CHAPTER 30 30 1But now they hold me in derision who are younger than I, Whose fathers I should have disdained to rank with the dogs of my flock. 2Such strength as they had meant nothing to me; their vigor had perished. 3In want and emaciating hunger they fled to the parched lands: to the desolate wasteland by night. 4They plucked saltwort[Y] and shrubs; the roots of the broom plant were their food. 5They were banished from the community, with an outcry like that against a thief— 6To dwell on the slopes of the wadies, in caves of sand and stone; 7Among the bushes they brayed; under the nettles they huddled together. 8Irresponsible, of no account, they were driven out of the land. 9Yet now they sing of me in mockery; I have become a byword among them. 10They abhor me, they stand aloof, they do not hesitate to spit in my face! 11[Z] Because he has loosened my bowstring and afflicted me, they have thrown off restraint in my presence. 12On my right the young rabble rise up; they trip my feet, they build their approaches for my ruin. 13They tear up my path, they promote my ruin, no helper is there against them. 14As through a wide breach they advance; amid the uproar they come on in waves; 15terrors roll over me. My dignity is driven off like the wind, and my well–being vanishes like a cloud. 16And now my life ebbs away from me, days of affliction have taken hold of me. 17[A] At night he pierces my bones, my sinews have no rest. 18With great difficulty I change my clothes, the collar of my tunic fits around my waist. 19He has cast me into the mire; I have become like dust and ashes. 20I cry to you, but you do not answer me; I stand, but you take no notice. 21You have turned into my tormentor, and with your strong hand you attack me. 22You raise me up and drive me before the wind; I am tossed about by the tempest. 23Indeed I know that you will return me to death to the house destined for everyone alive. 24Yet should not a hand be held out to help a wretched person in distress? 25Did I not weep for the hardships of others; was not my soul grieved for the poor? 26Yet when I looked for good, evil came; when I expected light, darkness came. 27My inward parts seethe and will not be stilled; days of affliction have overtaken me. 28I go about in gloom, without the sun; I rise in the assembly and cry for help. 29I have become a brother to jackals, a companion to ostriches. 30My blackened skin falls away from me; my very frame is scorched by the heat. 31My lyre is tuned to mourning, and my reed pipe to sounds of weeping.
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