30 “But now they mock me; men who are far younger than I, whose fathers I would have hated to entrust with my own sheep dogs. 2 Furthermore, what could I have gained from men whose strength is gone? 3 Unproductive due to poverty[a] and hunger, they could only scratch in parched soil, devastated and desolated.
4 “They would pluck off herbs from salt marshes to eat; and roots of the broom shrub[b] for food. 5 Driven away from human company, they were shouted at as though they were thieves. 6 They lived in the most dangerous of ravines, in holes in the ground, and among rocks. 7 They bray like donkeys[c] among the bushes and huddle together under the desert weeds. 8 Sons of fools and of uncertain reputation,[d] they have been driven from the land by scourging.”
Job Presents the Actions of the Mockers
9 “Now, I’ve become the object of their mocking melodies;[e] I’m nothing but a fool’s proverb to them! 10 They abhor me—they keep their distance from me; but they don’t refrain from spitting at the sight of me. 11 But God[f] has loosened his cord and afflicted me; so they’ve cast off all restraints in my presence.
12 “A wretched crowd ambushes me to my right; they trip my feet; they build up their path of calamity for me. 13 They tear up my pathways; they profit from my destruction, and they need no help to do this! 14 They come like those who breach through a wall; as everything crashes around me they’ll roll on and on! 15 My greatest fears have overcome me; my honor is assaulted as though by a wind storm; my prosperity evaporates like a morning cloud.”
Job Accuses God of Mistreating Him
16 “Now, my soul pours itself out; the time of my affliction has taken control of me. 17 The night racks my bones; and the pain that gnaws on me will not rest. 18 My clothes are disheveled by his forceful treatment of me;[g] he restricts my movement like the collar of my cloak.
19 “He tossed me into the mire; I’ve become like dust and ashes. 20 I cry for help to you, but you won’t answer me; I stand still, but you only look at me. 21 You changed toward me, and now you’re cruel to me; with your mighty hand you are persecuting me; 22 you carried me off in a wind storm, making me ride on it while you toss me about as the storm roars around me. 23 I know that you’re about to kill me, so I’m about to go to the house that’s appointed for all the living.”
Job Lists His Hopes Despite His Deplorable Condition
24 “Surely he won’t stretch his hand against the needy, will he, especially if they cry to him in their calamity? 25 Haven’t I wept for the one who is going through hard times? Haven’t I grieved for the needy? 26 I have hoped for good, but evil came instead; I have hoped for light, but darkness came. 27 I’m boiling mad inside, and I won’t remain silent; the time for my affliction to confront me has arrived.
28 “In growing darkness, I walked without sunlight; I stood in the congregation to cry for help. 29 I’ve become a brother to jackals, and a friend to ostriches. 30 My skin turns black all over me; and my bones seem burned from the heat. 31 But my harp is in mourning; my flute plays only songs for those who are weeping.”
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