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.
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.
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