I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of God's wrath.
He has driven me away and forced [me] to walk in darkness instead of light.
Yes, He repeatedly turns His hand against me all day long.
He has worn away my flesh and skin; He has shattered my bones.
He has laid siege against me, encircling me with bitterness and hardship.
He has made me dwell in darkness like those who have been dead for ages.
He has walled me in so I cannot escape; He has weighed me down with chains.
Even when I cry out and plead for help, He rejects my prayer.
He has walled in my ways with cut stones; He has made my paths crooked.
He is a bear waiting in ambush, a lion in hiding;
He forced me off my way and tore me to pieces; He left me desolate.
He bent His bow and set me as the target for His arrow.
He pierced my kidneys with His arrows.
I am a laughingstock to all my people, mocked by their songs all day long.
He filled me with bitterness, sated me with wormwood.
He ground my teeth on gravel and made me cower in the dust.
My soul has been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is.
Then I thought: My future is lost, as well as my hope from the Lord.
Remember my affliction and my homelessness, the wormwood and the poison.
I continually remember [them] and have become depressed.
Yet I call this to mind, and therefore I have hope:
[Because of] the Lord's faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end.
They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!
I say: The Lord is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in Him.
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him.
It is good to wait quietly for deliverance from the Lord.
It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is [still] young.
Let him sit alone and be silent, for God has disciplined him.
Let him put his mouth in the dust- perhaps there is [still] hope.
Let him offer [his] cheek to the one who would strike him; let him be filled with shame.
For the Lord will not reject [us] forever.
Even if He causes suffering, He will show compassion according to His abundant, faithful love.
For He does not enjoy bringing affliction or suffering on mankind.
Crushing all the prisoners of the land beneath one's feet,
denying justice to a man in the presence of the Most High,
or suppressing a person's lawsuit- the Lord does not approve [of these things].
Who is there who speaks and it happens, unless the Lord has ordained [it]?
Do not both adversity and good come from the mouth of the Most High?
Why should [any] living person complain, [any] man, because of the punishment for his sins?
Let us search out and examine our ways, and turn back to the Lord.
Let us lift up our hearts and [our] hands to God in heaven:
We have sinned and rebelled; You have not forgiven.
You have covered Yourself in anger and pursued us; You have killed without compassion.
You have covered Yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can pass through.
You have made us disgusting filth among the peoples.
All our enemies open their mouths against us.
We have experienced panic and pitfall, devastation and destruction.
My eyes flow with streams of tears because of the destruction of my dear people.
My eyes overflow unceasingly, without end,
until the Lord looks down from heaven and sees.
My eyes bring me grief because of [the fate of] all the women in my city.
For no [apparent] reason, my enemies hunted me like a bird.
They dropped me alive into a pit and threw stones at me.
Water flooded over my head, and I thought: I'm going to die!
I called on Your name, Yahweh, from the depths of the Pit.
You hear my plea: Do not ignore my cry for relief.
You come near when I call on You; You say: "Do not be afraid."
You defend my cause, Lord; You redeem my life.
Lord, You see the wrong done to me; judge my case.
You see all their malice, all their plots against me.
Lord, You hear their insults, all their plots against me.
The slander and murmuring of my opponents attack me all day long.
When they sit and when they rise, look, I am mocked by their songs.
You will pay them back what they deserve, Lord, according to the work of their hands.
You will give them a heart filled with anguish. May Your curse be on them!
You will pursue [them] in anger and destroy them under Your heavens.
Holman Christian Standard Bible ® Copyright © 2003, 2002, 2000, 1999 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.