I am the man familiar with misery under the rod of his fury.
He has led and guided me into darkness, not light.
Against none but me does he turn his hand, again and again, all day.
He has wasted my flesh and skin away, has broken my bones.
He has besieged me and made hardship a circlet round my head.
He has forced me to dwell where all is dark, like those long-dead in their everlasting home.
He has walled me in so that I cannot escape; he has weighed me down with chains;
even when I shout for help, he shuts out my prayer.
He has closed my way with blocks of stone, he has obstructed my paths.
For me he is a lurking bear, a lion in hiding.
Heading me off, he has torn me apart, leaving me shattered.
He has bent his bow and used me as a target for his arrows.
He has shot deep into me with shafts from his quiver.
I have become a joke to all my own people, their refrain all day long.
He has given me my fill of bitterness, he has made me drunk with wormwood.
He has broken my teeth with gravel, he has fed me on ashes.
I have been deprived of peace, I have forgotten what happiness is
and thought, 'My lasting hope in Yahweh is lost.'
Bring to mind my misery and anguish; it is wormwood and gall!
My heart dwells on this continually and sinks within me.
This is what I shall keep in mind and so regain some hope:
Surely Yahweh's mercies are not over, his deeds of faithful love not exhausted;
every morning they are renewed; great is his faithfulness!
'Yahweh is all I have,' I say to myself, 'and so I shall put my hope in him.'
Yahweh is good to those who trust him, to all who search for him.
It is good to wait in silence for Yahweh to save.
It is good for someone to bear the yoke from a young age,
to sit in solitude and silence when it weighs heavy,
to lay one's head in the dust -- maybe there is hope-
to offer one's cheek to the striker, to have one's fill of disgrace!
For the Lord will not reject anyone for ever.
If he brings grief, he will have pity out of the fullness of his faithful love,
for it is not for his own pleasure that he torments and grieves the human race.
When all the prisoners in a country are crushed underfoot,
when human rights are overridden in defiance of the Most High,
when someone is cheated of justice, does not the Lord see it?
Who has only to speak and it is so done? Who commands, if not the Lord?
From where, if not from the mouth of the Most High, do evil and good come?
Why then should anyone complain? Better to be bold against one's sins.
Let us examine our path, let us ponder it and return to Yahweh.
Let us raise our hearts and hands to God in heaven.
We are the ones who have sinned, who have rebelled, and you have not forgiven.
You have enveloped us in anger, pursuing us, slaughtering without pity.
You have wrapped yourself in a cloud too thick for prayer to pierce.
You have reduced us to rubbish and refuse among the nations.
Our enemies open their mouths in chorus against us.
Terror and pitfall have been our lot, ravage and ruin.
My eyes dissolve in torrents of tears at the ruin of my beloved people.
My eyes will weep ceaselessly, without relief,
until Yahweh looks down and sees from heaven.
My eyes have grown sore over all the daughters of my city.
Unprovoked, my enemies hunted me down like a bird.
They shut me finally in a pit, they closed me in with a stone.
The waters rose over my head; I thought, 'I am lost!'
Yahweh, I called on your name from the deep pit.
You heard my voice, do not close your ear to my prayer, to my cry.
You are near when I call to you. You said, 'Do not be afraid!'
Lord, you defended my cause, you have redeemed my life.
Yahweh, you have seen the wrong done to me, grant me redress.
You have seen their vindictiveness, all their plots against me.
You have heard their insults, Yahweh, all their plots against me,
the whispering and murmuring of my enemies against me all day long.
Look, whether they sit or stand, I am their refrain.
Yahweh, repay them as their deeds deserve.
Lay hardness of heart as your curse on them.
Angrily pursue them, root them out from under your heavens!
The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) is a Catholic translation of the Bible published in 1985. The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) has become the most widely used Roman Catholic Bible outside of the United States. It has the imprimatur of Cardinal George Basil Hume.
Like its predecessor, the Jerusalem Bible, the New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) version is translated "directly from the Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic." The 1973 French translation, the Bible de Jerusalem, is followed only "where the text admits to more than one interpretation." Introductions and notes, with some modifications, are taken from the Bible de Jerusalem.
Source: The Very Reverend Dom (Joseph) Henry Wansbrough, OSB, MA (Oxon), STL (Fribourg), LSS (Rome), a monk of Ampleforth Abbey and a biblical scholar. He was General Editor of the New Jerusalem Bible. "New Jerusalem Bible, Regular Edition", pg. v.
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