Job’s Present State Is Humiliating
1“But now those younger than I mock and laugh at me,
Whose fathers I refused to put with the sheepdogs of my flock.
2Indeed, how could the strength of their hands profit me?
Vigor had perished from them.
3They are gaunt with want and famine;
They gnaw the dry and barren ground by night in [the gloom of] waste and desolation.
4They pluck [and eat] saltwort (mallows) among the bushes,
And their food is the root of the broom shrub.
5They are driven from the community;
They shout after them as after a thief.
6They must dwell on the slopes of wadis
And in holes in the ground and in rocks.
7Among the bushes they cry out [like wild animals];
Beneath the prickly scrub they gather and huddle together.
8They are the sons of [worthless and nameless] fools,
They have been driven out of the land.
9“And now I have become [the subject of] their taunting;
Yes, I am a byword and a laughingstock to them.
10They hate me, they stand aloof from me,
And do not refrain from spitting in my face.
11For God has loosed His bowstring [attacking me] and [He has] afflicted and humbled me;
They have cast off the bridle [of restraint] before me.
12On my right the [rabble] brood rises;
They push my feet away, and they build up their ways of destruction against me [like an advancing army].
13They break up and clutter my path [upsetting my plans],
They profit from my destruction;
No one restrains them.
14As through a wide breach they come,
Amid the crash [of falling walls] they roll on [over me].
15Terrors are turned upon me;
They chase away my honor and reputation like the wind,
And my prosperity has passed away like a cloud.
16“And now my soul is poured out within me;
The days of affliction have seized 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 (skin) is disfigured and blemished;
It binds about me [choking me] like the collar of my coat.
19God has cast me into the mire [a swampland of crisis],
And I have become [worthless] like dust and ashes.
20I cry to You for help, [Lord,] but 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 and cause me to ride [upon it];
And You toss me about in the tempest and dissolve me in the storm.
23For I know that You will bring me to death
And to the house of meeting [appointed] for all the living.
24“However, does not one falling in a heap of ruins stretch out his hand?
Or in his disaster [will he not] therefore cry out for help?
25Did I not weep for one whose life was hard and filled with trouble?
Was not my heart grieved for the needy?
26When I expected good, then came evil [to me];
And when I waited for light, then came darkness.
27I am seething within and my heart is troubled and cannot rest;
Days of affliction come to meet me.
28I go about mourning without comfort [my skin blackened by disease, not by the heat of the sun];
I stand up in the assembly and cry out for help.
29I am a brother to [howling] jackals,
And a companion to ostriches [which scream dismally].
30My skin falls from me in blackened flakes,
And my bones are burned with fever.
31Therefore my lyre (harp) is used for [the sound of] mourning,
And my flute for the [sound of the] voices of those who weep.