Hope of Relief through God's Mercy
3 1 I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath. 2 Me hath he led, and brought into darkness, and not into light. 3 Surely against me hath he turned again and again his hand all the day. 4 My flesh and my skin hath he wasted away, he hath broken my bones. 5 He hath built against me, and encompassed [me] with gall and toil. 6 He hath made me to dwell in dark places as those that have been long dead. 7 He hath hedged me about that I cannot get out: he hath made my chain heavy. 8 Even when I cry and shout, he shutteth out my prayer. 9 He hath inclosed my ways with hewn stone, he hath made my paths crooked. 10 He is unto me [as] a bear lying in wait, 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 arrows of his quiver to enter into my reins. 14 I am become a derision to all my people; their song all the day. 15 He hath sated me with bitterness, he hath made me drunk 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 have forgotten prosperity. 18 And I said, My strength is perished, and my hope in Jehovah. 19 Remember thou mine affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and the gall. 20 My soul hath [them] constantly in remembrance, and is humbled in me.
21 —This I recall to heart, therefore have I hope. 22 It is of Jehovah's loving-kindness 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 one should both wait, and that in silence, for the salvation of Jehovah. 27 It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth: 28 He sitteth solitary and keepeth silence, because he hath laid it upon him; 29 he putteth his mouth in the dust, if so be there may be hope; 30 he giveth his cheek to him that smiteth him; he is filled full with reproach. 31 For the Lord will not cast off for ever; 32 but if he have caused grief, he will have compassion according to the multitude of his loving-kindnesses: 33 for he doth not willingly afflict or 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 wrong a man in his cause,—will not the Lord see it?
37 Who is he that saith, and there cometh to pass, what the Lord hath not commanded? 38 Out of the mouth of the Most High doth not there proceed 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 thyself with anger, and pursued us; thou hast slain, thou hast not spared. 44 Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud, that prayer should not pass through. 45 Thou hast made us the offscouring and refuse in the midst of the peoples. 46 All our enemies have opened their mouth against us. 47 Fear and the pit are come upon us, devastation and ruin. 48 Mine eye runneth down with streams of water for the ruin 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 the heavens. 51 Mine eye affecteth my soul, because of all the daughters of my city. 52 They that are mine enemies without cause have chased me sore like a bird. 53 They have cut off my life in a pit, and cast a stone upon me. 54 Waters streamed over my head; I said, I am cut off.
55 I called upon thy name, Jehovah, out of the lowest pit. 56 Thou hast heard my voice: hide not thine ear at my sighing, at my cry. 57 Thou drewest near in the day that I called upon thee; thou saidst, Fear not. 58 Lord, thou hast pleaded the cause of my soul, thou hast redeemed my life. 59 Jehovah, thou hast seen my wrong: judge thou my cause. 60 Thou hast seen all their vengeance, all their imaginations against me. 61 Thou hast heard their reproach, O Jehovah, all their imaginations against me; 62 the lips of those that rise up against me and their meditation against me all the day. 63 Behold thou their sitting down and their rising up: I am their song. 64 Render unto them a recompence, O Jehovah, according to the work of their hands; 65 give them obduracy of heart, thy curse unto them; 66 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! the most pure gold changed! the stones of the sanctuary poured out at the top of all the streets! 2 The sons of Zion, so precious, comparable to fine gold, how are they esteemed as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of the potter! 3 Even the jackals offer the breast, they give suck to their young; 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, no man breaketh it unto them. 5 They that fed delicately are desolate in the streets; they that were brought up in scarlet embrace dung-hills. 6 And the punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the reward of the sin of Sodom, which was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands were violently laid upon her. 7 Her Nazarites were purer than snow, whiter than milk; they were more ruddy in body than rubies, their figure was as sapphire. 8 Their visage is darker than blackness, they are not known in the streets; their skin cleaveth to their bones, it is withered, it is become like a stick. 9 The slain with the sword are happier than the slain with hunger; for these pine away, stricken through for want of the fruits of the field. 10 The hands of pitiful women have boiled their own children: they were their meat in the ruin of the daughter of my people. 11 Jehovah hath accomplished his fury; he hath poured out his fierce anger, and hath kindled a fire in Zion, which hath consumed the foundations thereof. 12 The kings of the earth, and all the inhabitants of the world, would not have believed that the adversary and the enemy should enter into the gates of Jerusalem.
