Prayer of an Afflicted Man for Mercy on Himself and on Zion.
1 Hear my prayer, O Lord, and let my cry come to You. 2 Hide not Your face from me in the day when I am in distress! Incline Your ear to me; in the day when I call, answer me speedily. 3 For my days consume away like smoke, and my bones burn like a firebrand or like a hearth. 4 My heart is smitten like grass and withered, so that [in absorption] I forget to eat my food. 5 By reason of my loud groaning [from suffering and trouble] my flesh cleaves to my bones. 6 I am like a melancholy pelican or vulture of the wilderness; I am like a [desolate] owl of the waste places. 7 I am sleepless and lie awake [mourning], like a bereaved sparrow alone on the housetop.
8 My adversaries taunt and reproach me all the day; and they who are angry with me use my name as a curse. 9 For I have eaten the ashes [in which I sat] as if they were bread and have mingled my drink with weeping 10 Because of Your indignation and Your wrath, for You have taken me up and cast me away. 11 My days are like an evening shadow that stretches out and declines [with the sun]; and I am withered like grass.
12 But You, O Lord, are enthroned forever; and the fame of Your name endures to all generations. 13 You will arise and have mercy and loving-kindness for Zion, for it is time to have pity and compassion for her; yes, the set time has come [the moment designated]. 14 For Your servants take [melancholy] pleasure in the stones [of her ruins] and show pity for her dust. 15 So the nations shall fear and worshipfully revere the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth Your glory. 16 When the Lord builds up Zion, He will appear in His glory; 17 He will regard the plea of the destitute and will not despise their prayer.
18 Let this be recorded for the generation yet unborn, that a people yet to be created shall praise the Lord. 19 For He looked down from the height of His sanctuary, from heaven did the Lord behold the earth, 20 To hear the sighing and groaning of the prisoner, to loose those who are appointed to death, 21 So that men may declare the name of the Lord in Zion and His praise in Jerusalem 22 When peoples are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to worship and serve the Lord.
23 He has afflicted and weakened my strength, humbling and bringing me low [with sorrow] in the way; He has shortened my days [aging me prematurely]. 24 I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days, You Whose years continue throughout all generations. 25 At the beginning You existed and laid the foundations of the earth; the heavens are the work of Your hands. 26 They shall perish, but You shall remain and endure; yes, all of them shall wear out and become old like a garment. Like clothing You shall change them, and they shall be changed and pass away. 27 But You remain the same, and Your years shall have no end. 28 The children of Your servants shall dwell safely and continue, and their descendants shall be established before You.