Hope through God’s Mercy

1 ?Alef
I am the man who has seen affliction
under the rod of God’s wrath.
2
He has driven me away and forced me to walk
in darkness instead of light.(A)
3
Yes, He repeatedly turns His hand
against me all day long.
4 ?Bet
He has worn away my flesh and skin;(B)
He has shattered my bones.(C)
5
He has laid siege against me,(D)
encircling me with bitterness and hardship.(E)
6
He has made me dwell in darkness
like those who have been dead for ages.(F)
7 ?Gimel
He has walled me in so I cannot escape;(G)
He has weighed me down with chains.
8
Even when I cry out and plead for help,
He rejects my prayer.(H)
9
He has walled in my ways with cut stones;(I)
He has made my paths crooked.(J)
10 ?Dalet
He is(a) a bear waiting in ambush,
a lion in hiding.(K)
11
He forced me off my way and tore me to pieces;
He left me desolate.
12
He strung His bow(L)
and set me as the target for His arrow.
13 ?He
He pierced my kidneys
with His arrows.(M)
14
I am a laughingstock(N) to all my people,(b)
mocked by their songs(O) all day long.
15
He filled me with bitterness,
satiated me with wormwood.(P)
16 ?Vav
He ground my teeth on gravel(Q)
and made me cower(c) in the dust.
17
My soul has been deprived(d) of peace;(R)
I have forgotten what happiness is.
18
Then I thought: My future(e) is lost,
as well as my hope from the Lord.
19 ?Zayin
Remember(f) my affliction and my homelessness,(S)
the wormwood and the poison.(T)
20
I continually remember them
and have become depressed.(g)(U)
21
Yet I call this to mind,
and therefore I have hope:(V)
22 ?Khet
Because of the Lord’s faithful love(W)
we do not perish,(h)
for His mercies never end.
23
They are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness!(X)
24
I say: The Lord is my portion,(Y)
therefore I will put my hope in Him.
25 ?Tet
The Lord is good to those who wait(Z) for Him,
to the person who seeks Him.
26
It is good to wait quietly(AA)
for deliverance from the Lord.(AB)
27
It is good for a man to bear the yoke(AC)
while he is still young.
28 ?Yod
Let him sit alone and be silent,(AD)
for God has disciplined him.
29
Let him put his mouth in the dust(AE)
perhaps there is still hope.
30
Let him offer his cheek
to the one who would strike him;(AF)
let him be filled with shame.
31 ?Kaf
For the Lord
will not reject us forever.
32
Even if He causes suffering,
He will show compassion
according to His abundant, faithful love.(AG)
33
For He does not enjoy bringing affliction(AH)
or suffering on mankind.
34 ?Lamed
Crushing all the prisoners of the land(i)
beneath one’s feet,
35
denying justice to a man(AI)
in the presence of the Most High,
36
or suppressing a person’s lawsuit(AJ)
the Lord does not approve of these things.
37 ?Mem
Who is there who speaks and it happens,
unless the Lord has ordained it?(AK)
38
Do not both adversity and good
come from the mouth of the Most High?(AL)
39
Why should any living person complain,
any man, because of the punishment for his sins?
40 ?Nun
Let us search out and examine our ways,
and turn back to the Lord.(AM)
41
Let us lift up our hearts and our hands(AN)
to God in heaven:
42
We have sinned and rebelled;
You have not forgiven.(AO)
43 ?Samek
You have covered Yourself in anger and pursued us;
You have killed without compassion.(AP)
44
You have covered Yourself with a cloud
so that no prayer can pass through.(AQ)
45
You have made us disgusting filth
among the peoples.(AR)
46 ?Pe
All our enemies
open their mouths against us.(AS)
47
We have experienced panic and pitfall,(AT)
devastation and destruction.
48
My eyes flow with streams of tears
because of the destruction of my dear people.
49 ?Ayin
My eyes overflow unceasingly,
without end,(AU)
50
until the Lord looks down
from heaven and sees.(AV)
51
My eyes bring me grief
because of the fate of all the women in my city.
52 ?Tsade
For no apparent reason, my enemies(j)
hunted me like a bird.(AW)
53
They dropped me alive into(k) a pit(AX)
and threw stones at me.
54
Water flooded over my head,(AY)
and I thought: I’m going to die!(AZ)
55 ?Qof
I called on Your name, Yahweh,
from the depths of the Pit.(BA)
56
You hear my plea:
Do not ignore my cry for relief.
57
You come near when I call on You;
You say: “Do not be afraid.”
58 ?Resh
You defend my cause, Lord;(BB)
You redeem my life.(BC)
59
Lord, You see the wrong done to me;
judge my case.
60
You see all their malice,
all their plots against me.(BD)
61 ??Sin/ ??Shin
Lord, You hear their insults,(BE)
all their plots against me.
62
The slander(l) 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.(BF)
64 ?Tav
You will pay them back what they deserve, Lord,
according to the work of their hands.(BG)
65
You will give them a heart filled with anguish.(m)(BH)
May Your curse be on them!
66
You will pursue them in anger and destroy them
under Your heavens.(n)(o)(BI)

Footnotes:

a. Lamentations 3:10: Lit is to me
b. Lamentations 3:14: Some Hb mss, LXX, Vg; other Hb mss, Syr read all peoples
c. Lamentations 3:16: Or and trampled me
d. Lamentations 3:17: Syr, Vg; MT reads You deprived my soul
e. Lamentations 3:18: Or splendor
f. Lamentations 3:19: Or I remember
g. Lamentations 3:20: Ancient Jewish tradition reads and You cause me to collapse
h. Lamentations 3:22: One Hb mss, Syr, Tg read The Lord’s faithful love, indeed, does not perish
i. Lamentations 3:34: Or earth
j. Lamentations 3:52: Or Those who were my enemies for no reason
k. Lamentations 3:53: Or They ended my life in; Hb obscure
l. Lamentations 3:62: Lit lips
m. Lamentations 3:65: Or them an obstinate heart; Hb obscure
n. Lamentations 3:66: LXX, Syr, Vg read heavens, Lord
o. Lamentations 3:66: Lit under the Lord’s heavens

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