The Prophet Speaks:
1 I am the man who has experienced affliction
from the rod of his wrath.
2 He drove me into captivity and made me walk
in darkness and not light.
3 He repeatedly attacks me,
he turns his hand against me all day long.
4 He has made my mortal skin waste away;
he has broken my bones.
5 He has besieged and surrounded me
with bitter hardship.
6 He has made me reside in deepest darkness
like those who died long ago.
7 He has walled me in so that I cannot get out;
he has weighted me down with heavy prison chains.
8 Also, when I cry out desperately for help,
he has shut out my prayer.
9 He has blocked every road I take with a wall of hewn stones;
he has made every path impassable.
10 To me he is like a bear lying in ambush,
like a hidden lion stalking its prey.
11 He has obstructed my paths and torn me to pieces;
he has made me desolate.
12 He drew his bow and made me
the target for his arrow.
13 He shot his arrows
into my heart.
14 I have become the laughingstock of all people,
their mocking song all day long.
15 He has given me my fill of bitter herbs
and made me drunk with bitterness.
16 He ground my teeth in gravel;
he trampled me in the dust.
17 I am deprived of peace;
I have forgotten what happiness is.
18 So I said, “My endurance has expired;
I have lost all hope of deliverance from the Lord.”
19 Remember my impoverished and homeless condition,
which is a bitter poison.
20 I continually think about this,
and I am depressed.
21 But this I call to mind;
therefore I have hope:
22 The Lord’s loyal kindness never ceases;
his compassion’s never end.
23 They are fresh every morning;
your faithfulness is abundant!
24 “My portion is the Lord,” I have said to myself,
so I will put my hope in him.
25 The Lord is good to those who trust in him,
to the one who seeks him.
26 It is good to wait patiently
for deliverance from the Lord.
27 It is good for a man
to bear the yoke while he is young.
28 Let a person sit alone in silence,
when the Lord is disciplining him.
29 Let him bury his face in the dust;
perhaps there is hope.
30 Let him offer his cheek to the one who hits him;
let him have his fill of insults.
31 For the Lord will not
reject us forever.
32 Though he causes us grief, he then has compassion on us
according to the abundance of his loyal kindness.
33 For he is not predisposed to afflict
or to grieve people.
34 To crush underfoot
all the earth’s prisoners,
35 to deprive a person of his rights
in the presence of the Most High,
36 to defraud a person in a lawsuit –
the Lord does not approve of such things!
37 Whose command was ever fulfilled
unless the Lord decreed it?
38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that everything comes –
both calamity and blessing?
39 Why should any living person complain
when punished for his sins?
40 Let us carefully examine our ways,
and let us return to the Lord.
41 Let us lift up our hearts and our hands
to God in heaven:
42 “We have blatantly rebelled;
you have not forgiven.”
43 You shrouded yourself with anger and then pursued us;
you killed without mercy.
44 You shrouded yourself with a cloud
so that no prayer can get through.
45 You make us like filthy scum
in the estimation of the nations.
46 All our enemies have gloated over us;
47 Panic and pitfall have come upon us,
devastation and destruction.
48 Streams of tears flow from my eyes
because my people are destroyed.
49 Tears flow from my eyes and will not stop;
there will be no break
50 until the Lord looks down from heaven
and sees what has happened.
51 What my eyes see grieves me –
all the suffering of the daughters in my city.
52 For no good reason my enemies
hunted me down like a bird.
53 They shut me up in a pit
and threw stones at me.
54 The waters closed over my head;
I thought I was about to die.
55 I have called on your name, O Lord,
from the deepest pit.
56 You heard my plea:
“Do not close your ears to my cry for relief!”
57 You came near on the day I called to you;
you said, “Do not fear!”
58 O Lord, you championed my cause,
you redeemed my life.
59 You have seen the wrong done to me, O Lord;
pronounce judgment on my behalf!
60 You have seen all their vengeance,
all their plots against me.
61 You have heard their taunts, O Lord,
all their plots against me.
62 My assailants revile and conspire
against me all day long.
63 Watch them from morning to evening;
I am the object of their mocking songs.
64 Pay them back what they deserve, O Lord,
according to what they have done.
65 Give them a distraught heart;
may your curse be on them!
66 Pursue them in anger and eradicate them
from under the Lord’s heaven.