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Hope through God’s Mercy
א Alef
1I am the man who has seen affliction
under the rod of God’s wrath.
2He has driven me away and forced me to walk
in darkness instead of light. # Jb 12:25; Am 5:18,20
3Yes, He repeatedly turns His hand
against me all day long.
ב Bet
4He has worn away my flesh and skin; # Jb 13:28; Ps 32:3; 38:3; 49:14; Mc 3:1-3
He has shattered my bones. # Ps 51:8; Is 38:13
5He has laid siege against me, # Jb 19:8,12
encircling me with bitterness and hardship. # Lm 3:19
6He has made me dwell in darkness
like those who have been dead for ages. # Jb 10:20-22; Ps 88:6; 143:3
ג Gimel
7He has walled me in so I cannot escape; # Jb 19:8
He has weighed me down with chains.
8Even when I cry out and plead for help,
He rejects my prayer. # Jb 30:20; Ps 22:2; Is 59:2; Lm 3:44
9He has walled in my ways with cut stones; # Jb 13:27; 23:12; Is 63:17; Hs 2:6
He has made my paths crooked. # Jb 19:8; Ps 23:3; Pr 2:15; 3:6,17; 4:11
ד Dalet
10He is # Lit is to me a bear waiting in ambush,
a lion in hiding. # Hs 13:7-8
11He forced me off my way and tore me to pieces;
He left me desolate.
12He strung His bow # Ps 7:12; Lm 2:4
and set me as the target for His arrow.
ה He
13He pierced my kidneys
with His arrows. # Jb 16:13; Pr 7:23
14I am a laughingstock # Jb 12:4; Jr 20:7; Lm 1:7 to all my people, # Some Hb mss, LXX, Vg; other Hb mss, Syr read all peoples
mocked by their songs # Jb 30:9; Ps 69:12 all day long.
15He filled me with bitterness,
satiated me with wormwood. # Jr 9:15; 23:15
ו Vav
16He ground my teeth on gravel # Ps 3:7; 58:6; Pr 20:17
and made me cower # Or and trampled me in the dust.
17My soul has been deprived # Syr, Vg; MT reads You deprived my soul of peace; # Ps 88:15; Lm 3:31
I have forgotten what happiness is.
18Then I thought: My future # Or splendor is lost,
as well as my hope from the Lord.
ז Zayin
19Remember # Or I remember my affliction and my homelessness, # Is 58:7; Lm 1:7
the wormwood and the poison. # Dt 29:18; Jr 9:15; 23:15
20I continually remember them
and have become depressed. # Ancient Jewish tradition reads and You cause me to collapse # Ps 42:5-6,11; 43:5; 44:25
21Yet I call this to mind,
and therefore I have hope: # Jb 13:15; Ps 33:22; 71:14; 130:5; Mc 7:7
ח Khet
22Because of the Lord’s faithful love # Ps 89:1; 103:17; Is 63:7
we do not perish, # One Hb mss, Syr, Tg read The Lord’s faithful love, indeed, does not perish
for His mercies never end.
23They are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness! # Ps 36:5; 89:1-8; 100:5
24I say: The Lord is my portion, # Nm 18:20; Ps 73:26; 142:5; Jr 10:16
therefore I will put my hope in Him.
ט Tet
25The Lord is good to those who wait # Ps 25:3; Is 40:31; 49:23 for Him,
to the person who seeks Him.
26It is good to wait quietly # Ps 37:7; 130:5,7; 1Th 5:10; 2Tm 4:8; 2Pt 3:14
for deliverance from the Lord. # Ps 37:39; 119:81; Is 46:13
27It is good for a man to bear the yoke # Jr 27:11; Lm 1:14
while he is still young.
י Yod
28Let him sit alone and be silent, # Jr 15:17
for God has disciplined him.
29Let him put his mouth in the dust # Nm 22:31; Jos 7:6; 1Sm 25:23
perhaps there is still hope.
