2 “Oh that I were as in months gone by, As in the days when God watched over me; 3 When His lamp shone over my head, Andby His light I walked through darkness; 4 As I was in [a]the prime of my days, When the [b]friendship of God was over my tent; 5 When [c]the Almighty was yet with me, And my children were around me; 6 When my steps were bathed in butter, And the rock poured out for me streams of oil! 7 “When I went out to the gate of the city, When I [d]took my seat in the square, 8 The young men saw me and hid themselves, And the old men arose and stood. 9 “The princes stopped talking And put their hands on their mouths; 10 The voice of the nobles was [e]hushed, And their tongue stuck to their palate. 11 “For when the ear heard, it called me blessed, And when the eye saw, it gave witness of me, 12 Because I delivered the poor who cried for help, And the orphan who had no helper. 13 “The blessing of the one ready to perish came upon me, And I made the widow’s heart sing for joy. 14 “I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; My justice was like a robe and a turban. 15 “I was eyes to the blind And feet to the lame. 16 “I was a father to the needy, And I investigated the case which I did not know. 17 “I broke the jaws of the wicked And snatched the prey from his teeth. 18 “Then I [f]thought, ‘I shall die [g]in my nest, And I shall multiply my days as the sand. 19 ‘My root is spread out to the waters, And dew lies all night on my branch. 20 ‘My glory is ever new with me, And my bow is renewed in my hand.’
21 “To me they listened and waited, And kept silent for my counsel. 22 “After my words they did not speak again, And my speech dropped on them. 23 “They waited for me as for the rain, And opened their mouth as for the spring rain. 24 “I smiled on them when they did not believe, And the light of my face they did not cast down. 25 “I chose a way for them and sat as chief, And dwelt as a king among the troops, As one who comforted the mourners.
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