1. And Job continued his solemn discourse. He said:
2. Will no one bring back to me the months that have gone, and the days when God was my guardian,
3. when his lamp shone over my head, and his light was my guide in the darkness?
4. Shall I ever see my days of harvest again when God protected my tent;
5. when Shaddai still dwelt with me, and my children were around me;
6. when my feet were bathed in milk, and streams of oil poured from the rocks?
7. When I went out to the gate of the city, when I took my seat in the square,
8. as soon as I appeared, the young men stepped aside, and the old men rose to their feet.
9. Men of note broke off their speeches, and put their hands over their mouths;
10. the voices of rulers were silenced, and their tongues stayed still in their mouths.
11. On hearing me, people congratulated me, on seeing me, people deferred to me,
12. because I freed the poor in distress and the orphan who had no helper.
13. The dying man's blessing rested on me and I gave the widow's heart cause to rejoice.
14. Uprightness I wore as a garment, fair judgement was my cloak and my turban.
15. I was eyes for the blind, and feet for the lame.
16. Who but me was father of the poor? The stranger's case had a hearing from me.
17. I used to break the fangs of the wicked, and snatch their prey from their jaws.
18. And I used to say, 'I shall die in honour, after days as numerous as the sand.
19. My roots can reach the water, the dews of night settle on my leaves.
20. My glory will be for ever new and the bow in my hand for ever strong.'
21. They waited anxiously to hear me, and listened in silence to what I had to say.
22. When I had finished, no one contradicted, my words dropping on them, one by one.
23. They waited for me as though for rain, open-mouthed as though for a late shower.
24. If I smiled at them, it was too good to be true, they watched my face for the least sign of favour.
25. As their chief, I told them which course to take, like a king living among his troops, and I led them wherever I chose.