Add parallel Print Page Options

A Plea for Personal and National Help

A prayer of one afflicted, when he grows faint

and pours out his lament before Yahweh.[a]

102 O Yahweh, hear my prayer,
and let my cry for help come to you.
Do not hide your face from me
in the day of my trouble.
Incline your ear to me.
In the day I call, answer me quickly,
for my days vanish in smoke,
and my bones are charred like a hearth.
My heart is struck like grass and withers.
Indeed, I forget to eat[b] my bread.
Because of the sound of my groaning
my bones[c] cling to my skin.[d]
I am like an owl[e] of the wilderness;
I am like a little owl of the ruins.
I lie awake and I am
like a lone bird on a roof.
All the day my enemies reproach me;
those who mock me swear oaths against me.
Indeed, I eat ashes like bread
and mix my drink with tears[f]
10 because of your indignation and anger,
for you have picked me up and thrown me away.
11 My days are like a lengthened shadow,
and I wither like grass.
12 But you, O Yahweh, abide[g] forever,
and your remembrance[h] from generation to generation.[i]
13 You rise up and take pity on Zion,
because it is time to favor it,
for the appointed time has come.
14 Your servants take pleasure in her stones,
and show favor to its dust.
15 Then the nations will fear the name of Yahweh,
and all the kings of the earth your glory.
16 For Yahweh will rebuild Zion;
he will appear in his glory.
17 He will turn his attention to the prayer of the destitute
and will not despise their prayer.
18 Let this be written for the next generation,
so that a people yet to be created may praise Yah,[j]
19 that he looked down from his holy height.
Yahweh looked from heaven over the earth
20 to hear the groaning of the prisoner,
to liberate those destined to die,[k]
21 so that they[l] may make known in Zion the name of Yahweh,
and his praise in Jerusalem,
22 when the peoples assemble,
together with[m] kingdoms, to serve Yahweh.
23 He has broken my strength along the way;
he has cut short my days.
24 I say, “My God, do not carry me off
from my life in the middle of my days.”
Your years continue throughout all generations.
25 Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
26 They will perish, but you will endure.
And like a garment they will all wear out,
you will replace them like clothing, and they will be set aside.
27 But you are the same,
and your years do not end.
28 The children of your servants will continue,
and their descendants[n] will be established before you.


  1. Psalm 102:1 The Hebrew Bible counts the superscription as the first verse of the psalm; the English verse number is reduced by one
  2. Psalm 102:4 A rare homonym might yield “I am too wilted to eat”
  3. Psalm 102:5 Hebrew “bone”
  4. Psalm 102:5 Hebrew “flesh”
  5. Psalm 102:6 The identity of the birds in this verse is uncertain
  6. Psalm 102:9 Hebrew “weeping”
  7. Psalm 102:12 Or “sit enthroned”
  8. Psalm 102:12 Or “name”
  9. Psalm 102:12 Literally “to a generation and a generation”
  10. Psalm 102:18 A shortened form of “Yahweh”
  11. Psalm 102:20 Hebrew “the sons of death”
  12. Psalm 102:21 That is, the generation that reads what is written
  13. Psalm 102:22 Hebrew “and”
  14. Psalm 102:28 Literally “seed”