2How long will you grieve me and crush me with words? 3You have insulted me now a dozen times and shamelessly wronged me a 19:3 wronged me: so some MSS; others are astonished at me. . 4If in fact I had erred, the error would still be mine alone. 5Will you indeed claim to excel me and put forward my disgrace as an argument against me? 6I tell you, God himself has put me in the wrong and drawn his net about me. 7If I shout ‘Violence!’ no one answers; if I appeal for help, I get no justice. 8He has blocked my path so that I cannot go forward, he has planted a hedge across my way. 9He has stripped me of all honour and taken the crown from my head. 10On every side he beats me down till I am gone; he has uprooted my hope like a tree. 11His anger is hot against me and he regards me as his enemy. 12His raiders gather in force, raising their siege-ramps against me and encamping about my tent.
13My kinsfolk hold aloof, my acquaintances are wholly estranged from me; 14–15my relatives and friends fall away. My retainers have forgotten me; my slave-girls treat me as a stranger; I have become an alien in their eyes. 16I summon my slave, but he does not answer, though I ask him directly as a favour. 17My breath is offensive to my wife, and I stink in the nostrils of my own family. 18The very children despise me and, when I rise, turn their backs on me. 19All my close companions abhor me, and those whom I love have turned against me. 20My bones stand out under my skin, and I gnaw my under-lip with my teeth.
21Pity me, have pity on me, you that are my friends, for the hand of God has touched me. 22Must you pursue me as God pursues me? Have you not had your teeth in me long enough? 23Would that my words might be written down, that they might be engraved in an inscription, 24incised with an iron tool and filled with lead, carved in rock as a witness b 19:24 as a witness: or for ever. ! 25But I know that my vindicator lives and that he will rise last to speak in court; 26I shall discern my witness c 19:26 my witness … side: prob. rdg; Heb. unintelligible. standing at my side and see my defending counsel, even God himself, 27whom I shall see with my own eyes, I myself and no other.
My heart sank within me 28when you said, ‘What a series of misfortunes befalls him, and the root of the trouble lies in himself d 19:28 himself: so many MSS; others me. !’ 29Beware of the sword that points at you, the sword that sweeps away all iniquity; then you will know that there is a judge e 19:29 judge: or judgement. .