1 I am one who has seen affliction under the rod of God's wrath; 2 he has driven and brought me into darkness without any light; 3 against me alone he turns his hand, again and again, all day long. 4 He has made my flesh and my skin waste away, and broken my bones; 5 he has besieged and enveloped me with bitterness and tribulation; 6 he has made me sit in darkness like the dead of long ago. 7 He has walled me about so that I cannot escape; he has put heavy chains on me; 8 though I call and cry for help, he shuts out my prayer; 9 he has blocked my ways with hewn stones, he has made my paths crooked. 10 He is a bear lying in wait for me, a lion in hiding; 11 he led me off my way and tore me to pieces; he has made me desolate; 12 he bent his bow and set me as a mark for his arrow. 13 He shot into my vitals the arrows of his quiver; 14 I have become the laughingstock of all my people, the object of their taunt-songs all day long. 15 He has filled me with bitterness, he has sated me with wormwood. 16 He has made my teeth grind on gravel, and made me cower in ashes; 17 my soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is; 18 so I say, "Gone is my glory, and all that I had hoped for from the Lord." 19 The thought of my affliction and my homelessness is wormwood and gall! 20 My soul continually thinks of it and is bowed down within me. 21 But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: 22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him." 25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him. 26 It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. 27 It is good for one to bear the yoke in youth, 28 to sit alone in silence when the Lord has imposed it, 29 to put one's mouth to the dust (there may yet be hope), 30 to give one's cheek to the smiter, and be filled with insults. 31 For the Lord will not reject forever. 32 Although he causes grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; 33 for he does not willingly afflict or grieve anyone. 34 When all the prisoners of the land are crushed under foot, 35 when human rights are perverted in the presence of the Most High, 36 when one's case is subverted —does the Lord not see it? 37 Who can command and have it done, if the Lord has not ordained it? 38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come? 39 Why should any who draw breath complain about the punishment of their sins? 40 Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord. 41 Let us lift up our hearts as well as our hands to God in heaven. 42 We have transgressed and rebelled, and you have not forgiven. 43 You have wrapped yourself with anger and pursued us, killing without pity; 44 you have wrapped yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can pass through. 45 You have made us filth and rubbish among the peoples. 46 All our enemies have opened their mouths against us; 47 panic and pitfall have come upon us, devastation and destruction. 48 My eyes flow with rivers of tears because of the destruction of my people. 49 My eyes will flow without ceasing, without respite, 50 until the Lord from heaven looks down and sees. 51 My eyes cause me grief at the fate of all the young women in my city. 52 Those who were my enemies without cause have hunted me like a bird; 53 they flung me alive into a pit and hurled stones on me; 54 water closed over my head; I said, "I am lost." 55 I called on your name, O Lord, from the depths of the pit; 56 you heard my plea, "Do not close your ear to my cry for help, but give me relief!" 57 You came near when I called on you; you said, "Do not fear!" 58 You have taken up my cause, O Lord, you have redeemed my life. 59 You have seen the wrong done to me, O Lord; judge my cause. 60 You have seen all their malice, all their plots against me. 61 You have heard their taunts, O Lord, all their plots against me. 62 The whispers and murmurs of my assailants are against me all day long. 63 Whether they sit or rise—see, I am the object of their taunt-songs. 64 Pay them back for their deeds, O Lord, according to the work of their hands! 65 Give them anguish of heart; your curse be on them! 66 Pursue them in anger and destroy them from under the Lord's heavens.
