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1“Why are not times of judgment kept by the Almighty,

and why do those who know him never see his days?

2Men remove landmarks;

they seize flocks and pasture them.

3They drive away the ass of the fatherless;

they take the widow’s ox for a pledge.

4They thrust the poor off the road;

the poor of the earth all hide themselves.

5Behold, like wild asses in the desert

they go forth to their toil,

seeking prey in the wilderness

as food for their children.

6They gather their fodder in the field

and they glean the vineyard of the wicked man.

7They lie all night naked, without clothing,

and have no covering in the cold.

8They are wet with the rain of the mountains,

and cling to the rock for want of shelter.

9(There are those who snatch the fatherless child from the breast,

and take in pledge the infant of the poor.)

10They go about naked, without clothing;

hungry, they carry the sheaves;

11among the olive rows of the wicked they make oil;

they tread the wine presses, but suffer thirst.

12From out of the city the dying groan,

and the soul of the wounded cries for help;

yet God pays no attention to their prayer.

13“There are those who rebel against the light,

who are not acquainted with its ways,

and do not stay in its paths.

14The murderer rises in the dark,

that he may kill the poor and needy;

and in the night he is as a thief.

15The eye of the adulterer also waits for the twilight,

saying, ‘No eye will see me’;

and he disguises his face.

16In the dark they dig through houses;

by day they shut themselves up;

they do not know the light.

17For deep darkness is morning to all of them;

for they are friends with the terrors of deep darkness.

18“You say, ‘They are swiftly carried away upon the face of the waters;

their portion is cursed in the land;

no treader turns toward their vineyards.

19Drought and heat snatch away the snow waters;

so does Sheol those who have sinned.

20The squares of the town forget them;

their name is no longer remembered;

so wickedness is broken like a tree.’

21“They feed on the barren childless woman,

and do no good to the widow.

22Yet God prolongs the life of the mighty by his power;

they rise up when they despair of life.

23He gives them security, and they are supported;

and his eyes are upon their ways.

24They are exalted a little while, and then are gone;

they wither and fade like the mallow;

they are cut off like the heads of grain.

25If it is not so, who will prove me a liar,

and show that there is nothing in what I say?”

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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