3 1I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of God’s wrath. 2He has driven me away and forced me to walk in darkness instead of light. 3Yes, He repeatedly turns His hand against me all day long.   ב Bet   4He has worn away my flesh and skin; He has shattered my bones. 5He has laid siege against me, encircling me with bitterness and hardship. 6He has made me dwell in darkness like those who have been dead for ages.   ג Gimel   7He has walled me in so I cannot escape; He has weighed me down with chains. 8Even when I cry out and plead for help, He rejects my prayer. 9He has walled in my ways with cut stones; He has made my paths crooked.   ד Dalet   10He is[U] a bear waiting in ambush, a lion in hiding. 11He forced me off my way and tore me to pieces; He left me desolate. 12He strung His bow and set me as the target for His arrow.   ה He   13He pierced my kidneys with His arrows. 14I am a laughingstock to all my people,[V] mocked by their songs all day long. 15He filled me with bitterness, satiated me with wormwood.   ו Vav   16He ground my teeth on gravel and made me cower[W] in the dust. 17My soul has been deprived[X] of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is. 18Then I thought: My future[Y] is lost, as well as my hope from the Lord.   ז Zayin   19Remember[Z] my affliction and my homelessness, the wormwood and the poison. 20I continually remember them and have become depressed.[A] 21Yet I call this to mind, and therefore I have hope:   ח Khet   22Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish,[B] for His mercies never end. 23They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness! 24I say: The Lord is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in Him.   ט Tet   25The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him. 26It is good to wait quietly for deliverance from the Lord. 27It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is still young.   י Yod   28Let him sit alone and be silent, for God has disciplined him. 29Let him put his mouth in the dust— perhaps there is still hope. 30Let him offer his cheek to the one who would strike him; let him be filled with shame.   כ Kaf   31For the Lord will not reject us forever. 32Even if He causes suffering, He will show compassion according to His abundant, faithful love. 33For He does not enjoy bringing affliction or suffering on mankind.   ל Lamed   34Crushing all the prisoners of the land[C] beneath one’s feet, 35denying justice to a man in the presence of the Most High, 36or suppressing a person’s lawsuit— the Lord does not approve of these things.   מ Mem   37Who is there who speaks and it happens, unless the Lord has ordained it? 38Do not both adversity and good come from the mouth of the Most High? 39Why should any living person complain, any man, because of the punishment for his sins?   נ Nun   40Let us search out and examine our ways, and turn back to the Lord. 41Let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven: 42We have sinned and rebelled; You have not forgiven.   ס Samek   43You have covered Yourself in anger and pursued us; You have killed without compassion. 44You have covered Yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can pass through. 45You have made us disgusting filth among the peoples.   פ Pe   46All our enemies open their mouths against us. 47We have experienced panic and pitfall, devastation and destruction. 48My eyes flow with streams of tears because of the destruction of my dear people.   ע Ayin   49My eyes overflow unceasingly, without end, 50until the Lord looks down from heaven and sees. 51My eyes bring me grief because of the fate of all the women in my city.   צ Tsade   52For no apparent reason, my enemies[D] hunted me like a bird. 53They dropped me alive into[E] a pit and threw stones at me. 54Water flooded over my head, and I thought: I’m going to die!   ק Qof   55I called on Your name, Yahweh, from the depths of the Pit. 56You hear my plea: Do not ignore my cry for relief. 57You come near when I call on You; You say: “Do not be afraid.”   ר Resh   58You defend my cause, Lord; You redeem my life. 59Lord, You see the wrong done to me; judge my case. 60You see all their malice, all their plots against me.   ׂש Sin / ׁש Shin   61Lord, You hear their insults, all their plots against me. 62The slander[F] and murmuring of my opponents attack me all day long. 63When they sit and when they rise, look, I am mocked by their songs.   ת Tav   64You will pay them back what they deserve, Lord, according to the work of their hands. 65You will give them a heart filled with anguish.[G] May Your curse be on them! 66You will pursue them in anger and destroy them under Your heavens.[H][I]   Terrors of the Besieged City   א Alef
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