Cry of Great Agony
1“But now they mock me— those younger than I, whose fathers I would have disdained to put with my sheep dogs.
2Moreover, what use was the strength of their hands to me, since their vigor has gone from them.
3Haggard from want and hunger, they gnaw the parched land, in former time desolate and waste.
4In the brush they pluck salt herbs, and their food was from the root of the broom tree.
5They were banished from society, shouted at as if they were thieves,
6so they were forced to dwell in wadis, in holes of the earth and among the rocks.
7They brayed among the bushes and huddled under the nettles.
8A senseless and nameless brood, they were cast out from the land.
9“So now I have become their taunt song; I have become a byword to them.
10They despise me; they keep their distance from me; they do not hesitate to spit in my face.
11Because He has loosened my cord and afflicted me, they have cast off restraint in my presence
12On my right the rabble rise up; they entangle my feet and build up their destructive paths against me.
13They break up my path; they succeed in destroying me without anyone helping them.
14As through a wide breach they come; amid the ruins they come rolling in.
15Terrors are turned on me; they chase away my honor like the wind, and like a cloud my deliverance vanishes.
16“And now my soul is poured out within me; days of suffering have taken hold of me.
17Night pierces my bones within me; my gnawing pains never rest.
18By great power He seizes my garment; He binds me like the collar of my tunic.
19He has cast me into the mud, and I have become like dust and ashes.
20“I cry out to You, but You do not answer me; I stand up, but You only look at me.
21You have turned on me cruelly; You attack me with the might of Your hand.
22You lift me up on the wind and make me ride on it; You toss me about in the storm.
23For I know that you will bring me to death, to the house appointed for all the living.
24Yet does not one in a heap of ruins stretch out His hand, and in his distress cry for help?
25Have I not wept for the unfortunate? Was not my soul grieved for the poor?
26Yet, when I hoped for good, evil came; when I waited for light, then darkness came.
27“My heart seethes and never stops; days of suffering confront me.
28I walk about blackened, but not by the sun; I stand in the assembly and cry for help.
29I have become a brother to jackals, and a companion to ostriches.
30My skin has turned black on me; my bones burn with heat.
31My harp is for mourning and my flute for the sound of weeping.