3 I have suffered much because God was angry. 2 He chased me into a dark place, where no light could enter. 3 I am the only one he punishes over and over again, without ever stopping. 4 God caused my skin and flesh to waste away, and he crushed my bones. 5 He attacked and surrounded me with hardships and trouble; 6 he forced me to sit in the dark like someone long dead.
7 God built a fence around me that I cannot climb over, and he chained me down. 8 Even when I shouted and prayed for help, he refused to listen. 9 God put big rocks in my way and made me follow a crooked path. 10 God was like a bear or a lion waiting in ambush for me; 11 he dragged me from the road, then tore me to shreds.[a] 12 God took careful aim and shot his arrows 13 straight through my heart.
14 I am a joke to everyone— no one ever stops making fun of me. 15 God has turned my life sour. 16 He made me eat gravel and rubbed me in the dirt. 17 I cannot find peace or remember happiness.
18 I tell myself, “I am finished! I can’t count on the Lord to do anything for me.” 19 Just thinking of my troubles and my lonely wandering makes me miserable. 20 That’s all I ever think about, and I am depressed.[b] 21 Then I remember something that fills me with hope. 22 The Lord’s kindness never fails! If he had not been merciful, we would have been destroyed.[c] 23 The Lord can always be trusted to show mercy each morning. 24 Deep in my heart I say, “The Lord is all I need; I can depend on him!”
25 The Lord is kind to everyone who trusts and obeys him. 26 It is good to wait patiently for the Lord to save us. 27 When we are young, it is good to struggle hard 28 and to sit silently alone, if this is what the Lord intends. 29 Being rubbed in the dirt can teach us a lesson;[d] 30 we can also learn from insults and hard knocks.
31 The Lord won’t always reject us! 32 He causes a lot of suffering, but he also has pity because of his great love. 33 The Lord doesn’t enjoy sending grief or pain.
34 Don’t trample prisoners under your feet 35 or cheat anyone out of what is rightfully theirs. God Most High sees everything, 36 and he knows when you refuse to give someone a fair trial. 37 No one can do anything without the Lord’s approval. 38 Good and bad each happen at the command of God Most High. 39 We’re still alive! We shouldn’t complain when we are being punished for our sins. 40 Instead, we should think about the way we are living, and turn back to the Lord.
41 When we lift our hands in prayer to God in heaven, we should offer him our hearts and say, 42 “We’ve sinned! We’ve rebelled against you, and you haven’t forgiven us! 43 Anger is written all over you, as you pursue and slaughter us without showing pity. 44 You are behind a wall of clouds that blocks out our prayers. 45 You allowed nations to treat us like garbage; 46 our enemies curse us. 47 We are terrified and trapped, caught and crushed.”
48 My people are destroyed! Tears flood my eyes, 49 and they won’t stop 50 until the Lord looks down from heaven and helps. 51 I am horrified when I see what enemies have done to the young women of our city.
52 No one had reason to hate me, but I was hunted down like a bird. 53 Then they tried to kill me by tossing me into a pit and throwing stones at me. 54 Water covered my head— I thought I was gone.
55 From the bottom of the pit, I prayed to you, Lord. 56 I begged you to listen. “Help!” I shouted. “Save me!” You answered my prayer 57 and came when I was in need. You told me, “Don’t worry!” 58 You rescued me and saved my life. 59 You saw them abuse me, Lord, so make things right. 60 You know every plot they have made against me. 61 Yes, you know their insults and their evil plans. 62 All day long they attack with words and whispers. 63 No matter what they are doing, they keep on mocking me.
64 Pay them back for everything they have done, Lord! 65 Put your curse on them and make them suffer.[e] 66 Get angry and go after them until not a trace is left under the heavens.
3.11shreds: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 11.
3.20I am depressed: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
3.22destroyed: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 22.
3.29lesson: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 29.
3.65make them suffer: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
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