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1“But now they make sport of me,

those 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?

All their vigor is gone.

3Through want and hard hunger

they gnaw the dry and desolate ground,

4they pick mallow and the leaves of bushes,

and to warm themselves the roots of broom.

5They are driven out from society;

people shout after them as after a thief.

6In the gullies of wadis they must live,

in holes in the ground, and in the rocks.

7Among the bushes they bray;

under the nettles they huddle together.

8A senseless, disreputable brood,

they have been whipped out of the land.

9“And now they mock me in 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 bowstring and humbled me,

they have cast off restraint in my presence.

12On my right hand the rabble rise up;

they send me sprawling,

and build roads for my ruin.

13They break up my path,

they promote my calamity;

no one restrains 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 violence he seizes my garment;

he grasps me by the collar of my tunic.

19He has cast me into the mire,

and I have become like dust and ashes.

20I cry to you and you do not answer me;

I stand, and you merely 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.

23I know that you will bring me to death,

and to the house appointed for all living.

24“Surely one does not turn against the needy,

when in disaster they cry for help.

25Did I not weep for those whose day was hard?

Was not my soul grieved for the poor?

26But when I looked for good, evil came;

and when I waited for light, darkness came.

27My inward parts are in turmoil, and are never still;

days of affliction come to meet me.

28I go about in sunless gloom;

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.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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