He keeps their souls from the pit and their lives from crossing the River [of Death].
In pain on their sickbeds, they are disciplined with endless aching in their bones
so that their whole being hates food and they lose their appetite for a delicious meal.
Their flesh becomes so thin that it can't be seen. Their bones, not seen before, will be exposed.
Their souls approach the pit. Their lives come close to those already dead.
"If they have a messenger for them, a spokesman, one in a thousand, to tell people what is right for them,
then he will have pity on them and say, 'Free them from going into the pit. I have found a ransom.'
Then their flesh will become softer than a child's. They will go back to the days of their youth.
They will pray to God, who will be pleased with them. They will see God's face and shout for joy as he restores their righteousness.
Each one sings in front of other people and says, 'I sinned and did wrong instead of what was right, and it did me no good.
The messenger has freed my soul from going into the pit, and my life will see the light.'