2 I long for the past, when God took care of me, 3 and the light from his lamp showed me the way through the dark. 4 I was in the prime of life, God All-Powerful was my closest friend, 5 and all of my children were nearby. 6 My herds gave enough milk to bathe my feet, and from my olive harvest flowed rivers of oil. 7 When I sat down at the meeting of the city council, 8 the young leaders stepped aside, 9 while the older ones stood 10 and remained silent.
Everyone Was Pleased
11 Everyone was pleased with what I said and did. 12 When poor people or orphans cried out for help, I came to their rescue. 13 And I was highly praised for my generosity to widows and others in poverty. 14 Kindness and justice were my coat and hat; 15 I was good to the blind and to the lame. 16 I was a father to the needy, and I defended them in court, even if they were strangers. 17 When criminals attacked, I broke their teeth and set their victims free.
18 I felt certain that I would live a long and happy life, then die in my own bed. 19 In those days I was strong like a tree with deep roots and with plenty of water, 20 or like an archer’s new bow. 21 Everyone listened in silence to my welcome advice, 22 and when I finished speaking, nothing needed to be said. 23 My words were eagerly accepted like the showers of spring, 24 and the smile on my face renewed everyone’s hopes. 25 My advice was followed as though I were a king leading my troops, or someone comforting those in sorrow.
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