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