30 “Now they laugh at me+
—Men younger than I am,
Whose fathers I would have refused
To put with the dogs that guarded my flock.
2 Of what use was the power of their hands to me?
Their vigor has perished.
3 They are worn out from want and hunger;
They gnaw at the parched ground
That was already ruined and desolated.
4 They gather the salt herb from the bushes;
Their food is the root of broom trees.
5 They are driven out of the community;+
People shout at them as they would at a thief.
6 They live on the slopes of ravines,*
In holes in the ground and in the rocks.
7 From the bushes they cry out
And huddle together among the nettles.
8 As sons of the senseless and the nameless ones,
They have been driven* out of the land.
9 But now they mock me even in their songs;+
I have become an object of scorn* to them.+
10 They detest me and keep their distance from me;+
They do not hesitate to spit in my face.+
11 Because God has disarmed me* and humbled me,
They throw off all restraint* in my presence.
12 On my right they rise up like a mob;
They put me to flight
And put up barriers of destruction in my path.
13 They tear up my roadways
And make my calamity worse,+
Without anyone to stop them.*
14 They come as if through a wide breach in the wall;
They roll in amid the devastation.
15 Terror overwhelms me;
My dignity is driven away like the wind,
And my salvation vanishes like a cloud.
16 Now my life* ebbs from me;+
Days of affliction+ take hold of me.
17 Aching pierces my bones* at night;+
The gnawing pain never stops.+
18 With great force my garment is disfigured;*
Like the collar of my garment, it chokes me.
19 God has thrown me down into the mud;
I am reduced to dust and ashes.
20 I cry to you for help, but you do not answer me;+
I stand up, but you just look at me.
21 You have cruelly turned against me;+
With the full might of your hand, you assault me.
22 You pick me up and carry me off with the wind;
Then you toss me about in the storm.*
23 For I know that you will bring me down to death,
To the house where everyone living will meet.
24 But no one would strike at a broken man*+
As he cries for help during his time of disaster.
25 Have I not wept for those who have fallen on hard times?*
Have I* not grieved for the poor?+
26 Although I hoped for good, bad came;
I expected the light, but darkness came.
27 The churning inside me did not stop;
Days of affliction confronted me.
28 I walk about gloomy;+ there is no sunlight.
In the assembly, I rise and cry for help.
29 I have become a brother to jackals
And a companion to the daughters of the ostrich.+
30 My skin has blackened and fallen off;+
My bones burn from the heat.*
31 My harp is used only for mourning,
And my flute* for the sound of weeping.