The Bible – Old Testament
But now they hold me in derision who are younger in years than I; Whose fathers I should have disdained to rank with the dogs of my flock.
Such strength as they had, to me meant nought; they were utterly destitute.
In want and hunger was their lot, they who fled to the parched wastelands:
1 They plucked saltwort and shrubs; the roots of the broom plant were their food.
They were banished from among men, with an outcry like that against a thief –
To dwell on the slopes of the wadies, in caves of sand and stone;
Among the bushes they raised their raucous cry; under the nettles they huddled together.
Irresponsible, nameless men, they were driven out of the land.
Yet now they sing of me in mockery; I am become a byword among them.
They abhor me, they stand aloof from me, they do not hesitate to spit in my face!
Indeed, they have loosed their bonds; they lord it over me, and have thrown off restraint in my presence.
To subvert my paths they rise up; they build their approaches for my ruin.
To destroy me, they attack with none to stay them;
as through a wide breach they advance. Amid the uproar they come on in waves;
over me rolls the terror. My dignity is borne off on the wind, and my welfare vanishes like a cloud.
2 One with great power lays hold of my clothing; by the collar of my tunic he seizes me:
He has cast me into the mire; I am leveled with the dust and ashes.
I cry to you, but you do not answer me; you stand off and look at me,
Then you turn upon me without mercy and with your strong hand you buffet me.
You raise me up and drive me before the wind; I am tossed about by the tempest.
Indeed I know you will turn me back in death to the destined place of everyone alive.
Yet should not a hand be held out to help a wretched man in his calamity?
Or have I not wept for the hardships of others; was not my soul grieved for the destitute?
Yet when I looked for good, then evil came; when I expected light, then came darkness.
My soul ebbs away from me;
days of affliction have overtaken me.
My frame takes no rest by night; my inward parts seethe and will not be stilled.
I go about in gloom, without the sun; I rise up in public to voice my grief.
I have become the brother of jackals, companion to the ostrich.
My blackened skin falls away from me; the heat scorches my very frame.
My harp is turned to mourning, and my reed pipe to sounds of weeping.
1  Saltwort: found in salt marshes and very sour to the taste; eaten by the extremely poor as a cooked vegetable. Broom plant: the juniper or brushwood; cf ⇒ Psalm 120:4; a figure of bitterness and poverty, because of its bitter-tasting roots which are practically inedible.
2 [16-21] (19-24)Job here refers to God’s stern treatment of him.