30 “But now men who are younger than I make fun of me. I would not have even let their fathers sit with my sheep dogs. 2 Their hands had no strength to help me. They had even lost their strength to work. 3 They were thin from being hungry and in need. They wandered through the dry and ruined land at night. 4 They gathered desert plants by the brush for food. They even ate the root of the broom tree. 5 They were forced to live away from other people. People shouted at them as if they were thieves. 6 These young men had to live in dried up streambeds. They lived in caves and among the rocks. 7 They howled like animals out among the bushes. And they huddled together in the brush. 8 They are worthless people without names. They were forced to leave the land.
9 “Now they make fun of me with songs. My name has become a joke among them. 10 They hate me and stay far away from me. But they do not mind spitting in my face. 11 God has taken away my strength and made me suffer. So they attack me with all their anger. 12 On my right side they attack me like a mob. They lay traps for my feet. They prepare to attack me. 13 They break up my road. They work to destroy me without anyone stopping them. 14 They go forward as if through a hole in the wall. They roll in among the ruins. 15 Great fears overwhelm me. They blow my honor away as if by a great wind. My safety disappears like a cloud.
16 “Now my life is almost over. My days are full of suffering. 17 At night my bones ache. Gnawing pains never stop. 18 In his great power God grabs hold of my clothing. He chokes me with the collar of my coat. 19 He throws me into the mud. And I become like dirt and ashes.
20 “I cry out to you, God, but you do not answer. I stand up, but you just look at me. 21 You turn on me without mercy. You attack me with your powerful hand. 22 You snatch me up and throw me into the wind. You toss me about in the storm. 23 I know you will bring me down to death. You will bring me to the place where all living people must go.
24 “Surely no one would hurt a ruined man when he cries for help in his time of trouble. 25 I have cried for those who are in trouble. My soul has been very sad for poor people. 26 But when I hoped for good, only evil came to me. When I looked for light, darkness came. 27 I never stop being upset inside. Days of suffering are ahead of me. 28 I have become black, but not by the sun. I stand up in public and cry for help. 29 It is as if I have become a brother to wild dogs and a friend to ostriches. 30 My skin becomes black and peels off. My body burns with fever. 31 My harp is tuned for singing a sad song. And my flute is tuned for the sound of loud crying.
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