The Pain Never Lets Up

30 1-8 “But no longer. Now I’m the butt of their jokes—
    young ruffians! whippersnappers!
Why, I considered their fathers
    mere inexperienced pups.
But they are worse than dogs—good for nothing,
    stray, mangy animals,
Half-starved, scavenging the back alleys,
    howling at the moon;
Homeless guttersnipes
    chewing on old bones and licking old tin cans;
Outcasts from the community,
    cursed as dangerous delinquents.
Nobody would put up with them;
    they were driven from the neighborhood.
You could hear them out there at the edge of town,
    yelping and barking, huddled in junkyards,
A gang of beggars and no-names,
    thrown out on their ears.

9-15 “But now I’m the one they’re after,
    mistreating me, taunting and mocking.
They abhor me, they abuse me.
    How dare those scoundrels—they spit in my face!
Now that God has undone me and left me in a heap,
    they hold nothing back. Anything goes.
They come at me from my blind side,
    trip me up, then jump on me while I’m down.
They throw every kind of obstacle in my path,
    determined to ruin me—
    and no one lifts a finger to help me!
They violate my broken body,
    trample through the rubble of my ruined life.
Terrors assault me—
    my dignity in shreds,
    salvation up in smoke.

16-19 “And now my life drains out,
    as suffering seizes and grips me hard.
Night gnaws at my bones;
    the pain never lets up.
I am tied hand and foot, my neck in a noose.
    I twist and turn.
Thrown facedown in the muck,
    I’m a muddy mess, inside and out.

What Did I Do to Deserve This?

20-23 “I shout for help, God, and get nothing, no answer!
    I stand to face you in protest, and you give me a blank stare!
You’ve turned into my tormenter—
    you slap me around, knock me about.
You raised me up so I was riding high
    and then dropped me, and I crashed.
I know you’re determined to kill me,
    to put me six feet under.

24-31 “What did I do to deserve this?
    Did I ever hit anyone who was calling for help?
Haven’t I wept for those who live a hard life,
    been heartsick over the lot of the poor?
But where did it get me?
    I expected good but evil showed up.
    I looked for light but darkness fell.
My stomach’s in a constant churning, never settles down.
    Each day confronts me with more suffering.
I walk under a black cloud. The sun is gone.
    I stand in the congregation and protest.
I howl with the jackals,
    I hoot with the owls.
I’m black-and-blue all over,
    burning up with fever.
My fiddle plays nothing but the blues;
    my mouth harp wails laments.”

30 “But now they mock me,(A)
    men younger than I,
whose fathers I would have disdained
    to put with my sheep dogs.(B)
Of what use was the strength of their hands to me,
    since their vigor had gone from them?
Haggard from want and hunger,
    they roamed[a] the parched land(C)
    in desolate wastelands(D) at night.(E)
In the brush they gathered salt herbs,(F)
    and their food[b] was the root of the broom bush.(G)
They were banished from human society,
    shouted at as if they were thieves.
They were forced to live in the dry stream beds,
    among the rocks and in holes in the ground.(H)
They brayed(I) among the bushes(J)
    and huddled in the undergrowth.
A base and nameless brood,(K)
    they were driven out of the land.(L)

“And now those young men mock me(M) in song;(N)
    I have become a byword(O) among them.
10 They detest me(P) and keep their distance;
    they do not hesitate to spit in my face.(Q)
11 Now that God has unstrung my bow(R) and afflicted me,(S)
    they throw off restraint(T) in my presence.
12 On my right(U) the tribe[c] attacks;
    they lay snares(V) for my feet,(W)
    they build their siege ramps against me.(X)
13 They break up my road;(Y)
    they succeed in destroying me.(Z)
    ‘No one can help him,’ they say.
14 They advance as through a gaping breach;(AA)
    amid the ruins they come rolling in.
15 Terrors(AB) overwhelm me;(AC)
    my dignity is driven away as by the wind,
    my safety vanishes like a cloud.(AD)

16 “And now my life ebbs away;(AE)
    days of suffering grip me.(AF)
17 Night pierces my bones;
    my gnawing pains never rest.(AG)
18 In his great power(AH) God becomes like clothing to me[d];
    he binds me like the neck of my garment.
19 He throws me into the mud,(AI)
    and I am reduced to dust and ashes.(AJ)

20 “I cry out to you,(AK) God, but you do not answer;(AL)
    I stand up, but you merely look at me.
21 You turn on me ruthlessly;(AM)
    with the might of your hand(AN) you attack me.(AO)
22 You snatch me up and drive me before the wind;(AP)
    you toss me about in the storm.(AQ)
23 I know you will bring me down to death,(AR)
    to the place appointed for all the living.(AS)

24 “Surely no one lays a hand on a broken man(AT)
    when he cries for help in his distress.(AU)
25 Have I not wept for those in trouble?(AV)
    Has not my soul grieved for the poor?(AW)
26 Yet when I hoped for good, evil came;
    when I looked for light, then came darkness.(AX)
27 The churning inside me never stops;(AY)
    days of suffering confront me.(AZ)
28 I go about blackened,(BA) but not by the sun;
    I stand up in the assembly and cry for help.(BB)
29 I have become a brother of jackals,(BC)
    a companion of owls.(BD)
30 My skin grows black(BE) and peels;(BF)
    my body burns with fever.(BG)
31 My lyre is tuned to mourning,(BH)
    and my pipe(BI) to the sound of wailing.

Footnotes

  1. Job 30:3 Or gnawed
  2. Job 30:4 Or fuel
  3. Job 30:12 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  4. Job 30:18 Hebrew; Septuagint power he grasps my clothing