Job 24

1 “Why aren’t times laid up by the Almighty? Why don’t those who know him see his days? 2 There are people who remove the landmarks. They violently take away flocks, and feed them. 3 They drive away the donkey of the fatherless, and they take the widow’s ox for a pledge. 4 They turn the needy out of the way. The poor of the earth all hide themselves. 5 Behold, as wild donkeys in the desert, they go out to their work, seeking diligently for food. The wilderness yields them bread for their children. 6 They cut their food in the field. They glean the vineyard of the wicked. 7 They lie all night naked without clothing, and have no covering in the cold. 8 They are wet with the showers of the mountains, and embrace the rock for lack of a shelter. 9 There are those who pluck the fatherless from the breast, and take a pledge of the poor, 10 So that they go around naked without clothing. Being hungry, they carry the sheaves. 11 They make oil within the walls of these men. They tread wine presses, and suffer thirst. 12 From out of the populous city, men groan. The soul of the wounded cries out, yet God doesn’t regard the folly. 13 “These are of those who rebel against the light. They don’t know its ways, nor stay in its paths. 14 The murderer rises with the light. He kills the poor and needy. In the night he is like a thief. 15 The eye also of the adulterer waits for the twilight, saying, ‘No eye shall see me.’ He disguises his face. 16 In the dark they dig through houses. They shut themselves up in the daytime. They don’t know the light. 17 For the morning is to all of them like thick darkness, for they know the terrors of the thick darkness. 18 “They are foam on the surface of the waters. Their portion is cursed in the earth. They don’t turn into the way of the vineyards. 19 Drought and heat consume the snow waters, so does Sheol those who have sinned. 20 The womb shall forget him. The worm shall feed sweetly on him. He shall be no more remembered. Unrighteousness shall be broken as a tree. 21 He devours the barren who don’t bear. He shows no kindness to the widow. 22 Yet God preserves the mighty by his power. He rises up who has no assurance of life. 23 God gives them security, and they rest in it. His eyes are on their ways. 24 They are exalted; yet a little while, and they are gone. Yes, they are brought low, they are taken out of the way as all others, and are cut off as the tops of the ears of grain. 25 If it isn’t so now, who will prove me a liar, and make my speech worth nothing?”

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

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, Jer 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.

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