1“But now they laugh at me,
men who are younger than I,
whose fathers I would have disdained
to set with the dogs of my flock.
2What could I gain from the strength of their hands,
men whose vigor is gone?
3Through want and hard hunger
they gnaw the dry ground by night in waste and desolation;
4they pick saltwort and the leaves of bushes,
and the roots of the broom tree for their food.1
5They are driven out from human company;
they shout after them as after a thief.
6In the gullies of the torrents they must dwell,
in holes of the earth and of the rocks.
7Among the bushes they bray;
under the nettles they huddle together.
8A senseless, a nameless brood,
they have been whipped out of the land.
9“And now I have become their song;
I am a byword to them.
10They abhor me; they keep aloof from me;
they do not hesitate to spit at the sight of me.
11Because God has loosed my cord and humbled me,
they have cast off restraint2 in my presence.
12On my right hand the rabble rise;
they push away my feet;
they cast up against me their ways of destruction.
13They break up my path;
they promote my calamity;
they need no one to help them.
14As through a wide breach they come;
amid the crash they roll on.
15Terrors are turned upon me;
my honor is pursued as by the wind,
and my prosperity has passed away like a cloud.
16“And now my soul is poured out within me;
days of affliction have taken hold of me.
17The night racks my bones,
and the pain that gnaws me takes no rest.
18With great force my garment is disfigured;
it binds me about like the collar of my tunic.
19God3 has cast me into the mire,
and I have become like dust and ashes.
20I cry to you for help and you do not answer me;
I stand, and you only look at me.
21You have turned cruel to me;
with the might of your hand you persecute me.
22You lift me up on the wind; you make me ride on it,
and you toss me about in the roar of the storm.
23For I know that you will bring me to death
and to the house appointed for all living.
24“Yet does not one in a heap of ruins stretch out his hand,
and in his disaster cry for help?4
25Did not I weep for him whose day was hard?
Was not my soul grieved for the needy?
26But when I hoped for good, evil came,
and when I waited for light, darkness came.
27My inward parts are in turmoil and never still;
days of affliction come to meet me.
28I go about darkened, but not by the sun;
I stand up in the assembly and cry for help.
29I am a brother of jackals
and a companion of ostriches.
30My skin turns black and falls from me,
and my bones burn with heat.
31My lyre is turned to mourning,
and my pipe to the voice of those who weep.
Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.