[a]I am the man who has seen affliction(A)
    by the rod of the Lord’s wrath.(B)
He has driven me away and made me walk
    in darkness(C) rather than light;
indeed, he has turned his hand against me(D)
    again and again, all day long.

He has made my skin and my flesh grow old(E)
    and has broken my bones.(F)
He has besieged me and surrounded me
    with bitterness(G) and hardship.(H)
He has made me dwell in darkness
    like those long dead.(I)

He has walled me in so I cannot escape;(J)
    he has weighed me down with chains.(K)
Even when I call out or cry for help,(L)
    he shuts out my prayer.(M)
He has barred(N) my way with blocks of stone;
    he has made my paths crooked.(O)

10 Like a bear lying in wait,
    like a lion(P) in hiding,(Q)
11 he dragged me from the path and mangled(R) me
    and left me without help.
12 He drew his bow(S)
    and made me the target(T) for his arrows.(U)

13 He pierced(V) my heart
    with arrows from his quiver.(W)
14 I became the laughingstock(X) of all my people;(Y)
    they mock me in song(Z) all day long.
15 He has filled me with bitter herbs
    and given me gall to drink.(AA)

16 He has broken my teeth with gravel;(AB)
    he has trampled me in the dust.(AC)
17 I have been deprived of peace;
    I have forgotten what prosperity is.
18 So I say, “My splendor is gone
    and all that I had hoped from the Lord.”(AD)

19 I remember my affliction and my wandering,
    the bitterness(AE) and the gall.(AF)
20 I well remember them,
    and my soul is downcast(AG) within me.(AH)
21 Yet this I call to mind
    and therefore I have hope:

22 Because of the Lord’s great love(AI) we are not consumed,(AJ)
    for his compassions never fail.(AK)
23 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.(AL)
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;(AM)
    therefore I will wait for him.”

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Footnotes

  1. Lamentations 3:1 This chapter is an acrostic poem; the verses of each stanza begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet, and the verses within each stanza begin with the same letter.