Hope of Relief through God's Mercy
3 1 I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath. 2 He hath led me and caused me to walk in darkness, and not in light. 3 Surely against me he turneth his hand again and again all the day. 4 My flesh and my skin hath he made old; he hath broken my bones. 5 He hath builded against me, and compassed me with gall and travail. 6 He hath made me to dwell in dark places, as those that have been long dead. 7 He hath walled me about, that I cannot go forth; he hath made my chain heavy. 8 Yea, when I cry, and call for help, he shutteth out my prayer. 9 He hath walled up my ways with hewn stone; he hath made my paths crooked. 10 He is unto me as a bear lying in wait, as a lion in secret places. 11 He hath turned aside my ways, and pulled me in pieces; he hath made me desolate. 12 He hath bent his bow, and set me as a mark for the arrow. 13 He hath caused the shafts of his quiver to enter into my reins. 14 I am become a derision to all my people, and their song all the day. 15 He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath sated me with wormwood. 16 He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones; he hath covered me with ashes. 17 And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace; I forgat prosperity. 18 And I said, My strength is perished, and mine expectation from Jehovah. 19 Remember mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall. 20 My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is bowed down within me.
21 This I recall to my mind; therefore have I hope. 22 [It is of] Jehovah's lovingkindnesses that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness. 24 Jehovah is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. 25 Jehovah is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. 26 It is good that a man should hope and quietly wait for the salvation of Jehovah. 27 It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. 28 Let him sit alone and keep silence, because he hath laid it upon him. 29 Let him put his mouth in the dust, if so be there may be hope. 30 Let him give his cheek to him that smiteth him; let him be filled full with reproach. 31 For the Lord will not cast off for ever. 32 For though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses. 33 For he doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men. 34 To crush under foot all the prisoners of the earth, 35 To turn aside the right of a man before the face of the Most High, 36 To subvert a man in his cause, the Lord approveth not.
37 Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not? 38 Out of the mouth of the Most High cometh there not evil and good? 39 Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins? 40 Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to Jehovah. 41 Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.
42 We have transgressed and have rebelled; thou hast not pardoned. 43 Thou hast covered with anger and pursued us; thou hast slain, thou hast not pitied. 44 Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud, so that no prayer can pass through. 45 Thou hast made us an off-scouring and refuse in the midst of the peoples. 46 All our enemies have opened their mouth wide against us. 47 Fear and the pit are come upon us, devastation and destruction. 48 Mine eye runneth down with streams of water, for the destruction of the daughter of my people. 49 Mine eye poureth down, and ceaseth not, without any intermission, 50 Till Jehovah look down, and behold from heaven. 51 Mine eye affecteth my soul, because of all the daughters of my city. 52 They have chased me sore like a bird, they that are mine enemies without cause. 53 They have cut off my life in the dungeon, and have cast a stone upon me. 54 Waters flowed over my head; I said, I am cut off.
55 I called upon thy name, O Jehovah, out of the lowest dungeon. 56 Thou heardest my voice; hide not thine ear at my breathing, at my cry. 57 Thou drewest near in the day that I called upon thee; thou saidst, Fear not. 58 O Lord, thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul; thou hast redeemed my life. 59 O Jehovah, thou hast seen my wrong; judge thou my cause. 60 Thou hast seen all their vengeance and all their devices against me. 61 Thou hast heard their reproach, O Jehovah, and all their devices against me, 62 The lips of those that rose up against me, and their device against me all the day. 63 Behold thou their sitting down, and their rising up; I am their song. 64 Thou wilt render unto them a recompense, O Jehovah, according to the work of their hands. 65 Thou wilt give them hardness of heart, thy curse unto them. 66 Thou wilt pursue them in anger, and destroy them from under the heavens of Jehovah.
The Punishment of Zion Accomplished
4 1 How is the gold become dim! [how] is the most pure gold changed! The stones of the sanctuary are poured out at the head of every street. 2 The precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold, How are they esteemed as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of the potter! 3 Even the jackals draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones: The daughter of my people is become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness. 4 The tongue of the sucking child cleaveth to the roof of his mouth for thirst: The young children ask bread, and no man breaketh it unto them. 5 They that did feed delicately are desolate in the streets: They that were brought up in scarlet embrace dunghills. 6 For the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the sin of Sodom, That was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands were laid upon her. 7 Her nobles were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk; They were more ruddy in body than rubies, their polishing was as of sapphire. 8 Their visage is blacker than a coal; They are not known in the streets: Their skin cleaveth to their bones; it is withered, it is become like a stick. 9 They that are slain with the sword are better than they that are slain with hunger; For these pine away, stricken through, for want of the fruits of the field. 10 The hands of the pitiful women have boiled their own children; They were their food in the destruction of the daughter of my people. 11 Jehovah hath accomplished his wrath, he hath poured out his fierce anger; And he hath kindled a fire in Zion, which hath devoured the foundations thereof. 12 The kings of the earth believed not, neither all the inhabitants of the world, That the adversary and the enemy would enter into the gates of Jerusalem.
