Job 24

1 “Why does the Almighty not set times for judgment? Why must those who know him look in vain for such days?
2 There are those who move boundary stones; they pasture flocks they have stolen.
3 They drive away the orphan’s donkey and take the widow’s ox in pledge.
4 They thrust the needy from the path and force all the poor of the land into hiding.
5 Like wild donkeys in the desert, the poor go about their labor of foraging food; the wasteland provides food for their children.
6 They gather fodder in the fields and glean in the vineyards of the wicked.
7 Lacking clothes, they spend the night naked; they have nothing to cover themselves in the cold.
8 They are drenched by mountain rains and hug the rocks for lack of shelter.
9 The fatherless child is snatched from the breast; the infant of the poor is seized for a debt.
10 Lacking clothes, they go about naked; they carry the sheaves, but still go hungry.
11 They crush olives among the terraces[a] ; they tread the winepresses, yet suffer thirst.
12 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 wrongdoing.
13 “There are those who rebel against the light, who do not know its ways or stay in its paths.
14 When daylight is gone, the murderer rises up, kills the poor and needy, and in the night steals forth like a thief.
15 The eye of the adulterer watches for dusk; he thinks, ‘No eye will see me,’ and he keeps his face concealed.
16 In the dark, thieves break into houses, but by day they shut themselves in; they want nothing to do with the light.
17 For all of them, midnight is their morning; they make friends with the terrors of darkness.
18 “Yet they are foam on the surface of the water; their portion of the land is cursed, so that no one goes to the vineyards.
19 As heat and drought snatch away the melted snow, so the grave snatches away those who have sinned.
20 The womb forgets them, the worm feasts on them; the wicked are no longer remembered but are broken like a tree.
21 They prey on the barren and childless woman, and to the widow they show no kindness.
22 But God drags away the mighty by his power; though they become established, they have no assurance of life.
23 He may let them rest in a feeling of security, but his eyes are on their ways.
24 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.
25 “If this is not so, who can prove me false and reduce my words to nothing?”

Job 24 Commentary

Chapter 24

Wickedness often unpunished. (1-12) The wicked shun the light. (13-17) Judgements for the wicked. (18-25)

Verses 1-12 Job discourses further about the prosperity of the wicked. That many live at ease who are ungodly and profane, he had showed, ch. xxi. Here he shows that many who live in open defiance of all the laws of justice, succeed in wicked practices; and we do not see them reckoned with in this world. He notices those that do wrong under pretence of law and authority; and robbers, those that do wrong by force. He says, "God layeth not folly to them;" that is, he does not at once send his judgments, nor make them examples, and so manifest their folly to all the world. But he that gets riches, and not by right, at his end shall be a fool, ( Jeremiah 17:11 ) .

Verses 13-17 See what care and pains wicked men take to compass their wicked designs; let it shame our negligence and slothfulness in doing good. See what pains those take, who make provision for the flesh to fulfil the lusts of it: pains to compass, and then to hide that which will end in death and hell at last. Less pains would mortify and crucify the flesh, and be life and heaven at last. Shame came in with sin, and everlasting shame is at the end of it. See the misery of sinners; they are exposed to continual frights: yet see their folly; they are afraid of coming under the eye of men, but have no dread of God's eye, which is always upon them: they are not afraid of doing things which they are afraid of being known to do.

Verses 18-25 Sometimes how gradual is the decay, how quiet the departure of a wicked person, how is he honoured, and how soon are all his cruelties and oppressions forgotten! They are taken off with other men, as the harvestman gathers the ears of corn as they come to hand. There will often appear much to resemble the wrong view of Providence Job takes in this chapter. But we are taught by the word of inspiration, that these notions are formed in ignorance, from partial views. The providence of God, in the affairs of men, is in every thing a just and wise providence. Let us apply this whenever the Lord may try us. He cannot do wrong. The unequalled sorrows of the Son of God when on earth, unless looked at in this view, perplex the mind. But when we behold him, as the sinner's Surety, bearing the curse, we can explain why he should endure that wrath which was due to sin, that Divine justice might be satisfied, and his people saved.

