The Prophet Speaks:
1 א (Alef)1
I am the man2 who has experienced3 affliction from the rod4 of his wrath. 2 He drove me into captivity5 and made me walk6
in darkness and not light.
3 He repeatedly7 attacks me, he turns his hand8 against me all day long.9
4 ב (Bet)
He has made my mortal skin10 waste away;
he has broken my bones.
5 He has besieged11 and surrounded12 me 6 He has made me reside in deepest darkness14
like those who died long ago.
7 ג (Gimel)
He has walled me in15 so that I cannot get out; he has weighted me down with heavy prison chains.16 8 Also, when I cry out desperately17 for help,18 he has shut out my prayer.19 9 He has blocked20 every road I take21 with a wall of hewn stones; he has made every path impassable.22
10 ד (Dalet)
To me he is like a bear lying in ambush,23 like a hidden lion24 stalking its prey.25 11 He has obstructed my paths26 and torn me to pieces;27
he has made me desolate.
12 He drew28 his bow and made me29
the target for his arrow.
13 ה (He)
14 I have become the laughingstock of all people,33 their mocking song34 all day long.35
15 He has given me my fill of bitter herbs
and made me drunk with bitterness.36
16 ו (Vav)
He ground37 my teeth in gravel; he trampled38 me in the dust. 17 I39 am deprived40 of peace;41 I have forgotten what happiness42 is.
18 So I said, “My endurance has expired;
I have lost all hope of deliverance43 from the Lord.”
19 ז (Zayin)
Remember44 my impoverished and homeless condition,45 which is a bitter poison.46 20 I47 continually think about48 this, 21 But this I call51 to mind;52
therefore I have hope:
22 ח (Khet)
The Lord’s loyal kindness53 never ceases;54 his compassions55 never end. 23 They are fresh56 every morning; your faithfulness is abundant!57 24 “My portion is the Lord,” I have said to myself,58
so I will put my hope in him.
25 ט (Tet)
The Lord is good to those who trust59 in him, to the one60 who seeks him. 26 It is good to wait patiently61 for deliverance from the Lord.62 27 It is good for a man63 to bear64 the yoke65 while he is young.66
28 י (Yod)
Let a person67 sit alone in silence, when the Lord68 is disciplining him.69 29 Let him bury his face in the dust;70
perhaps there is hope.
30 Let him offer his cheek to the one who hits him;71
let him have his fill of insults.
31 כ (Kaf)
32 Though he causes us74 grief, he then has compassion on us75 according to the abundance of his loyal kindness.76 33 For he is not predisposed to afflict77
34 ל (Lamed)
To crush underfoot
all the earth’s prisoners,79 35 to deprive a person80 of his rights81
in the presence of the Most High,
36 to defraud a person in a lawsuit –
the Lord82 does not approve83 of such things!
37 מ (Mem)
Whose command was ever fulfilled84 unless the Lord85 decreed it?
38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that everything comes –
both calamity and blessing?86 39 Why should any living person87 complain when punished for his sins?88
40 נ (Nun)
Let us carefully examine our ways,89
and let us return to the Lord.
41 Let us lift up our hearts90 and our hands
to God in heaven:
42 “We91 have blatantly rebelled;92 you93 have not forgiven.”
43 ס (Samek)
You shrouded yourself94 with anger and then pursued us;
you killed without mercy.
44 You shrouded yourself with a cloud
so that no prayer can get through.
45 You make us like filthy scum95 in the estimation96 of the nations.
46 פ (Pe)
All our enemies have gloated over us;97 47 Panic and pitfall98 have come upon us, devastation and destruction.99 48 Streams100 of tears flow from my eyes101 because my people102 are destroyed.103
49 ע (Ayin)
Tears flow from my eyes104 and will not stop; there will be no break105
50 until the Lord looks down from heaven
and sees what has happened.106 51 What my eyes see107 grieves me108 – all the suffering of the daughters in my city.109
52 צ (Tsade)
For no good reason110 my enemies hunted me down111 like a bird. 53 They shut me112 up in a pit
and threw stones at me.
54 The waters closed over my head;
I thought113 I was about to die.114
55 ק (Qof)
I have called on your name, O Lord,
“Do not close your ears to my cry for relief!”118 57 You came near119 on the day I called to you; you said,120 “Do not fear!”
58 ר (Resh)
you redeemed my life.
59 You have seen the wrong done to me, O Lord;
pronounce judgment on my behalf!124
60 You have seen all their vengeance,
all their plots against me.125
61 ש (Sin/Shin)
You have heard126 their taunts, O Lord,
all their plots against me.
62 My assailants revile and conspire127
against me all day long.
63 Watch them from morning to evening;128
I am the object of their mocking songs.
64 ת (Tav)
Pay them back129 what they deserve,130 O Lord, according to what they131 have done.132 65 Give them a distraught heart;133
may your curse be on them!
66 Pursue them134 in anger and eradicate them
from under the Lord’s heaven.