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1I am one who has seen affliction under the rod of God’s wrath;

2he has driven and brought me into darkness without any light;

3against me alone he turns his hand, again and again, all day long.

4He has made my flesh and my skin waste away, and broken my bones;

5he has besieged and enveloped me with bitterness and tribulation;

6he has made me sit in darkness like the dead of long ago.

7He has walled me about so that I cannot escape; he has put heavy chains on me;

8though I call and cry for help, he shuts out my prayer;

9he has blocked my ways with hewn stones, he has made my paths crooked.

10He is a bear lying in wait for me, a lion in hiding;

11he led me off my way and tore me to pieces; he has made me desolate;

12he bent his bow and set me as a mark for his arrow.

13He shot into my vitals the arrows of his quiver;

14I have become the laughingstock of all my people, the object of their taunt-songs all day long.

15He has filled me with bitterness, he has sated me with wormwood.

16He has made my teeth grind on gravel, and made me cower in ashes;

17my soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is;

18so I say, "Gone is my glory, and all that I had hoped for from the LORD."

19The thought of my affliction and my homelessness is wormwood and gall!

20My soul continually thinks of it and is bowed down within me.

21But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:

22The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end;

23they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

24"The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him."

25The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him.

26It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.

27It is good for one to bear the yoke in youth,

28to sit alone in silence when the Lord has imposed it,

29to put one’s mouth to the dust (there may yet be hope),

30to give one’s cheek to the smiter, and be filled with insults.

31For the Lord will not reject forever.

32Although he causes grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love;

33for he does not willingly afflict or grieve anyone.

34When all the prisoners of the land are crushed under foot,

35when human rights are perverted in the presence of the Most High,

36when one’s case is subverted—does the Lord not see it?

37Who can command and have it done, if the Lord has not ordained it?

38Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come?

39Why should any who draw breath complain about the punishment of their sins?

40Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the LORD.

41Let us lift up our hearts as well as our hands to God in heaven.

42We have transgressed and rebelled, and you have not forgiven.

43You have wrapped yourself with anger and pursued us, killing without pity;

44you have wrapped yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can pass through.

45You have made us filth and rubbish among the peoples.

46All our enemies have opened their mouths against us;

47panic and pitfall have come upon us, devastation and destruction.

48My eyes flow with rivers of tears because of the destruction of my people.

49My eyes will flow without ceasing, without respite,

50until the LORD from heaven looks down and sees.

51My eyes cause me grief at the fate of all the young women in my city.

52Those who were my enemies without cause have hunted me like a bird;

53they flung me alive into a pit and hurled stones on me;

54water closed over my head; I said, "I am lost."

55I called on your name, O LORD, from the depths of the pit;

56you heard my plea, "Do not close your ear to my cry for help, but give me relief!"

57You came near when I called on you; you said, "Do not fear!"

58You have taken up my cause, O Lord, you have redeemed my life.

59You have seen the wrong done to me, O LORD; judge my cause.

60You have seen all their malice, all their plots against me.

61You have heard their taunts, O LORD, all their plots against me.

62The whispers and murmurs of my assailants are against me all day long.

63Whether they sit or rise—see, I am the object of their taunt-songs.

64Pay them back for their deeds, O LORD, according to the work of their hands!

65Give them anguish of heart; your curse be on them!

66Pursue them in anger and destroy them from under the Lord’s heavens.


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