Lamentations 3:1–66


א Aleph

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.t

Yes, he repeatedly turns his hand

against me all day long.

ב Beth

He has worn away my flesh and skin;u

he has broken my bones.v

He has laid siege against me,w

encircling me with bitterness and hardship.x

He has made me dwell in darkness

like those who have been dead for ages.y

ג Gimel

He has walled me in so I cannot get out;a

he has weighed me down with chains.

Even when I cry out and plead for help,

he blocks out my prayer.b

He has walled in my ways with blocks of stone;c

he has made my paths crooked.d

ד Daleth

10 He isA a bear waiting in ambush,

a lion in hiding.e

11 He forced me off my way and tore me to pieces;

he left me desolate.

12 He strung his bowf

and set me as the target for his arrow.

ה He

13 He pierced my kidneys

with shafts from his quiver.g

14 I am a laughingstockh to all my people,B

mocked by their songsi all day long.

15 He filled me with bitterness,

satiated me with wormwood.j

ו Waw

16 He ground my teeth with gravelk

and made me cowerC in the dust.

17 I have been deprivedD of peace;l

I have forgotten what prosperity is.

18 Then I thought, “My futureE is lost,

as well as my hope from the Lord.”

ז Zayin

19 RememberF my affliction and my homelessness,m

the wormwood and the poison.n

20 I continually remember them

and have become depressed.G,o

21 Yet I call this to mind,

and therefore I have hope:p

ח Cheth

22 Because of the Lord’s faithful loveq

we do not perish,H

for his mercies never end.

23 They are new every morning;

great is your faithfulness!r

24 I say, “The Lord is my portion,s

therefore I will put my hope in him.”

ט Teth

25 The Lord is good to those who waitt for him,

to the person who seeks him.

26 It is good to wait quietlyu

for salvation from the Lord.v

27 It is good for a man to bear the yokew

while he is still young.

י Yod

28 Let him sit alone and be silent,x

for God has disciplinedI him.

29 Let him put his mouth in the dusty

perhaps there is still hope.

30 Let him offer his cheek

to the one who would strike him;z

let him be filled with disgrace.

כ Kaph

31 For the Lord

will not reject us forever.

32 Even if he causes suffering,

he will show compassion

according to the abundance of his faithful love.aa

33 For he does not enjoy bringing afflictionab

or suffering on mankind.

ל Lamed

34 Crushing all the prisoners of the landJ

beneath one’s feet,

35 denying justice to a manac

in the presence of the Most High,

36 or subverting a person in his lawsuitad

the Lord does not approve of these things.

מ Mem

37 Who is there who speaks and it happens,

unless the Lord has ordained it?ae

38 Do not both adversity and good

come from the mouth of the Most High?af

39 Why should any living person complain,

any man, because of the punishment for his sins?

נ Nun

40 Let’s examine and probe our ways,

and turn back to the Lord.ag

41 Let’s lift up our hearts and our handsa

to God in heaven:

42 “We have sinned and rebelled;

you have not forgiven.b

ס Samek

43 “You have covered yourself in anger and pursued us;

you have killed without compassion.c

44 You have covered yourself with a cloud

so that no prayer can get through.d

45 You have made us disgusting filth

among the peoples.e

פ Pe

46 “All our enemies

open their mouths against us.f

47 We have experienced panic and pitfall,g

devastation and destruction.”

48 My eyes flow with streams of tears

because of the destruction of my dear people.

ע Ayin

49 My eyes overflow unceasingly,

without end,h

50 until the Lord looks down

from heaven and sees.i

51 My eyes bring me grief

because of the fate of all the women in my city.

צ Tsade

52 For no reason, my enemiesA

hunted me like a bird.j

53 They smothered my life inB a pitk

and threw stones on me.

54 Water flooded over my head,l

and I thought, “I’m going to die!”m

ק Qoph

55 I called on your name, Lord,

from the depths of the pit.

56 You heard my plea:

Do not ignore my cry for relief.

57 You came near whenever I called you;

you said, “Do not be afraid.”

ר Resh

58 You championed my cause, Lord;n

you redeemed my life.o

59 Lord, you saw the wrong done to me;

judge my case.

60 You saw all their vengefulness,

all their plots against me.p

שׂ Sin/ שׁ Shin

61 Lord, you heard their insults,q

all their plots against me.

62 The slanderC and murmuring of my opponents

attack me all day long.

63 When they sit and when they rise, look,

I am mocked by their songs.r

ת Taw

64 You will pay them back what they deserve, Lord,

according to the work of their hands.s

65 You will give them a heart filled with anguish.D,t

May your curse be on them!

66 You will pursue them in anger and destroy them

under your heavens.E,u

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