2 I have often heard this, and it offers no comfort. 3 So why don’t you keep quiet? What’s bothering you? 4 If I were in your place, it would be easy to criticize or to give advice. 5 But I would offer hope and comfort instead.
6 If I speak, or if I don’t, I hurt all the same. My torment continues. 7 God has worn me down and destroyed my family; 8 my shriveled up skin proves that I am his prisoner. 9 God is my hateful enemy, glaring at me and attacking with his sharp teeth. 10 Everyone is against me; they sneer and slap my face. 11 And God is the one who handed me over to this merciless mob.
Everything Was Going Well
12 Everything was going well, until God grabbed my neck and shook me to pieces. God set me up as the target 13 for his arrows, and without showing mercy, he slashed my stomach open, spilling out my insides. 14 God never stops attacking, 15 and so, in my sorrow I dress in sackcloth[a] and sit in the dust. 16 My face is red with tears, and dark shadows circle my eyes, 17 though I am not violent, and my prayers are sincere.
18 If I should die, I beg the earth not to cover my cry for justice. 19 Even now, God in heaven is both my witness and my protector. 20 My friends have rejected me, but God is the one I beg[b] 21 to show that I am right, just as a friend should. 22 Because in only a few years, I will be dead and gone.
16.15sackcloth: A rough, dark-colored cloth made from goat hair and used to make grain sacks. It was worn in times of trouble or sorrow.
16.20My friends. . . beg: Or “God is my friend, and he is the one I beg.”
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