30Let him offer his cheek
to the one who would strike him; # Is 50:6; Mt 5:39; Lk 6:29
let him be filled with shame.
כ Kaf
31For the Lord
will not reject us forever.
32Even if He causes suffering,
He will show compassion
according to His abundant, faithful love. # Ps 106:43-45; Ac 14:22; 2Co 4:17; Heb 12:6
33For He does not enjoy bringing affliction # Heb 12:10-11
or suffering on mankind.
ל Lamed
34Crushing all the prisoners of the land # Or earth
beneath one’s feet,
35denying justice to a man # Ex 23:6; Dt 16:19; 24:17; Mal 3:5
in the presence of the Most High,
36or suppressing a person’s lawsuit # Ex 23:2-3
the Lord does not approve of these things.
מ Mem
37Who is there who speaks and it happens,
unless the Lord has ordained it? # Ps 33:9-11
38Do not both adversity and good
come from the mouth of the Most High? # Gn 50:20; 1Sm 16:14; Jb 2:10; Ps 78:49; Is 45:7; Jr 1:14; 32:42; Am 3:6
39Why should any living person complain,
any man, because of the punishment for his sins?
נ Nun
40Let us search out and examine our ways,
and turn back to the Lord. # Ps 119:5; 139:23-24
41Let us lift up our hearts and our hands # Ps 25:1
to God in heaven:
42We have sinned and rebelled;
You have not forgiven. # Dt 29:20; 2Kg 24:4; Jr 5:7
ס Samek
43You have covered Yourself in anger and pursued us;
You have killed without compassion. # Lm 2:2,17,21; Ezk 7:8-9; 8:18
44You have covered Yourself with a cloud
so that no prayer can pass through. # Lm 3:8
45You have made us disgusting filth
among the peoples. # 1Co 4:13
פ Pe
46All our enemies
open their mouths against us. # Lm 2:16
47We have experienced panic and pitfall, # Is 24:17; Jr 48:43
devastation and destruction.
48My eyes flow with streams of tears
because of the destruction of my dear people.
ע Ayin
49My eyes overflow unceasingly,
without end, # Jr 9:1,18; Lm 1:16; 2:11
50until the Lord looks down
from heaven and sees. # Ps 14:2; 102:19
51My eyes bring me grief
because of the fate of all the women in my city.
צ Tsade
52For no apparent reason, my enemies # Or Those who were my enemies for no reason
hunted me like a bird. # Ps 35:7
53They dropped me alive into # Or They ended my life in ; Hb obscure a pit # Gn 37:20-29; Jr 38:6-13
and threw stones at me.
54Water flooded over my head, # Ps 42:7; 69:1-2; Jnh 2:3,5
and I thought: I’m going to die! # Ezk 37:11
ק Qof
55I called on Your name, Yahweh,
from the depths of the Pit. # Ps 88:6; Jnh 2:6
56You hear my plea:
Do not ignore my cry for relief.
57You come near when I call on You;
You say: “Do not be afraid.”
ר Resh
58You defend my cause, Lord; # Ps 43:1; Pr 23:11; Jr 50:34
You redeem my life. # Ps 103:4; 119:154
59Lord, You see the wrong done to me;
judge my case.
60You see all their malice,
all their plots against me. # Jr 11:19
ׂש Sin / ׁש Shin
61Lord, You hear their insults, # Lm 5:1
all their plots against me.
62The slander # Lit lips and murmuring of my opponents
attack me all day long.
63When they sit and when they rise, look,
I am mocked by their songs. # Jb 30:9; Ps 69:12; Lm 3:14
ת Tav
64You will pay them back what they deserve, Lord,
according to the work of their hands. # Ps 28:4; Rm 2:6; Rv 20:12-13
65You will give them a heart filled with anguish. # Or them an obstinate heart ; Hb obscure # Is 6:10
May Your curse be on them!
66You will pursue them in anger and destroy them
under Your heavens. # LXX, Syr, Vg read heavens, Lord # Lit under the Lord’s heavens # Ps 8:3

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