3 1I AM [Jeremiah] the man who has seen affliction under the rod of His wrath. 2He has led me and brought me into darkness and not light. 3Surely He has turned away from me; His hand is against me all the day. 4My flesh and my skin has He worn out and made old; He has shattered my bones. 5He has built up [siege mounds] against me and surrounded me with bitterness, tribulation, and anguish. 6He has caused me to dwell in dark places like those long dead. 7He walled me in so that I cannot get out; He has weighted down my chain. 8Even when I cry and shout for help, He shuts out my prayer. 9He has enclosed my ways with hewn stone; He has made my paths crooked. 10He is to me like a bear lying in wait, and like a lion [hiding] in secret places. 11He has turned me off my ways and pulled me in pieces; He has made me desolate. 12He has bent His bow and set me as a mark for the arrow. 13He has caused the arrows of His quiver to enter into my heart [the seat of my affections and desires]. 14I have become a derision to all my people, and [the subject of] their singsong all the day. 15He has filled me with bitterness; He has made me drink to excess and until drunken with wormwood [bitterness]. 16He has also broken my teeth with gravel (stones); He has covered me with ashes. 17And You have bereaved my soul and cast it off far from peace; I have forgotten what good and happiness are. 18And I say, Perished is my strength and my expectation from the Lord. 19[O Lord] remember [earnestly] my affliction and my misery, my wandering and my outcast state, the wormwood and the gall. 20My soul has them continually in remembrance and is bowed down within me. 21But this I recall and therefore have I hope and expectation: 22It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not. 23They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness. 24The Lord is my portion or share, says my living being (my inner self); therefore will I hope in Him and wait expectantly for Him. 25The Lord is good to those who wait hopefully and expectantly for Him, to those who seek Him [inquire of and for Him and require Him by right of necessity and on the authority of God’s word]. 26It is good that one should hope in and wait quietly for the salvation (the safety and ease) of the Lord. 27It is good for a man that he should bear the yoke [of divine disciplinary dealings] in his youth. 28Let him sit alone uncomplaining and keeping silent [in hope], because [God] has laid [the yoke] upon him [for his benefit]. 29Let him put his mouth in the dust [in abject recognition of his unworthiness]--there may yet be hope. 30Let him give his cheek to the One Who smites him [even through His human agents]; let him be filled [full] with [men’s] reproach [in meekness]. 31For the Lord will not cast off forever! 32But though He causes grief, yet will He be moved to compassion according to the multitude of His loving-kindness and tender mercy. 33For He does not willingly and from His heart afflict or grieve the children of men. 34To trample and crush underfoot all the prisoners of the earth, 35To turn aside and deprive a man of his rights before the face of the Most High or a superior [acting as God’s representative], 36To subvert a man in his cause--[of these things] the Lord does not approve. 37Who is he who speaks and it comes to pass, if the Lord has not authorized and commanded it? 38Is it not out of the mouth of the Most High that evil and good both proceed [adversity and prosperity, physical evil or misfortune and physical good or happiness]? 39Why does a living man sigh [one who is still in this life’s school of discipline]? [And why does] a man complain for the punishment of his sins? 40Let us test and examine our ways, and let us return to the Lord! 41Let us lift up our hearts and our hands [and then with them mount up in prayer] to God in heaven: 42We have transgressed and rebelled and You have not pardoned. 43You have covered Yourself with wrath and pursued and afflicted us; You have slain without pity. 44You have covered Yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can pass through. 45You have made us offscouring and refuse among the nations. 46All our enemies have gaped at us and railed against us. 47Fear and pitfall have come upon us, devastation and destruction. 48My eyes overflow with streams of tears because of the destruction of the daughter of my people. 49My eyes overflow continually and will not cease 50Until the Lord looks down and sees from heaven. 51My eyes cause me grief at the fate of all the maidens [and the daughter-towns] of my city [Jerusalem]. 52I have been hunted down like a bird by those who were my enemies without cause. 53They [thought they had] destroyed my life in the dungeon (pit) and cast a stone [over it] above me. 54The waters ran down on my head; I said, I am gone. 55I called upon Your name, O Lord, out of the depths [of the mire] of the dungeon. 56You heard my voice [then]: [Oh] hide not Your ear [now] at my prayer for relief. 57You drew near on the day I called to You; You said, Fear not. 58O Lord, You have pleaded the causes of my soul [You have managed my affairs and You have protected my person and my rights]; You have rescued and redeemed my life! 59O Lord, You have seen my wrong [done to me]; judge and maintain my cause. 60You have seen all their vengeance, all their devices against me. 61You have heard their reproach and revilings, O Lord, and all their devices against me-- 62The lips and thoughts of my assailants are against me all day long. 63Look at their sitting down and their rising up [their movements, doings, and secret counsels]; I am their singsong [the subject of their derision and merriment]. 64Render to them a recompense, O Lord, according to the work of their hands. 65You will give them hardness and blindness of heart; Your curse will be upon them. 66You will pursue and afflict them in anger and destroy them from under Your heavens, O Lord.
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