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The Prophet Speaks:

א (Alef)118

3:1 I am the man1 who has experienced2 affliction

from the rod3 of his wrath.

3:2 He drove me into captivity4 and made me walk5

in darkness and not light.

3:3 He repeatedly6 attacks me,

he turns his hand7 against me all day long.8

ב (Bet)

3:4 He has made my mortal skin9 waste away;

he has broken my bones.

3:5 He has besieged10 and surrounded11 me

with bitter hardship.12

3:6 He has made me reside in deepest darkness13

like those who died long ago.

ג (Gimel)

3:7 He has walled me in14 so that I cannot get out;

he has weighted me down with heavy prison chains.15

3:8 Also, when I cry out desperately16 for help,17

he has shut out my prayer.18

3:9 He has blocked19 every road I take20 with a wall of hewn stones;

he has made every path impassable.21

ד (Dalet)

3:10 To me he is like a bear lying in ambush,22

like a hidden lion23 stalking its prey.24

3:11 He has obstructed my paths25 and torn me to pieces;26

he has made me desolate.

3:12 He drew27 his bow and made me28

the target for his arrow.

ה (He)

3:13 He shot29 his arrows30

into my heart.31

3:14 I have become the laughingstock of all people,32

their mocking song33 all day long.34

3:15 He has given me my fill of bitter herbs

and made me drunk with bitterness.35

ו (Vav)

3:16 He ground36 my teeth in gravel;

he trampled37 me in the dust.

3:17 I38 am deprived39 of peace;40

I have forgotten what happiness41 is.

3:18 So I said, “My endurance has expired;

I have lost all hope of deliverance42 from the Lord.”

ז (Zayin)

3:19 Remember43 my impoverished and homeless condition,44

which is a bitter poison.45

3:20 I46 continually think about47 this,

and I48 am depressed.49

3:21 But this I call50 to mind;51

therefore I have hope:

ח (Khet)

3:22 The Lord’s loyal kindness52 never ceases;53

his compassions54 never end.

3:23 They are fresh55 every morning;

your faithfulness is abundant!56

3:24 “My portion is the Lord,” I have said to myself,57

so I will put my hope in him.

ט (Tet)

3:25 The Lord is good to those who trust58 in him,

to the one59 who seeks him.

3:26 It is good to wait patiently60

for deliverance from the Lord.61

3:27 It is good for a man62

to bear63 the yoke64 while he is young.65

י (Yod)

3:28 Let a person66 sit alone in silence,

when the Lord67 is disciplining him.68

3:29 Let him bury his face in the dust;69

perhaps there is hope.

3:30 Let him offer his cheek to the one who hits him;70

let him have his fill of insults.

כ (Kaf)

3:31 For the Lord71 will not

reject us forever.72

3:32 Though he causes us73 grief, he then has compassion on us74

according to the abundance of his loyal kindness.75

3:33 For he is not predisposed to afflict76

or to grieve people.77

ל (Lamed)

3:34 To crush underfoot

all the earth’s prisoners,78

3:35 to deprive a person79 of his rights80

in the presence of the Most High,

3:36 to defraud a person in a lawsuit—

the Lord81 does not approve82 of such things!

מ (Mem)

3:37 Whose command was ever fulfilled83

unless the Lord84 decreed it?

3:38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that everything comes—

both calamity and blessing?85

3:39 Why should any living person86 complain

when punished for his sins?87

נ (Nun)

3:40 Let us carefully examine our ways,88

and let us return to the Lord.

3:41 Let us lift up our hearts89 and our hands

to God in heaven:

3:42 “We90 have blatantly rebelled;91

you92 have not forgiven.”

ס (Samek)

3:43 You shrouded yourself93 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 scum94

in the estimation95 of the nations.

פ (Pe)

3:46 All our enemies have gloated over us;96

3:47 Panic and pitfall97 have come upon us,

devastation and destruction.98

3:48 Streams99 of tears flow from my eyes100

because my people101 are destroyed.102

ע (Ayin)

3:49 Tears flow from my eyes103 and will not stop;

there will be no break104

3:50 until the Lord looks down from heaven

and sees what has happened.105

3:51 What my eyes see106 grieves me107

all the suffering of the daughters in my city.108

ץ (Tsade)

3:52 For no good reason109 my enemies

hunted me down110 like a bird.

3:53 They shut me111 up in a pit

and threw stones at me.

3:54 The waters closed over my head;

I thought112 I was about to die.113

ק (Qof)

3:55 I have called on your name, O Lord,

from the deepest pit.114

3:56 You heard115 my plea:116

“Do not close your ears to my cry for relief!”117

3:57 You came near118 on the day I called to you;

you said,119 “Do not fear!”

ר (Resh)

3:58 O Lord,120 you championed121 my cause,122

you redeemed my life.

3:59 You have seen the wrong done to me, O Lord;

pronounce judgment on my behalf!123

3:60 You have seen all their vengeance,

all their plots against me.124

ש (Sin/Shin)

3:61 You have heard125 their taunts, O Lord,

all their plots against me.

3:62 My assailants revile and conspire126

against me all day long.

3:63 Watch them from morning to evening;127

I am the object of their mocking songs.

ת (Tav)

3:64 Pay them back128 what they deserve,129 O Lord,

according to what they130 have done.131

3:65 Give them a distraught heart;132

may your curse be on them!

3:66 Pursue them133 in anger and eradicate them

from under the Lord’s heaven.


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