2 “I wish my great pain could be weighed! I wish all my suffering could be weighed on scales! 3 I’m sure it would weigh more than the grains of sand on the seashore. No wonder I’ve been so quick to speak! 4 The Mighty One has shot me with his arrows. I have to drink their poison. God’s terrors are aimed at me. 5 Does a wild donkey cry out when it has enough grass? Does an ox call out when it has plenty of food? 6 Is food that doesn’t have any taste eaten without salt? Is there any flavor in the sap of a mallow plant? 7 I refuse to touch that kind of food. It makes me sick.
8 “I wish I could have what I’m asking for! I wish God would give me what I’m hoping for! 9 I wish he would crush me! I wish he would just cut off my life! 10 Then I’d still have one thing to comfort me. It would be that I haven’t said no to the Holy One’s commands. That would give me joy in spite of my pain that never ends.
11 “I’m so weak that I no longer have any hope. Things have gotten so bad that I can’t wait for help anymore. 12 Am I as strong as stone? Is my body made out of bronze? 13 I don’t have the power to help myself. All hope of success has been taken away from me.
14 “A person shouldn’t stop being kind to a friend. Anyone who does that stops showing respect for the Mighty One. 15 But my friends have stopped being kind to me. They are like streams that only flow for part of the year. They are like rivers that flow over their banks 16 when the ice begins to break up. The streams rise when the snow starts to melt. 17 But they stop flowing when the dry season comes. They disappear from their stream beds when the weather warms up. 18 Groups of traders turn away from their usual paths. They go off into the dry and empty land. And they die there. 19 Traders from Tema look for water. Traveling merchants from Sheba also hope to find it. 20 They become troubled because they had expected to find some. But when they arrive at the stream beds, they don’t find any water at all. 21 And now, my friends, you haven’t helped me either. You see the horrible condition I’m in. And that makes you afraid. 22 I’ve never said, ‘Give me something to help me. Use your wealth to set me free. 23 Save me from the power of my enemy. Rescue me from the power of mean people.’
24 “Teach me. Then I’ll be quiet. Show me what I’ve done wrong. 25 Honest words are so painful! But your reasoning doesn’t prove anything. 26 Are you trying to correct what I’m saying? Are you treating my hopeless words like nothing but wind? 27 You would even cast lots for those whose fathers have died. You would even trade away your closest friend.
28 “But now please look at me. Would I tell you a lie right here in front of you? 29 Stop what you are saying. Don’t be so unfair. Think it over again. You are trying to take my honesty away from me. 30 Has my mouth spoken anything that is evil? Do my lips say things that are hateful?”
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