Cross References 62

  • 1. S Job 14:5
  • 2. S Job 9:23; 2 Peter 3:7; Jeremiah 46:10
  • 3. S Job 15:20; Acts 1:7
  • 4. S Deuteronomy 19:14; Deuteronomy 27:17; Proverbs 23:10
  • 5. Exodus 20:15; Deuteronomy 28:31
  • 6. S Job 6:27; S Job 22:9; Dt 24:6,10,12,17; Job 22:6
  • 7. Job 29:16; Job 31:19
  • 8. Job 29:12; Job 30:25; Psalms 12:5; Psalms 41:1; Psalms 82:3,4; Isaiah 11:4
  • 9. S Job 20:19; S Proverbs 28:12; Proverbs 28:28
  • 10. S Genesis 16:12
  • 11. Psalms 104:23
  • 12. Job 30:3
  • 13. S Job 6:5
  • 14. ver 18
  • 15. Ruth 2:22; S 1 Kings 21:19
  • 16. S Exodus 22:27; Job 22:6
  • 17. Daniel 4:25,33
  • 18. Lamentations 4:5
  • 19. S Judges 6:2
  • 20. S Deuteronomy 24:17
  • 21. Job 29:17
  • 22. Psalms 14:4; Proverbs 30:14; Isaiah 3:14; Isaiah 10:1-2; Ezekiel 18:12
  • 23. S Leviticus 25:47; S 2 Kings 4:1
  • 24. Deuteronomy 24:12-13
  • 25. S Leviticus 19:9
  • 26. Isaiah 5:2; Isaiah 16:10; Haggai 2:16
  • 27. Micah 6:15
  • 28. S Job 12:19; Job 30:28; Psalms 5:2; Psalms 22:24; Psalms 39:12; Psalms 119:147; Isaiah 30:19; Jeremiah 50:46; Jeremiah 51:52,54; Ezekiel 26:15; Revelation 6:10
  • 29. S Job 9:23
  • 30. ver 16; Job 38:15; John 3:19-20; 1 Thessalonians 5:4-5
  • 31. Job 17:12; Job 38:20; Psalms 18:28; Isaiah 5:20; Ephesians 5:8-14
  • 32. Isaiah 3:15; Micah 3:3
  • 33. S Job 20:19; Psalms 37:32
  • 34. Psalms 10:9
  • 35. Job 31:9,27; Proverbs 1:10
  • 36. Proverbs 7:8-9
  • 37. Psalms 10:11
  • 38. S Exodus 22:2; Matthew 6:19
  • 39. S ver 13; John 3:20
  • 40. S Job 18:11
  • 41. S Job 15:22; S Job 18:5
  • 42. S Job 9:26; Jude 1:13
  • 43. Job 22:16; Isaiah 57:20
  • 44. S Job 5:3
  • 45. ver 6
  • 46. Job 6:17
  • 47. S Job 21:13
  • 48. S Job 7:5
  • 49. S Job 21:26
  • 50. S Job 18:17; Proverbs 10:7
  • 51. S Job 14:7; Psalms 31:12; Daniel 4:14
  • 52. S Job 22:9
  • 53. S Job 9:4
  • 54. S Job 12:19
  • 55. Deuteronomy 28:66; Matthew 6:27; James 4:14
  • 56. S Job 9:24; Amos 6:1; Job 12:6
  • 57. S 2 Chronicles 16:9
  • 58. S Job 10:4; Job 11:11
  • 59. S 2 Kings 19:35; S Job 4:20; Job 14:21; Psalms 37:10; Psalms 83:13; Isaiah 5:24; Isaiah 17:13; Isaiah 40:24; Isaiah 41:2,15
  • 60. S Job 3:19
  • 61. Isaiah 17:5
  • 62. S Job 6:28; S Job 16:17; Job 27:4

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO JOB 24

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 they that 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, Job 24:1; and instances in men guilty of injustice, violence, oppression, cruelty, and inhumanity, to their neighbours, and yet God lays not folly to them, or charges them with sin, and punishes them for it, Job 24:2-12; and in persons that commit the most atrocious crimes in secret, such as murderers, adulterers, and thieves, Job 24:13-17; he allows that there is a curse upon their portion, and that the grave shall consume them, and they shall be remembered no more, Job 24:18-20; 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, Job 24:21-24; and concludes with the greatest assurance of being in the right, and having truth on his side, Job 24:25.

Job 24 Commentaries