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Job Describes His Current Status in Life

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.
Furthermore, what could I have gained
    from men whose strength is gone?
Unproductive due to poverty[a] and hunger,
    they could only scratch in parched soil,
        devastated and desolated.

“They would pluck off herbs from salt marshes to eat;
    and roots of the broom shrub[b] for food.
Driven away from human company,
    they were shouted at as though they were thieves.
They lived in the most dangerous of ravines,
    in holes in the ground, and among rocks.
They bray like donkeys[c] among the bushes
    and huddle together under the desert weeds.
Sons of fools and of uncertain reputation,[d]
    they have been driven from the land by scourging.”

Job Presents the Actions of the Mockers

“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.”

Footnotes

  1. Job 30:3 Or want
  2. Job 30:4 I.e. a desert bush native to Israel whose bitter roots could be harvested by the destitute and eaten when food was scarce
  3. Job 30:7 The Heb. lacks like donkeys
  4. Job 30:8 Or and without a name
  5. Job 30:9 Lit. their neginnoth; i.e. derogatory songs composed to mock Job
  6. Job 30:11 Lit. he
  7. Job 30:18 The Heb. lacks of me

30 “But now they mock me,(A)
    men younger than I,
whose fathers I would have disdained
    to put with my sheep dogs.(B)
Of what use was the strength of their hands to me,
    since their vigor had gone from them?
Haggard from want and hunger,
    they roamed[a] the parched land(C)
    in desolate wastelands(D) at night.(E)
In the brush they gathered salt herbs,(F)
    and their food[b] was the root of the broom bush.(G)
They were banished from human society,
    shouted at as if they were thieves.
They were forced to live in the dry stream beds,
    among the rocks and in holes in the ground.(H)
They brayed(I) among the bushes(J)
    and huddled in the undergrowth.
A base and nameless brood,(K)
    they were driven out of the land.(L)

“And now those young men mock me(M) in song;(N)
    I have become a byword(O) among them.
10 They detest me(P) and keep their distance;
    they do not hesitate to spit in my face.(Q)
11 Now that God has unstrung my bow(R) and afflicted me,(S)
    they throw off restraint(T) in my presence.
12 On my right(U) the tribe[c] attacks;
    they lay snares(V) for my feet,(W)
    they build their siege ramps against me.(X)
13 They break up my road;(Y)
    they succeed in destroying me.(Z)
    ‘No one can help him,’ they say.
14 They advance as through a gaping breach;(AA)
    amid the ruins they come rolling in.
15 Terrors(AB) overwhelm me;(AC)
    my dignity is driven away as by the wind,
    my safety vanishes like a cloud.(AD)

16 “And now my life ebbs away;(AE)
    days of suffering grip me.(AF)
17 Night pierces my bones;
    my gnawing pains never rest.(AG)
18 In his great power(AH) God becomes like clothing to me[d];
    he binds me like the neck of my garment.
19 He throws me into the mud,(AI)
    and I am reduced to dust and ashes.(AJ)

20 “I cry out to you,(AK) God, but you do not answer;(AL)
    I stand up, but you merely look at me.
21 You turn on me ruthlessly;(AM)
    with the might of your hand(AN) you attack me.(AO)
22 You snatch me up and drive me before the wind;(AP)
    you toss me about in the storm.(AQ)
23 I know you will bring me down to death,(AR)
    to the place appointed for all the living.(AS)

24 “Surely no one lays a hand on a broken man(AT)
    when he cries for help in his distress.(AU)
25 Have I not wept for those in trouble?(AV)
    Has not my soul grieved for the poor?(AW)
26 Yet when I hoped for good, evil came;
    when I looked for light, then came darkness.(AX)
27 The churning inside me never stops;(AY)
    days of suffering confront me.(AZ)
28 I go about blackened,(BA) but not by the sun;
    I stand up in the assembly and cry for help.(BB)
29 I have become a brother of jackals,(BC)
    a companion of owls.(BD)
30 My skin grows black(BE) and peels;(BF)
    my body burns with fever.(BG)
31 My lyre is tuned to mourning,(BH)
    and my pipe(BI) to the sound of wailing.

Footnotes

  1. Job 30:3 Or gnawed
  2. Job 30:4 Or fuel
  3. Job 30:12 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  4. Job 30:18 Hebrew; Septuagint power he grasps my clothing

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