Lamentations 3
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The Prophet Speaks:

א (Alef)

1I am the man who has experienced affliction

from the rod of his wrath.

2He drove me into captivity and made me walk

in darkness and not light.

3He repeatedly attacks me,

he turns his hand against me all day long.

ב (Bet)

4He has made my mortal skin waste away;

he has broken my bones.

5He has besieged and surrounded me

with bitter hardship.

6He has made me reside in deepest darkness

like those who died long ago.

ג (Gimel)

7He has walled me in so that I cannot get out;

he has weighted me down with heavy prison chains.

8Also, when I cry out desperately for help,

he has shut out my prayer.

9He has blocked every road I take with a wall of hewn stones;

he has made every path impassable.

ד (Dalet)

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

like a hidden lion stalking its prey.

11He has obstructed my paths and torn me to pieces;

he has made me desolate.

12He drew his bow and made me

the target for his arrow.

ה (He)

13He shot his arrows

into my heart.

14I have become the laughingstock of all people,

their mocking song all day long.

15He has given me my fill of bitter herbs

and made me drunk with bitterness.

ו (Vav)

16He ground my teeth in gravel;

he trampled me in the dust.

17I am deprived of peace;

I have forgotten what happiness is.

18So I said, “My endurance has expired;

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

ז (Zayin)

19Remember my impoverished and homeless condition,

which is a bitter poison.

20I continually think about this,

and I am depressed.

21But this I call to mind;

therefore I have hope:

ח (Khet)

22The Lord’s loyal kindness never ceases;

his compassions never end.

23They are fresh every morning;

your faithfulness is abundant!

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

so I will put my hope in him.

ט (Tet)

25The Lord is good to those who trust in him,

to the one who seeks him.

26It is good to wait patiently

for deliverance from the Lord.

27It is good for a man

to bear the yoke while he is young.

י (Yod)

28Let a person sit alone in silence,

when the Lord is disciplining him.

29Let him bury his face in the dust;

perhaps there is hope.

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

let him have his fill of insults.

כ (Kaf)

31For the Lord will not

reject us forever.

32Though he causes us grief, he then has compassion on us

according to the abundance of his loyal kindness.

33For he is not predisposed to afflict

or to grieve people.

ל (Lamed)

34To crush underfoot

all the earth’s prisoners,

35to deprive a person of his rights

in the presence of the Most High,

36to defraud a person in a lawsuit –

the Lord does not approve of such things!

מ (Mem)

37Whose command was ever fulfilled

unless the Lord decreed it?

38Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that everything comes –

both calamity and blessing?

39Why should any living person complain

when punished for his sins?

נ (Nun)

40Let us carefully examine our ways,

and let us return to the Lord.

41Let us lift up our hearts and our hands

to God in heaven:

42“We have blatantly rebelled;

you have not forgiven.”

ס (Samek)

43You shrouded yourself with anger and then pursued us;

you killed without mercy.

44You shrouded yourself with a cloud

so that no prayer can get through.

45You make us like filthy scum

in the estimation of the nations.

פ (Pe)

46All our enemies have gloated over us;

47Panic and pitfall have come upon us,

devastation and destruction.

48Streams of tears flow from my eyes

because my people are destroyed.

ע (Ayin)

49Tears flow from my eyes and will not stop;

there will be no break

50until the Lord looks down from heaven

and sees what has happened.

51What my eyes see grieves me –

all the suffering of the daughters in my city.

צ (Tsade)

52For no good reason my enemies

hunted me down like a bird.

53They shut me up in a pit

and threw stones at me.

54The waters closed over my head;

I thought I was about to die.

ק (Qof)

55I have called on your name, O Lord,

from the deepest pit.

56You heard my plea:

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

57You came near on the day I called to you;

you said, “Do not fear!”

ר (Resh)

58O Lord, you championed my cause,

you redeemed my life.

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

pronounce judgment on my behalf!

60You have seen all their vengeance,

all their plots against me.

ש (Sin/Shin)

61You have heard their taunts, O Lord,

all their plots against me.

62My assailants revile and conspire

against me all day long.

63Watch them from morning to evening;

I am the object of their mocking songs.

ת (Tav)

64Pay them back what they deserve, O Lord,

according to what they have done.

65Give them a distraught heart;

may your curse be on them!

66Pursue them in anger and eradicate them

from under the Lord’s heaven.

Lamentations 2
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