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