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Job’s Honor Turned to Contempt
1 “But now they mock me,
men younger than I am,
whose fathers I would have refused
to entrust with my sheep dogs.
2 What use to me was the strength of their hands,
since their vigor had left them?
3 Gaunt from poverty and hunger,
they gnawed the dry land,
and the desolate wasteland by night.
4 They plucked mallow among the shrubs,
and the roots of the broom tree were their food. a
5 They were banished from among men,
shouted down like thieves,
6 so that they lived on the slopes of the wadis,
among the rocks and in holes in the ground.
7 They cried out among the shrubs
and huddled beneath the nettles.
8 A senseless and nameless brood,
they were driven off the land.
9 And now they mock me in song;
I have become a byword among them.
10 They abhor me and keep far from me;
they do not hesitate to spit in my face.
11 Because God has unstrung my bow and afflicted me,
they have cast off restraint b in my presence.
12 The rabble arises at my right;
they lay snares for my feet
and build siege ramps against me.
13 They tear up my path;
they profit from my destruction,
with no one to restrain them. c
14 They advance as through a wide breach;
through the ruins they keep rolling in.
Job’s Prosperity Becomes Calamity
15 Terrors are turned loose against me;
they drive away my dignity as by the wind,
and my prosperity has passed like a cloud.
16 And now my soul is poured out within me;
days of affliction grip me.
17 Night pierces my bones,
and my gnawing pains never rest.
18 With great force He grasps my garment; d
He seizes me by the collar of my tunic.
19 He throws me into the mud,
and I have become like dust and ashes.
20 I cry out to You for help, but You do not answer;
when I stand up, You merely look at me.
21 You have ruthlessly turned on me;
You oppose me with Your strong hand.
22 You snatch me up into the wind
and drive me before it;
You toss me about e in the storm.
23 Yes, I know that You will bring me down to death,
to the place appointed for all the living.
24 Yet no one stretches out his hand to a ruined man
when he cries for help in his distress.
25 Have I not wept for those in trouble?
Has my soul not grieved for the needy?
26 But when I hoped for good, evil came;
when I looked for light, darkness fell.
27 I am churning within and cannot rest;
days of affliction confront me.
28 I go about blackened, but not by the sun.
I stand up in the assembly and cry for help.
29 I have become a brother of jackals, f
a companion of ostriches. g
30 My skin grows black and peels,
and my bones burn with fever.
31 My harp is tuned to mourning
and my flute to the sound of weeping.
4 a Or their fuel
11 b Hebrew the bridle
13 c Or with no one to assist them
18 d LXX; Hebrew He becomes like a garment to me or my garment is disfigured
22 e Or You dissolve me
29 f Or serpents or dragons
29 g Literally of daughters of an ostrich or of daughters of an owl