13 [It is] because of the sins of her prophets, [and] the iniquities of her priests, That have shed the blood of the just in the midst of her. 14 They wander as blind men in the streets, they are polluted with blood, So that men cannot touch their garments. 15 Depart ye, they cried unto them, Unclean! depart, depart, touch not! When they fled away and wandered, men said among the nations, They shall no more sojourn [here]. 16 The anger of Jehovah hath scattered them; He will no more regard them: They respected not the persons of the priests, they favored not the elders. 17 Our eyes do yet fail [in looking] for our vain help: In our watching we have watched for a nation that could not save. 18 They hunt our steps, so that we cannot go in our streets: Our end is near, our days are fulfilled; for our end is come. 19 Our pursuers were swifter than the eagles of the heavens: They chased us upon the mountains, they laid wait for us in the wilderness. 20 The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of Jehovah, was taken in their pits; Of whom we said, Under his shadow we shall live among the nations.
21 Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, that dwellest in the land of Uz: The cup shall pass through unto thee also; thou shalt be drunken, and shalt make thyself naked. 22 The punishment of thine iniquity is accomplished, O daughter of Zion; He will no more carry thee away into captivity: He will visit thine iniquity, O daughter of Edom; he will uncover thy sins.
A Prayer for Mercy
5 1 Remember, O Jehovah, what is come upon us: Behold, and see our reproach. 2 Our inheritance is turned unto strangers, Our houses unto aliens. 3 We are orphans and fatherless; Our mothers are as widows. 4 We have drunken our water for money; Our wood is sold unto us. 5 Our pursuers are upon our necks: We are weary, and have no rest. 6 We have given the hand to the Egyptians, And to the Assyrians, to be satisfied with bread. 7 Our fathers sinned, and are not; And we have borne their iniquities. 8 Servants rule over us: There is none to deliver us out of their hand. 9 We get our bread at the peril of our lives, Because of the sword of the wilderness. 10 Our skin is black like an oven, Because of the burning heat of famine. 11 They ravished the women in Zion, The virgins in the cities of Judah. 12 Princes were hanged up by their hand: The faces of elders were not honored. 13 The young men bare the mill; And the children stumbled under the wood. 14 The elders have ceased from the gate, The young men from their music. 15 The joy of our heart is ceased; Our dance is turned into mourning. 16 The crown is fallen from our head: Woe unto us! for we have sinned.
17 For this our heart is faint; For these things our eyes are dim; 18 For the mountain of Zion, which is desolate: The foxes walk upon it. 19 Thou, O Jehovah, abidest for ever; Thy throne is from generation to generation. 20 Wherefore dost thou forget us for ever, [And] forsake us so long time? 21 Turn thou us unto thee, O Jehovah, and we shall be turned; Renew our days as of old. 22 But thou hast utterly rejected us; Thou art very wroth against us.
Let Us Draw Near and Hold Fast
19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the way which he dedicated for us, a new and living way, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21 and [having] a great priest over the house of God; 22 let us draw near with a true heart in fulness of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience: and having our body washed with pure water, 23 let us hold fast the confession of our hope that it waver not; for he is faithful that promised: 24 and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and good works; 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as the custom of some is, but exhorting [one another]; and so much the more, as ye see the day drawing nigh. 26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and a fierceness of fire which shall devour the adversaries. 28 A man that hath set at nought Moses law dieth without compassion on [the word of] two or three witnesses: 29 of how much sorer punishment, think ye, shall he be judged worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him that said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. 32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were enlightened, ye endured a great conflict of sufferings; 33 partly, being made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, becoming partakers with them that were so used. 34 For ye both had compassion on them that were in bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of you possessions, knowing that ye have for yourselves a better possession and an abiding one. 35 Cast not away therefore your boldness, which hath great recompense of reward. 36 For ye have need of patience, that, having done the will of God, ye may receive the promise. 37 For yet a very little while, He that cometh shall come, and shall not tarry. 38 But my righteous one shall live by faith: And if he shrink back, my soul hath no pleasure in him. 39 But we are not of them that shrink back unto perdition; but of them that have faith unto the saving of the soul.