King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Job 24

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

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Wickedness often unpunished

1 Why, seeing times are not hidden from the Almighty, do they that know him not see his days?

2 Some remove the landmarks; they violently take away flocks, and feed thereof.

3 They drive away the ass of the fatherless, they take the widow’s ox for a pledge.

4 They turn the needy out of the way: the poor of the earth hide themselves together.

5 Behold, as wild asses in the desert, go they forth to their work; rising betimes for a prey: the wilderness yieldeth food for them and for their children.

6 They reap every one his corn in the field: and they gather the vintage of the wicked.

7 They cause the naked to lodge without clothing, that they have no covering in the cold.

8 They are wet with the showers of the mountains, and embrace the rock for want of a shelter.

9 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 Which make oil within their walls, and tread their winepresses, and suffer thirst.

12 Men groan from out of the city, and the soul of the wounded crieth out: yet God layeth not folly to them.

The wicked shun the light

13 They are of those that rebel against the light; they know not the ways thereof, nor abide in the paths thereof.

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

15 The eye also of the adulterer waiteth for the twilight, saying, No eye shall see me: and disguiseth his face.

16 In the dark they dig through houses, which they had marked for themselves in the daytime: they know not the light.

17 For the morning is to them even as the shadow of death: if one know them, they are in the terrors of the shadow of death.

Judgements for the wicked

18 He is swift as the waters; their portion is cursed in the earth: he beholdeth not the way of the vineyards.

19 Drought and heat consume the snow waters: so doth the grave those which have sinned.

20 The womb shall forget him; the worm shall feed sweetly on him; he shall be no more remembered; and wickedness shall be broken as a tree.

21 He evil entreateth the barren that beareth not: and doeth not good to the widow.

22 He draweth also the mighty with his power: he riseth up, and no man is sure of life.

23 Though it be given him to be in safety, whereon he resteth; 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 other, and cut off as the tops of the ears of corn.

25 And if it be not so now, who will make me a liar, and make my speech nothing worth?

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Days, when he will be punished. M. — They are convinced it will be sometime: while the wicked flatter themselves with impunity. W. — Job has already shewn that his complaints had not been excessive, and that they were extorted chiefly by the dread which he had of God. He now comes to prove that he had not denied Providence. For though he asserted that the wicked were sometimes at ease, he maintained that there was another world, where all would be set to rights. Without this the book would be inexplicable. C. — Know him. Sept. “the impious.” H.

Ver. 2. Marks. This was a heinous offence, (Deut. xix. 14.) which Numa punished with death. Halyc. i. C. — And fed. Sept. “and those who fed them.”

Ver. 4. Poor, by oppression, not allowing them to get their bread, or to walk on the same road. C. — And have. Heb. and Sept. “the meek…have hidden themselves together.”

Ver. 5. Others. Heb. “Behold as,” (H.) which may be explained of these oppressors, or rather of the poor, who are forced to flee before them to seek for food. C. — The Vulg. and Sept. seem more favourable to the former supposition. H.

Ver. 6. Not, is omitted by the Prot. H. — Heb. “they reap in the field food for the cattle.” C. — His. Heb. “the wicked man’s vineyard.” H. — They do not examine whether the person whom they plunder be just or not. C. — Sept. “they have reaped before the season the field which was not theirs. But the poor (helpless men) have laboured in the vineyards of the wicked without wages or meat.” H.

Ver. 7. Cold. Heb. is still ambiguous, as it may be understood either of the oppressor or of the poor. The cruelty here reprobated is contrary to the law. Ex. xxii. 26. C.

Ver. 8. Stones, for their bed, though they be so wet. H.

Ver. 9. Robbed. Heb. and Sept. “snatched from the breast.” — Stript. Sept. “knocked down.” Heb. “taken a pledge of, or seized the poor.” C.

Ver. 10. Corn, which they had gleaned for their daily sustenance. Heb. also, “the poor, perishing through hunger, carry the sheaf” of the rich.

Ver. 11. Of them. Heb. “of corn, and thirst while pressing out their olives.” C. — Prot. “they take away the sheaf from the hungry, (11) which make oil within their walls, and tread their wine-presses, and suffer thirst,” (H.) not being allowed to taste any thing, though the law of Moses would not suffer even the ox to be muzzled. Deut. xxv. 4. The rich look on without pity, taking their rest at noon, amid the heaps which really belong to the poor, whom they force to labour for them.

