶבְיוֹנִים מִדָּרֶךְ יַחַד חֻבְּאוּ עֲנִיֵּי־אָרֶץ׃

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

ה  הֵן פְּרָאִים בַּמִּדְבָּר יָצְאוּ בְּפָעֳלָם מְשַׁחֲרֵי לַטָּרֶף עֲרָבָה לוֹ לֶחֶם לַנְּעָרִים׃

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

ו  בַּשָּׂדֶה בְּלִילוֹ יקצירו [יִקְצוֹרוּ] וְכֶרֶם רָשָׁע יְלַקֵּשׁוּ׃

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

ז  עָרוֹם יָלִינוּ מִבְּלִי לְבוּשׁ וְאֵין כְּסוּת בַּקָּרָה׃

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

ח  מִזֶּרֶם הָרִים יִרְטָבוּ וּמִבְּלִי מַחְסֶה חִבְּקוּ־צוּר׃

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

ט  יִגְזְלוּ מִשֹּׁד יָתוֹם וְעַל־עָנִי יַחְבֹּלוּ׃

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

י  עָרוֹם הִלְּכוּ בְּלִי לְבוּשׁ וּרְעֵבִים נָשְׂאוּ עֹמֶר׃

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

יא  בֵּין־שׁוּרֹתָם יַצְהִירוּ יְקָבִים דָּרְכוּ וַיִּצְמָאוּ׃

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

יב  מֵעִיר מְתִים יִנְאָקוּ וְנֶפֶשׁ־חֲלָלִים תְּשַׁוֵּעַ וֶאֱלוֹהַּ לֹא־יָשִׂים תִּפְלָה׃

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

יג  הֵמָּה הָיוּ בְּמֹרְדֵי־אוֹר לֹא־הִכִּירוּ דְרָכָיו וְלֹא יָשְׁבוּ בִּנְתִיבֹתָיו׃

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

יד  לָאוֹר יָקוּם רוֹצֵחַ יִקְטָל־עָנִי וְאֶבְיוֹן וּבַלַּיְלָה יְהִי כַגַּנָּב׃

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

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

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

טז  חָתַר בַּחֹשֶׁךְ בָּתִּים יוֹמָם חִתְּמוּ־לָמוֹ לֹא־יָדְעוּ אוֹר׃

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

יז  כִּי יַחְדָּו בֹּקֶר לָמוֹ צַלְמָוֶת כִּי־יַכִּיר בַּלְהוֹת צַלְמָוֶת׃

18  May 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.

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

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

יט  צִיָּה גַם־חֹם יִגְזְלוּ מֵימֵי־שֶׁלֶג שְׁאוֹל חָטָאוּ׃

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

כ  יִשְׁכָּחֵהוּ רֶחֶם מְתָקוֹ רִמָּה עוֹד לֹא־יִזָּכֵר וַתִּשָּׁבֵר כָּעֵץ עַוְלָה׃

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

כא  רֹעֶה עֲקָרָה לֹא תֵלֵד וְאַלְמָנָה לֹא יְיֵטִיב׃

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

כב  וּמָשַׁךְ אַבִּירִים בְּכֹחוֹ יָקוּם וְלֹא־יַאֲמִין בַּחַיִּין׃

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

כג  יִתֶּן־לוֹ לָבֶטַח וְיִשָּׁעֵן וְעֵינֵיהוּ עַל־דַּרְכֵיהֶם׃

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

כד  רוֹמּוּ מְּעַט וְאֵינֶנּוּ וְהֻמְּכוּ כַּכֹּל יִקָּפְצוּן וּכְרֹאשׁ שִׁבֹּלֶת יִמָּלוּ׃

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

 

כה  וְאִם־לֹא אֵפוֹ מִי יַכְזִיבֵנִי וְיָשֵׂם לְאַל מִלָּתִי׃

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Job 24

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