1 Why are times not laid up by the Almighty? And why do not they that know Him see His days?
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 וְיֹדְעָו לֹא חָזוּ יָמָיו.
24:1 Why do not they that know him see his days?
A careful reading shows that Job is not complaining about his punishment, but that he cannot see the end of his suffering. Similarly, the Jewish people complain to God about their long exile from the Land of Israel in Psalm 44:24: “Awake, why sleepest Thou, O Lord? Arouse Thyself, cast not off for ever.” They cannot bear the seemingly endless exile from their home. It is always much easier to suffer if the end is in sight.
2 There are that remove the landmarks; they violently take away flocks, and feed them.
ב גְּבֻלוֹת יַשִּׂיגוּ עֵדֶר גָּזְלוּ וַיִּרְעוּ.
3 They drive away the ass of the fatherless, they take the widow’s ox for a pledge.
ג חֲמוֹר יְתוֹמִים יִנְהָגוּ יַחְבְּלוּ שׁוֹר אַלְמָנָה.
4 They turn the needy out of the way; the poor of the earth hide themselves together.
ד יַטּוּ אֶבְיֹנִים מִדָּרֶךְ יַחַד חֻבְּאוּ עֲנִיֵּי אָרֶץ.
5 Behold, as wild asses in the wilderness they go forth to their work, seeking diligently for food; the desert yieldeth them bread for their children.
ה הֵן פְּרָאִים בַּמִּדְבָּר יָצְאוּ בְּפָעֳלָם מְשַׁחֲרֵי לַטָּרֶף עֲרָבָה לוֹ לֶחֶם לַנְּעָרִים.
6 They cut his provender in the field; and they despoil the vineyard of the wicked.
ו בַּשָּׂדֶה בְּלִילוֹ יקצירו (יִקְצוֹרוּ) וְכֶרֶם רָשָׁע יְלַקֵּשׁוּ.
7 They lie all night naked without clothing, and have no covering in the cold.
ז עָרוֹם יָלִינוּ מִבְּלִי לְבוּשׁ וְאֵין כְּסוּת בַּקָּרָה.
8 They are wet with the showers of the mountains, and embrace the rock for want of a shelter.
ח מִזֶּרֶם הָרִים יִרְטָבוּ וּמִבְּלִי מַחְסֶה חִבְּקוּ צוּר.
9 There are that pluck the fatherless from the breast, and take a pledge of the poor;
ט יִגְזְלוּ מִשֹּׁד יָתוֹם וְעַל עָנִי יַחְבֹּלוּ.
10 So that they go about naked without clothing, and being hungry they carry the sheaves;
י עָרוֹם הִלְּכוּ בְּלִי לְבוּשׁ וּרְעֵבִים נָשְׂאוּ עֹמֶר.
11 They make oil within the rows of these men; they tread their winepresses, and suffer thirst.
יא בֵּין שׁוּרֹתָם יַצְהִירוּ יְקָבִים דָּרְכוּ וַיִּצְמָאוּ.
12 From out of the populous city men groan, and the soul of the wounded crieth out; yet God imputeth it not for unseemliness.
יב מֵעִיר מְתִים יִנְאָקוּ וְנֶפֶשׁ חֲלָלִים תְּשַׁוֵּעַ וֶאֱלוֹהַּ לֹא יָשִׂים תִּפְלָה.
13 These are of them that rebel against the light; they know not the ways thereof, nor abide in the paths thereof.
יג הֵמָּה הָיוּ בְּמֹרְדֵי אוֹר לֹא הִכִּירוּ דְרָכָיו וְלֹא יָשְׁבוּ בִּנְתִיבֹתָיו.
14 The murderer riseth with the light, to kill the poor and needy; and in the night he is as a thief.
יד לָאוֹר יָקוּם רוֹצֵחַ יִקְטָל עָנִי וְאֶבְיוֹן וּבַלַּיְלָה יְהִי כַגַּנָּב.
15 The eye also of the adulterer waiteth for the twilight, saying: ‘No eye shall see me’; and he putteth a covering on his face.
טו וְעֵין נֹאֵף שָׁמְרָה נֶשֶׁף לֵאמֹר לֹא תְשׁוּרֵנִי עָיִן וְסֵתֶר פָּנִים יָשִׂים.
16 In the dark they dig through houses; they shut themselves up in the day-time; they know not the light.
טז חָתַר בַּחֹשֶׁךְ בָּתִּים יוֹמָם חִתְּמוּ לָמוֹ לֹא יָדְעוּ אוֹר.
17 For the shadow of death is to all of them as the morning; for they know the terrors of the shadow of death.
יז כִּי יַחְדָּו בֹּקֶר לָמוֹ צַלְמָוֶת כִּי יַכִּיר בַּלְהוֹת צַלְמָוֶת.
18 He is swift upon the face of the waters; their portion is cursed in the earth; he turneth not by the way of the vineyards.
יח קַל הוּא עַל פְּנֵי מַיִם תְּקֻלַּל חֶלְקָתָם בָּאָרֶץ לֹא יִפְנֶה דֶּרֶךְ כְּרָמִים.
19 Drought and heat consume the snow waters; so doth the nether-world those that have sinned.
יט צִיָּה גַם חֹם יִגְזְלוּ מֵימֵי שֶׁלֶג שְׁאוֹל חָטָאוּ.
20 The womb forgetteth him; the worm feedeth sweetly on him; he shall be no more remembered; and unrighteousness is broken as a tree.
כ יִשְׁכָּחֵהוּ רֶחֶם מְתָקוֹ רִמָּה עוֹד לֹא יִזָּכֵר וַתִּשָּׁבֵר כָּעֵץ עַוְלָה.
21 He devoureth the barren that beareth not; and doeth not good to the widow.
כא רֹעֶה עֲקָרָה לֹא תֵלֵד וְאַלְמָנָה לֹא יְיֵטִיב.
22 He draweth away the mighty also by his power; he riseth up, and he trusteth not his own life.
כב וּמָשַׁךְ אַבִּירִים בְּכֹחוֹ יָקוּם וְלֹא יַאֲמִין בַּחַיִּין.
23 Though it be given him to be in safety, whereon he resteth, yet His eyes are upon their ways.
כג יִתֶּן לוֹ לָבֶטַח וְיִשָּׁעֵן וְעֵינֵיהוּ עַל דַּרְכֵיהֶם.
24 They are exalted for a little while, and they are gone; yea, they are brought low, they are gathered in as all others, and wither as the tops of the ears of corn.
כד רוֹמּוּ מְּעַט וְאֵינֶנּוּ וְהֻמְּכוּ כַּכֹּל יִקָּפְצוּן וּכְרֹאשׁ שִׁבֹּלֶת יִמָּלוּ.
25 And if it be not so now, who will prove me a liar, and make my speech nothing worth?
כה וְאִם לֹא אֵפוֹ מִי יַכְזִיבֵנִי וְיָשֵׂם לְאַל מִלָּתִי.