The Trial of Job

Chapter 24

Wickedness often goes unpunished, 1-16. There is a secret judgment for the wicked, 17-25.

"Why, seeing times are not hid from the Almighty,/
do those who know him not see his days?

Some remove the landmarks./
They violently take away flocks and their feed.

They drive away the donkey of the fatherless,/
they take the widow's ox for a pledge.

They turn the needy out of the way./
The poor of the earth hide themselves together.

Behold, as wild donkeys in the desert,/
they go forth to their work, seeking for a prey./
The wilderness yields food for them and for their children.

They each reap his grain in the field,/
and they gather the vintage of the wicked.

They cause the naked to lodge without clothing/
and they have no covering in the cold.

They are wet with the showers of the mountains/
and embrace the rock for lack of a shelter.

They pluck the fatherless from the breast/
and take a pledge of the poor.

10 They cause him to go naked without clothing/
and they take away the sheaf from the hungry,

11 Who make oil within their walls,/
tread their wine-presses, and suffer thirst.

12 Men groan from out of the city,/
and the soul of the wounded cries out./
Yet God does not lay folly to them.

13 They are of those who rebel against the light./
They do not know its ways,/
nor abide in its paths.

14 The murderer rising with the light/
kills the poor and needy,/
and in the night is as a thief.

15 Also the eye of the adulterer waits for the twilight,/
saying, 'No eye shall see me,'/
and disguises his face.

16 In the dark they dig through houses/
which they had marked for themselves in the day-time./
They do not know the light.

17 For the morning is to them even as the shadow of death,/
because they are familiar with the terrors of the shadow of death.

18 He is swift as the waters./
Their portion is cursed in the earth./
He does not behold the way of the vineyards.

19 As drought and heat consume the snow-waters,/
so does the grave to those who have sinned.

20 The womb shall forget him./
The worm shall feed sweetly on him./
He shall no longer be remembered./
And wickedness shall be broken as a tree.

21 He oppresses the barren who does not bear/
and does not do good to the widow.

22 He also draws the mighty with his power./
He rises up, and no man is sure of life.

23 Though it is given him to be in safety, on which he rests,/
yet his eyes are upon their ways.

24 They are exalted for a little while,/
but are gone and brought low./
They are taken out of the way as all others,/
and cut off as the tops of the heads of grain.

25 And if it is not so now, who will make me a liar/
and make my speech of no worth?"


Matthew Henry Commentary - Job, Chapter 24[➚]


John Gill's Chapter Summary:

This chapter contains the second part of Job's answer to the last discourse of Eliphaz, in which he shows that wicked men, those of the worst characters, prosper in the world, and go through it with impunity; he lays down this as a certain truth, that though no time is hid from God, yet those who are most familiar with him, and know most of him, do not see, and cannot observe, any days of his for judging and punishing wicked men in this life (verse 1); and instances in men guilty of injustice, violence, oppression, cruelty, and inhumanity, to their neighbors, and yet God does not lay folly to them, or charges them with sin, and punishes them for it (verses 2-12); and in persons that commit the most atrocious crimes in secret, such as murderers, adulterers, and thieves (verses 13-17); he allows that there is a curse upon their portion, and that the grave shall consume them, and they shall be remembered no more (verses 18-20); and because of their ill treatment of others, though they may be in safety and prosperity, and be exalted for a while, they shall be brought low and cut off by death, but generally speaking are not punished in this life (verses 21-24); and concludes with the greatest assurance of being in the right, and having truth on his side (verse 25).

[v.15] - "disguises his face" - Literally, "sets his face in secret." In other words, "puts a covering on his face." The covering could be the hood of a cloak.

[v.19] - "consume" - Literally, "violently take."

[v.22] - "no man is sure of life" - In other words, "he does not trust his own life."