He ·takes off chains that kings put on [or loosens the sash of kings] and ·puts a garment on their bodies [or tightens the waistcloth around their hips; C he undermines their royal prerogatives and powers and causes them pain].
“True wisdom and real power belong to God; from him we learn how to live, and also what to live for. If he tears something down, it’s down for good; if he locks people up, they’re locked up for good. If he holds back the rain, there’s a drought; if he lets it loose, there’s a flood. Strength and success belong to God; both deceived and deceiver must answer to him. He strips experts of their vaunted credentials, exposes judges as witless fools. He divests kings of their royal garments, then ties a rag around their waists. He strips priests of their robes, and fires high officials from their jobs. He forces trusted sages to keep silence, deprives elders of their good sense and wisdom. He dumps contempt on famous people, disarms the strong and mighty. He shines a spotlight into caves of darkness, hauls deepest darkness into the noonday sun. He makes nations rise and then fall, builds up some and abandons others. He robs world leaders of their reason, and sends them off into no-man’s-land. They grope in the dark without a clue, lurching and staggering like drunks.”
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