The change in habits (Lam 5:13-5:14)

“Young men

Are compelled

To grind

At the mill.

Boys stagger

Under loads of wood.

The old men

Have left

The city gate.

The young men

Have left

Their music.”

The lives of the people left in Jerusalem have changed. The young men are now grinding at the mill, while the young boys stagger under the heavy loads of wood. The old men have left their discussions at the city gate, while the young men no longer are involved with music.

People honored Job in the old days (Job 29:7-29:10)

“When I went out to the gate of the city,

When I took my seat in the square,

The young men saw me and withdrew.

The aged rose up and stood.

The nobles refrained from talking.

They laid their hands on their mouths.

The voices of princes were hushed.

Their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths.”

Once again, Job remembered the good old days, when he would go out to the city gate and take his seat in the square. He speaks in the first person singular. He might have been on the city judicial council since that is where they would meet. The young men would step back. The old men would stand up for him. The nobles and the princes were hushed in their tones, as they hardly said a word, as if their tongues were stuck in their mouths. They put their hands over their mouths. There was a lot of respect in his community shown to Job in those days.