30 “But now those who are younger than I am make fun of me. I wouldn’t even put their parents with my sheep dogs! 2 Their strong hands couldn’t give me any help. That’s because their strength was gone. 3 They were weak because they were needy and hungry. They wandered through dry and empty deserts at night. 4 Among the bushes they gathered salty plants. They ate the roots of desert bushes. 5 They were driven away from human society. They were shouted at as if they were robbers. 6 They were forced to live in dry stream beds. They had to stay among rocks and in holes in the ground. 7 Like donkeys they cried out among the bushes. There they crowded together and hid. 8 They were so foolish that no one respected them. They were driven out of the land.
9 “Now their children laugh at me. They make fun of me with their songs. 10 They hate me. They stay away from me. They even dare to spit in my face. 11 God has made my body weak. It’s like a tent that has fallen down. So those children do what they want to in front of me. 12 Many people attack me on my right side. They lay traps for my feet. They come at me from every direction. 13 They tear up the road I walk on. They succeed in destroying me. They say, ‘No one can help him.’ 14 They attack me like troops smashing through a wall. Among the destroyed buildings they come rolling in. 15 Terrors sweep over me. My honor is driven away as if by the wind. My safety vanishes like a cloud.
16 “Now my life is slipping away. Days of suffering grab hold of me. 17 At night my bones hurt. My aches and pains never stop. 18 God’s great power becomes like clothes to me. He chokes me like the neck of my shirt. 19 He throws me down into the mud. I’m nothing but dust and ashes.
20 “God, I cry out to you. But you don’t answer me. I stand up. But all you do is look at me. 21 You do mean things to me. You attack me with your mighty power. 22 You pick me up and blow me away with the wind. You toss me around in the storm. 23 I know that you will bring me down to death. That’s what you have appointed for everyone.
24 “No one would crush people when they cry out for help in their trouble. 25 Haven’t I wept for those who are in trouble? Haven’t I felt sorry for poor people? 26 I hoped good things would happen, but something evil came. I looked for light, but all I saw was darkness. 27 My insides are always churning. Nothing but days of suffering are ahead of me. 28 My skin has become dark, but the sun didn’t do it. I stand up in the community and cry out for help. 29 I’ve become a brother to wild dogs. Owls are my companions. 30 My skin grows black and peels. My body burns with fever. 31 My lyre is tuned to sadness. My flute makes a sound like weeping.
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