2 “Oh that I were as in months gone by, As in the days when God watched over me; 3 When His lamp shone over my head, Andby His light I walked through darkness; 4 Just as I was in the days of my youth, When the protection of God was over my tent; 5 When [a]the Almighty was still with me, And my children were around me; 6 When my steps were bathed in cream, And the rock poured out streams of oil for me! 7 When I went out to the gate of the city, When I [b]took my seat in the public square, 8 The young men saw me and hid themselves, And the old men arose and stood. 9 The leaders stopped talking And put their hands on their mouths; 10 The voices of the prominent people were [c]hushed, And their tongues stuck to their palates. 11 For whenan ear heard, it called me blessed, And when an eye saw, it testified in support of me, 12 Because I saved the poor who cried for help, And the orphan who had no helper. 13 The blessing of the one who was about to perish came upon me, And I made the widow’s heart sing for joy. 14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; My justice was like a robe and a headband. 15 I was eyes to those who were blind, And feet to those who [d]could not walk. 16 I was a father to the poor, And I investigated the case which I did not know. 17 I broke the jaws of the wicked And rescued the prey from his teeth. 18 Then I [e]thought, ‘I will die with my [f]family, And I will multiply my days as the sand. 19 My root is spread out to the waters, And dew lies on my branch all night. 20 My glory is ever new with me, And my bow is renewed in my hand.’
21 “To me they listened and waited, And they kept silent for my advice. 22 After my words they did not speak again, And my speech dropped on them. 23 They waited for me as for the rain, And opened their mouths as for the late rain. 24 I smiled at them when they did not believe, And they did not look at [g]my kindness ungraciously. 25 I chose a way for them and sat as chief, And lived as a king among the troops, As one who comforted the mourners.
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