I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of his fury,
He has led me and made me walk in darkness and not in light.
Against me alone he turns his hand again and again, all day.
He has worn away my skin and flesh, he has broken my bones.
He has besieged and surrounded me with bitterness and hardship.
He has made me live in darkness, like those who are long dead.
He has walled me in, so I can't escape; he has weighed me down with chains.
Even when I cry out, pleading for help, he shuts out my prayer.
He has barred my way with blocks of stone, he has made my paths crooked.
He lies in wait for me like a bear, like a lion in hiding.
He has forced me aside and torn me to pieces, leaving me stunned.
He has bent his bow and used me as a target for his arrows.
He has pierced my vital organs with shafts from his quiver.
I'm a laughingstock to all my people, the butt of their taunts all day long.
He has filled me with bitterness, sated me with wormwood.
He has broken my teeth with gravel and pressed me down into ashes.
I have been so deprived of peace, I have so forgotten what happiness is,
that I think, "My strength is gone, and so is my hope in ADONAI."
Remember my utter misery, the wormwood and the gall.
They are always on my mind; this is why I am so depressed.
But in my mind I keep returning to something, something that gives me hope -
that the grace of ADONAI is not exhausted, that his compassion has not ended.
[On the contrary,] they are new every morning! How great your faithfulness!
"ADONAI is all I have," I say; "therefore I will put my hope in him.
ADONAI is good to those waiting for him, to those who are seeking him out.
It is good to wait patiently for the saving help of ADONAI.
It is good for a man to bear the yoke from his youth.
Let him sit alone in silence when he has laid it on him.
Let him submit absolutely; there may yet be hope.
Let him offer his cheek to the one who strikes it, and receive his fill of insults.
For rejection by Adonai does not last forever.
He may cause grief, but he will take pity, in keeping with the greatness of his grace.
For he does not arbitrarily torment or punish human beings.
When anyone tramples underfoot any of the prisoners of the land;
when anyone deprives a person of justice, in defiance of the Most High;
when someone is cheated of justice in court -does Adonai not take note of such things?
Who can say something and have it happen without Adonai's commanding it?
Don't both bad things and good proceed from the mouth of the Most High?
Why should anyone alive complain, even a strong man, about the punishment for his sins?
Let us examine and test our ways and return to ADONAI.
Let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven and say,
"We, for our part, have transgressed and rebelled; you, for your part, have not forgiven.
"You have covered us with anger, pursued and slaughtered us without pity.
You have covered yourself with a cloud so thick that no prayer can pass through.
You have reduced us to rubbish and filth among the peoples.
"All our adversaries open their mouths to jeer at us.
Panic and pitfall have come upon us, desolation and destruction.
My eyes stream with rivers of water over the destruction of the daughter of my people."
My eyes weep ceaselessly; there is no respite,
until ADONAI looks down and sees from heaven.
My eyes make me so upset at the fate of the women in my city.
Those who are my enemies for no reason hunted me down like a bird.
They forced me alive into a pit and threw stones on me.
Water rose above my head; I thought, "I am finished!"
I called on your name, ADONAI, from the bottom of the pit.
You heard my voice; don't close your ear at my sighs, at my cries.
You came near when I called to you; you said, "Don't be afraid."
Adonai, you defended my cause; you redeemed my life.
ADONAI, you see how I have been wronged; give judgment in my favor!
You have seen all their vindictiveness and all their plots against me.
You have heard their taunts, ADONAI, and all their plots against me,
the whispered murmurings of my foes against me all day long.
See how, whether they sit or stand, I am the butt of their taunts.
Repay them, ADONAI, as their deeds deserve.
Give them hardheartedness as your curse on them.
Pursue them in anger! Destroy them from under your heavens!