1 How the gold has grown dim, how the pure gold is changed! The sacred stones lie scattered at the head of every street. 2 The precious children of Zion, worth their weight in fine gold— how they are reckoned as earthen pots, the work of a potter's hands! 3 Even the jackals offer the breast and nurse their young, but my people has become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness. 4 The tongue of the infant sticks to the roof of its mouth for thirst; the children beg for food, but no one gives them anything. 5 Those who feasted on delicacies perish in the streets; those who were brought up in purple cling to ash heaps. 6 For the chastisement of my people has been greater than the punishment of Sodom, which was overthrown in a moment, though no hand was laid on it. 7 Her princes were purer than snow, whiter than milk; their bodies were more ruddy than coral, their hair like sapphire. 8 Now their visage is blacker than soot; they are not recognized in the streets. Their skin has shriveled on their bones; it has become as dry as wood. 9 Happier were those pierced by the sword than those pierced by hunger, whose life drains away, deprived of the produce of the field. 10 The hands of compassionate women have boiled their own children; they became their food in the destruction of my people. 11 The Lord gave full vent to his wrath; he poured out his hot anger, and kindled a fire in Zion that consumed its foundations. 12 The kings of the earth did not believe, nor did any of the inhabitants of the world, that foe or enemy could enter the gates of Jerusalem. 13 It was for the sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests, who shed the blood of the righteous in the midst of her. 14 Blindly they wandered through the streets, so defiled with blood that no one was able to touch their garments. 15 "Away! Unclean!" people shouted at them; "Away! Away! Do not touch!" So they became fugitives and wanderers; it was said among the nations, "They shall stay here no longer." 16 The Lord himself has scattered them, he will regard them no more; no honor was shown to the priests, no favor to the elders. 17 Our eyes failed, ever watching vainly for help; we were watching eagerly for a nation that could not save. 18 They dogged our steps so that we could not walk in our streets; our end drew near; our days were numbered; for our end had come. 19 Our pursuers were swifter than the eagles in the heavens; they chased us on the mountains, they lay in wait for us in the wilderness. 20 The Lord's anointed, the breath of our life, was taken in their pits— the one of whom we said, "Under his shadow we shall live among the nations." 21 Rejoice and be glad, O daughter Edom, you that live in the land of Uz; but to you also the cup shall pass; you shall become drunk and strip yourself bare. 22 The punishment of your iniquity, O daughter Zion, is accomplished, he will keep you in exile no longer; but your iniquity, O daughter Edom, he will punish, he will uncover your sins.
1 Remember, O Lord, what has befallen us; look, and see our disgrace! 2 Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers, our homes to aliens. 3 We have become orphans, fatherless; our mothers are like widows. 4 We must pay for the water we drink; the wood we get must be bought. 5 With a yoke on our necks we are hard driven; we are weary, we are given no rest. 6 We have made a pact with Egypt and Assyria, to get enough bread. 7 Our ancestors sinned; they are no more, and we bear their iniquities. 8 Slaves rule over us; there is no one to deliver us from their hand. 9 We get our bread at the peril of our lives, because of the sword in the wilderness. 10 Our skin is black as an oven from the scorching heat of famine. 11 Women are raped in Zion, virgins in the towns of Judah. 12 Princes are hung up by their hands; no respect is shown to the elders. 13 Young men are compelled to grind, and boys stagger under loads of wood. 14 The old men have left the city gate, the young men their music. 15 The joy of our hearts has ceased; our dancing has been turned to mourning. 16 The crown has fallen from our head; woe to us, for we have sinned! 17 Because of this our hearts are sick, because of these things our eyes have grown dim: 18 because of Mount Zion, which lies desolate; jackals prowl over it. 19 But you, O Lord, reign forever; your throne endures to all generations. 20 Why have you forgotten us completely? Why have you forsaken us these many days? 21 Restore us to yourself, O Lord, that we may be restored; renew our days as of old— 22 unless you have utterly rejected us, and are angry with us beyond measure.
19 Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching. 26 For if we willfully persist in sin after having received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has violated the law of Moses dies without mercy "on the testimony of two or three witnesses." 29 How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by those who have spurned the Son of God, profaned the blood of the covenant by which they were sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know the one who said, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay." And again, "The Lord will judge his people." 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. 32 But recall those earlier days when, after you had been enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, 33 sometimes being publicly exposed to abuse and persecution, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. 34 For you had compassion for those who were in prison, and you cheerfully accepted the plundering of your possessions, knowing that you yourselves possessed something better and more lasting. 35 Do not, therefore, abandon that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward. 36 For you need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. 37 For yet "in a very little while, the one who is coming will come and will not delay; 38 but my righteous one will live by faith. My soul takes no pleasure in anyone who shrinks back." 39 But we are not among those who shrink back and so are lost, but among those who have faith and so are saved.