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1I am the man who has seen affliction

under the rod of his wrath;

2he has driven and brought me

into darkness without any light;

3surely against me he turns his hand

again and again the whole day long.

4He has made my flesh and my skin waste away,

and broken my bones;

5he has beseiged and enveloped me

with bitterness and tribulation;

6he has made me dwell 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 to me like a bear lying in wait,

like 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 drove into my heart

the arrows of his quiver;

14I have become the laughingstock of all peoples,

the burden of their 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 my expectation from the Lord.”

19Remember my affliction and my bitterness,

the wormwood and the 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 thy 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 a man that he bear

the yoke in his youth.

28Let him sit alone in silence

when he has laid it on him;

29let him put his mouth in the dust—

there may yet be hope;

30let him give his cheek to the smiter,

and be filled with insults.

31For the Lord will not

cast off for ever,

32but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion

according to the abundance of his steadfast love;

33for he does not willingly afflict

or grieve the sons of men.

34To crush under foot

all the prisoners of the earth,

35to turn aside the right of a man

in the presence of the Most High,

36to subvert a man in his cause,

the Lord does not approve.

37Who has commanded and it came to pass,

unless the Lord has ordained it?

38Is it not from the mouth of the Most High

that good and evil come?

39Why should a living man complain,

a man, about the punishment of his sins?

40Let us test and examine our ways,

and return to the Lord!

41Let us lift up our hearts and hands

to God in heaven:

42“We have transgressed and rebelled,

and thou hast not forgiven.

43“Thou hast wrapped thyself with anger and pursued us,

slaying without pity;

44thou hast wrapped thyself with a cloud

so that no prayer can pass through.

45Thou hast made us offscouring and refuse

among the peoples.

46“All our enemies

rail against us;

47panic and pitfall have come upon us,

devastation and destruction;

48my eyes flow with rivers of tears

because of the destruction of the daughter of my people.

49“My 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 maidens of my city.

52“I have been hunted like a bird

by those who were my enemies without cause;

53they flung me alive into the pit

and cast stones on me;

54water closed over my head;

I said, ‘I am lost.’

55“I called on thy name, O Lord,

from the depths of the pit;

56thou didst hear my plea, ‘Do not close

thine ear to my cry for help!’

57Thou didst come near when I called on thee;

thou didst say, ‘Do not fear!’

58“Thou hast taken up my cause, O Lord,

thou hast redeemed my life.

59Thou hast seen the wrong done to me, O Lord;

judge thou my cause.

60Thou hast seen all their vengeance, all their devices against me.

61“Thou hast heard their taunts, O Lord,

all their devices against me.

62The lips and thoughts of my assailants

are against me all the day long.

63Behold their sitting and their rising;

I am the burden of their songs.

64“Thou wilt requite them, O Lord,

according to the work of their hands.

65Thou wilt give them dullness of heart;

thy curse will be on them.

66Thou wilt pursue them in anger and destroy them

from under thy heavens, O Lord.”

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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