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I arose, and they spake against me. All my inward friends abhorred me: and they whom I loved are turned against me. My brethren have dealt deceitfully as a brook, and as the stream of brook3 they pass away. Have pity upon mc, have pity upon me, O ye my friends; for the hand of God hath touched me.
From the same.
O that I were as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me; when his candle shined upon my head, and when by his light I walked through darkness; as I was in the days of my youth, when the secret of God was upon my tabernacle; when the Almighty was yet with me, when my children were about me; when I washed my steps with butter, and the rock poured me out rivers of oil; when I went out to the gate through the city, when I prepared my seat in the street; The young men saw me, and hid themselves: and the aged arose, and stood up. The princes refrained talking, and laid their hands on their mouth. The nobles held their peace, and their tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth. When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me: because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me; and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem. I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame. I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out. And I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth. Then I said, I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand. My root was spread out by the waters, and the dew lay all night upon my branch. My glory was fresh in me, and my bow was renewed in my hand. Unto me men gave ear, and waited, and kept silence at my counsel. After my words they spake not again; and my speech dropped upon them. And they waited for me as for the rain; and they opened their mouth wide as for the latter rain. If I laughed on them, they believed it not; and the light of my countenance they
cast not down. I chose out their way, and sat chief, and dwelt as a king in the army, as one that comforteth the mourners. But now they that are younger than I have me in derision. I am their song, yea, I am their byword. They abhor me, they flee far from me, and spare not to spit in my face. Because he hath loosed my cord, and afflicted me, they have also let loose the bridle before me. Upon my right hand rise the youth; they push away my feet, and they raise up against me the ways.of their destruction. They mar my path, they set forward my calamity, they have no helper. They came upon me as a wide breaking in of waters; in the desolation they rolled themselves upon me. Terrors are turned upon me: they pursue my soul as the wind: and my welfare passeth away as a cloud. And now my soul is poured out upon me; and the days of affliction have taken hold upon me. My bones are pierced in me in the night season: and my sinews take no rest. By the great force of my disease is my garment changed: it bindethme about as the collar of my coat. He hath cast me into the mire, and I am become like dust and ashes. Thou liftest me up to the wind; thou causest me to ride upon it and dissolvest my substance. My harp also is turned to mourning* and my organ into the voice of them that.weep.
From the same.
Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity. Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps? If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit. If mine heart hath been deceived by a woman, or if I have laid wait at my neighbour's door. For this is an heinous crime; yea, it is an iniquity to be punished by the judges. For it is a fire that consumeth to destruction, and would root out all mine increase. If my step hath turned out of the way; and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands; then let me sow, and let another eat, yea, let my offspring be rooted out. If I did despise the cause of my man-servant or of my maid-servant, when they contended with me; what then shall I do when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him? Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one
fashion us in the womb? If I have withheld the poor from their desire, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail; or have eafen my morsel myself alone, and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof; (for from my youth he v.as brought up with me, as with a father, and I have guided her from my mother's womb ;) if I have seen any perish for want of clothing, or any poor without covering; if his loins have not blessed me, and if he were not warmed with the fleece of my sheep; if I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless, when I saw my help in the gate; .then let mine arm fall from my shoulder blade, and mine arm be broken from the bone. For destruction from God was a terror to me, and by reason of his highness I could not endure. If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence; if I rejoiced because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much; if I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness; and my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand; this also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the Gcd that is above. If I rejoiced at the destruction of him that hated me, or lifted up myself when evil found him: neither have I suffered my mouth to sin by wish