2 “How I wish for the months that have passed and the days when God watched over me. 3 God’s lamp shined on my head, and I walked through darkness by his light. 4 I wish for the days when I was strong, when God’s close friendship blessed my house. 5 The Almighty was still with me, and my children were all around me. 6 It was as if my path were covered with cream and the rocks poured out olive oil for me. 7 I would go to the city gate and sit in the public square. 8 When the young men saw me, they would step aside, and the old men would stand up in respect. 9 The leading men stopped speaking and covered their mouths with their hands. 10 The voices of the important men were quiet, as if their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths. 11 Anyone who heard me spoke well of me, and those who saw me praised me, 12 because I saved the poor who called out and the orphan who had no one to help. 13 The dying person blessed me, and I made the widow’s heart sing. 14 I put on right living as if it were clothing; I wore fairness like a robe and a turban. 15 I was eyes for the blind and feet for the lame. 16 I was like a father to needy people, and I took the side of strangers who were in trouble. 17 I broke the fangs of evil people and snatched the captives from their teeth.
18 “I thought, ‘I will live for as many days as there are grains of sand, and I will die in my own house. 19 My roots will reach down to the water. The dew will lie on the branches all night. 20 New honors will come to me continually, and I will always have great strength.’
21 “People listened to me carefully and waited quietly for my advice. 22 After I finished speaking, they spoke no more. My words fell very gently on their ears. 23 They waited for me as they would for rain and drank in my words like spring rain. 24 I smiled at them when they doubted, and my approval was important to them. 25 I chose the way for them and was their leader. I lived like a king among his army, like a person who comforts sad people.
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