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