30 1BUT NOW they who are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I disdained to set with the dogs of my flock. 2Yes, how could the strength of their hands profit me? They were men whose ripe age and vigor had perished. 3They are gaunt with want and famine; they gnaw the dry and barren ground or flee into the wilderness, into the gloom of wasteness and desolation. 4They pluck saltwort or mallows among the bushes, and roots of the broom for their food or to warm them. 5They are driven from among men, who shout after them as after a thief. 6They must dwell in the clefts of frightful valleys (gullies made by torrents) and in holes of the earth and of the rocks. 7Among the bushes they bray and howl [like wild animals]; beneath the prickly scrub they fling themselves and huddle together. 8Sons of the worthless and nameless, they have been scourged and crushed out of the land. 9And now I have become their song; yes, I am a byword to them. 10They abhor me, they stand aloof from me, and do not refrain from spitting in my face or at the sight of me. 11For God has loosed my bowstring and afflicted and humbled me; they have cast off the bridle [of restraint] before me. 12On my right hand rises the rabble brood; they jostle me and push away my feet, and they cast up against me their ways of destruction [like an advancing army]. 13They break up and clutter my path [embarrassing my plans]; they urge on my calamity, even though they have no helper [and are themselves helpless]. 14As through a wide breach they come in; amid the crash [of falling walls] they roll themselves upon me. 15Terrors are turned upon me; my honor and reputation they chase away like the wind, and my welfare has passed away as a cloud. 16And now my life is poured out within me; the days of affliction have gripped me. 17My bones are pierced [with aching] in the night season, and the pains that gnaw me take no rest. 18By the great force [of my disease] my garment is disguised and disfigured; it binds me about like the collar of my coat. 19[God] has cast me into the mire, and I have become like dust and ashes. 20I cry to You, [Lord,] and You do not answer me; I stand up, but You [only] gaze [indifferently] at me. 21You have become harsh and cruel to me; with the might of Your hand You [keep me alive only to] persecute me. 22You lift me up on the wind; You cause me to ride upon it, and You toss me about in the tempest. 23For I know that You will bring me to death and to the house [of meeting] appointed for all the living. 24However, does not one falling in a heap of ruins stretch out his hand? Or in his calamity will he not therefore cry for help? 25Did not I weep for him who was in trouble? Was not my heart grieved for the poor and needy? 26But when I looked for good, then evil came to me; and when I waited for light, there came darkness. 27My heart is troubled and does not rest; days of affliction come to meet me. 28I go about blackened, but not by the sun; I stand up in the congregation and cry for help. 29I am a brother to jackals [which howl], and a companion to ostriches [which scream dismally]. 30My skin falls from me in blackened flakes, and my bones are burned with heat. 31Therefore my lyre is turned to mourning, and my pipe into the voice of those who weep.
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