13 [It is] for the sins of her prophets, [and] the iniquities of her priests, who have shed the blood of the righteous in the midst of her. 14 They wandered about blind in the streets; they were polluted with blood, so that men could not touch their garments. 15 They cried unto them, Depart! Unclean! Depart! depart, touch not! When they fled away, and wandered about, it was said among the nations, They shall no more sojourn [there]. 16 The face of Jehovah hath divided them; he will no more regard them. They respected not the persons of the priests, they favoured not the aged. 17 Our eyes still failed for our vain help; in our watching, we have watched for a nation that did not save. 18 They hunted our steps, that we could not 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 hotly 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, daughter of Edom, that dwellest in the land of Uz: the cup shall pass also unto thee; thou shalt be drunken, and 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 discover thy sins.
A Prayer for Mercy
5 1 Remember, O Jehovah, what is come upon us; consider, and see our reproach. 2 Our inheritance is turned to strangers, our houses to aliens. 3 We are orphans and fatherless, our mothers are as widows. 4 Our water have we to drink for money, our wood cometh unto us for a price. 5 Our pursuers are on our necks: we are weary, we have no rest. 6 We have given the hand to Egypt, [and] to Asshur, to be satisfied with bread. 7 Our fathers have sinned, [and] they are not; and we bear their iniquities. 8 Bondmen rule over us: there is no deliverer out of their hand. 9 We have to get our bread at the risk of our lives, because of the sword of the wilderness. 10 Our skin gloweth like an oven, because of the burning heat of the famine. 11 They have ravished the women in Zion, the maids in the cities of Judah. 12 Princes were hanged up by their hand; the faces of elders were not honoured. 13 The young men have borne the mill, and the youths have stumbled under the wood. 14 The elders have ceased from the gate, the young men from their music. 15 The joy of our heart hath 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 have grown dim, 18 Because of the mountain of Zion, which is desolate: foxes walk over it. 19 Thou, Jehovah, dwellest for ever; thy throne is from generation to generation. 20 Wherefore dost thou forget us for ever, dost thou forsake us so long time? 21 Turn thou us unto thee, Jehovah, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old. 22 Or is it that thou hast utterly rejected us? Wouldest thou be exceeding wroth against us?
Let Us Draw Near and Hold Fast
19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness for entering into the [holy of] holies by the blood of Jesus, 20 the new and living way which he has dedicated for us through the veil, that is, his flesh, 21 and [having] a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us approach with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, sprinkled as to our hearts from a wicked conscience, and washed as to our body with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of the hope unwavering, (for he [is] faithful who has promised;) 24 and let us consider one another for provoking to love and good works; 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the custom [is] with some; but encouraging [one another], and by so much the more as ye see the day drawing near. 26 For where we sin wilfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains any sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and heat of fire about to devour the adversaries. 28 Any one that has disregarded Moses' law dies without mercy on [the testimony of] two or three witnesses: 29 of how much worse punishment, think ye, shall he be judged worthy who has trodden under foot the Son of God, and esteemed the blood of the covenant, whereby he has been sanctified, common, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him that said, To me [belongs] vengeance; I will recompense, saith the Lord: and again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31 [It is] a fearful thing falling into [the] hands of [the] living God. 32 But call to mind the earlier days in which, having been enlightened, ye endured much conflict of sufferings; 33 on the one hand, when ye were made a spectacle both in reproaches and afflictions; and on the other, when ye became partakers with those who were passing through them. 34 For ye both sympathised with prisoners and accepted with joy the plunder of your goods, knowing that ye have for yourselves a better substance, and an abiding one. 35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which has great recompense. 36 For ye have need of endurance in order that, having done the will of God, ye may receive the promise. 37 For yet a very little while he that comes will come, and will not delay. 38 But the just shall live by faith; and, if he draw back, my soul does not take pleasure in him. 39 But we are not drawers back to perdition, but of faith to saving [the] soul.