30 1But now they mock me, men younger than I am, whose fathers I would have refused to put with my sheep dogs. 2What use to me was the strength of their hands? Their vigor had left them. 3Emaciated from poverty and hunger, they gnawed the dry land, the desolate wasteland by night. 4They plucked mallow[M] among the shrubs, and the roots of the broom tree were their food. 5They were expelled from human society; people shouted at them as if they were thieves. 6They are living on the slopes of the wadis, among the rocks and in holes in the ground. 7They bray among the shrubs; they huddle beneath the thistles. 8Foolish men, without even a name. They were forced to leave the land.   9Now I am mocked by their songs; I have become an object of scorn to them. 10They despise me and keep their distance from me; they do not hesitate to spit in my face. 11Because God has loosened my[N] bowstring and oppressed me, they have cast off restraint in my presence. 12The rabble[O] rise up at my right; they trap[P] my feet and construct their siege ramp[Q] against me. 13They tear up my path; they contribute to my destruction, without anyone to help them. 14They advance as through a gaping breach; they keep rolling in through the ruins. 15Terrors are turned loose against me; they chase my dignity away like the wind, and my prosperity has passed by like a cloud.   16Now my life is poured out before my eyes, and days of suffering have seized me. 17Night pierces my bones, but my gnawing pains never rest. 18My clothing is distorted with great force; He chokes me by the neck of my garment.[R] 19He throws me into the mud, and I have become like dust and ashes.   20I cry out to You for help, but You do not answer me; when I stand up, You merely look at me. 21You have turned against me with cruelty; You harass me with Your strong hand. 22You lift me up on the wind and make me ride it; You scatter me in the storm. 23Yes, I know that You will lead me to death— the place appointed for all who live.   24Yet no one would stretch out his hand against a ruined man[S] when he cries out to him for help because of his distress. 25Have I not wept for those who have fallen on hard times? Has my soul not grieved for the needy? 26But when I hoped for good, evil came; when I looked for light, darkness came. 27I am churning within[T] and cannot rest; days of suffering confront me. 28I walk about blackened, but not by the sun.[U] I stood in the assembly and cried out for help. 29I have become a brother to jackals and a companion of ostriches. 30My skin blackens and flakes off,[V] and my bones burn with fever. 31My lyre is used for mourning and my flute for the sound of weeping.
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