Ver. 12. Suffer. Heb. “and God suffers no disorder,” according to you. C. — Sym. “God inspireth not folly: but they have,” &c. v. 13. Sept. “But why does he not regard,” (H.) or punish these things? C.

Ver. 13. Light of reason and humanity. C. — Pineda understands that they have sought darkness, (v. 14.) to do evil. But this expression would be too harsh. C. — Heretics, acting against their own conscience, are stricken with blindness, so that they see not the truth. S. Greg. xvi. 26. W.

Ver. 14. Thief. Oppressing the poor, (Ven. Bede) and taking away their bread. Eccli. xxxiv. 25.

Ver. 15. Face. Sept. insinuate “with a mask.” Prot. “disguiseth his face.”

Ver. 16. Themselves. The band of robbers had marked out their prey. H. — Heb. “In the day time they lie concealed, and know not the light.” C. — Sept. or rather Theodotion, from whom v. 15 to 17. is taken, “They have sealed themselves up during the day.” If we should read eautois, Heb. lamo, we might translate as well “they marked them out for themselves.” H. — The adulterer had made is his arrangement with the faithless woman, when he should break into the house. M.

Ver. 17. Death. They are as much afraid of the light as others are of profound darkness. C. — They dread being detected. H.

Ver. 18. He is light, &c. That is, the adulterer, that he may not be perceived and discovered, steps as nimbly and as light as if her were walking upon the waters. Or the sense is: he is as light, that is, as swift and nimble as the running waters. — By the way of the vineyards. That is, by the way where he may meet with fruit and blessings. Ch. — The wicked are always inconstant. C. Isai. lvii. 29. — He deserves no temporal nor eternal happiness. If he were deprived of the former, he might perhaps endeavour to escape the torments of hell. H.

Ver. 19. Let. Heb. “Drought and heat consume the snow waters; so doth the grave those which have sinned.” Prot. Ch. H. — The wicked die quickly, and without a lingering illness. Piscat. — What foundation, therefore, has the hell of cold as well as of fire? says Amama. S. Jerom (in Matt. x.) observes, “We read very plainly in the Book of Job that there is a double gehenna, both of too much heat and of too much cold;” the latter occasions the gnashing of teeth. Mat. viii. Carthus. — “In this world people pass through a medium or temperate state. But in hell, they pass from the excess of tormenting cold to that of burning fire; they will know no medium, because in this life they proceeded from one vice to another, even to the heat of lust. Albertus Magnus. H. — Therefore they are punished with torments of a contrary nature. W. — They go from the coldness of infidelity to the heat of heresy; (S. Greg.) from one calamity to another. Sa. — Sept. ” For they have torn away the arm of the orphans. Then his or their sin has been remembered, and, like a dew-drop, he has disappeared. H.

Ver. 20. Sweetness. These will inherit him; (H.) for here all his pleasures will terminate. C.

Ver. 21. Fed the barren. That is, the harlot. Or else, he hath fed; that is, he hath fed upon the barren; that is, the poor and desolate. Ch. — He has not had posterity, but pleasure, in view, when he married. Rabbins. — Sept. agree with the Vulg. H. — But most explain the Heb. “He hath oppressed the barren;” which may denote those whose husband and children have been slain. C. — No good, but even dealt with them dishonestly. Cajetan.

Ver. 22. Down. Heb. “taketh along with him his guards for his defence. He riseth and is not sure of his life,” fearing lest his enemies may still overpower him. This is a description of the tyrant’s continual anxiety. C. — Prot. “And no man is sure of life,” may intimate that the wicked put all men in danger. H. — He who puts others in fear, must also be alarmed. M.

Ver. 23. God. Sept. “being sick, let him not expect to be healed, but he shall fall under sickness.” Heb. “Though it be given him to be in safety, whereon he resteth, yet his eyes are upon their ways,” (Prot.) or “he has given (H.) himself, or appointed them (guards) for his defence, and rests on them; yet his eyes,” &c. He suspects the fidelity of his servants. C. — Pride. Man abuseth by his free-will the time which God had allowed him to repent from former sins. Rom. ii. W.

Ver. 25. And set. Sept. and Prot. “and make my speech nothing worth.” H. — This conclusion come frequently. C. ix. 15. and xvii. 15. Job defies his friends to shew the fallacy of his arguments, or that the wicked do not enjoy prosperity, though they may be inwardly miserable. C.