3
Hope in the midst of distress
I, the one who am writing this, am a man who has been afflicted/punished [MTY] by Yahweh
because he was angry.
It was as though he caused me to walk in a very dark place
without any light at all.
He has punished [IDI] me many times,
all during each day.
 
He has caused my skin and my flesh to become old.
He has broken my bones.
He has surrounded me [DOU]
with bitterness and suffering.
It is as though he has buried me in a dark place
like [SIM] those who have been dead for a long time.
 
It is as though [MET] he has built a wall around me,
and fastened/tied me with heavy chains,
and I cannot escape.
Although I call out and cry out for him to help me,
he does not pay attention to my prayers.
It is as though he has blocked my path with a high stone wall
and has caused my path to become crooked.
 
10 He has waited to attack me
like [SIM] a bear or a lion hides and waits to attack other animals.
11  It is as though he has dragged me off the path and ◄mauled me/torn me into pieces►,
and left me without help.
12  It is as though [MET] he bent his bow and caused me to become the target
at which he shot his arrows.
 
13  It is as though he shot his arrows deep into my body.
14 All my relatives laugh at me;
all during each day they sing songs that make fun of me.
15 He has filled me with ◄bitterness/great suffering►,
like [MET] someone who drinks a very bitter liquid suffers.
 
16  It is as though he has caused me to chew gravel that broke my teeth,
and he has trampled me in the dirt.
17 Things no longer go well for me;
I no longer remember being prosperous.
18 I continued to say to myself, “I no longer expect to live much longer;
I no longer confidently expect to receive good things from Yahweh!”
 
19 When I think about my suffering and my wandering away from home,
it is like drinking a very bitter [DOU] liquid.
20 I will never forget this time
when I feel very depressed/discouraged [IDI].
21 However, I confidently expect Yahweh to do good things for me again
when I think about this:
22 Yahweh never stops faithfully loving us,
and he never stops acting kindly toward us.
23  He is the one whom we can always trust/lean on.
Every morning he acts mercifully toward us again.
24 So I say to myself, “Yahweh is all that I need;
so I will confidently wait for him to do good things for me.”
 
25 Yahweh is good to all those who depend on him,
to those who seek his help.
26 So it is good for us to wait quietly
for Yahweh to save/rescue us.
27 And it is good for us to patiently endure suffering
while we are young.
 
28 Those who seek his help should sit by themselves, silently,
knowing that it is Yahweh who has allowed/caused them to suffer.
29 They should lie in the dirt, with their faces on the ground,
because they can still hope that Yahweh will help them.
30 If someone strikes us on one cheek,
we should turn the other cheek toward that person in order that he may strike it, too,
and accept/endure it when we are insulted.
 
31 Yahweh does not abandon us his people forever.
32 Sometimes he causes us to suffer,
but sometimes he acts kindly toward us
because he continually and faithfully loves us.
33 And he is not happy about causing human beings to suffer
or be sad.
 
34 If people ◄mistreat all the prisoners/crush all the prisoners under their feet►
35 or if they rebel against God
by refusing to give to people the things that it is right for them to receive,
36 or if they cause judges to decide matters unjustly,
◄does Yahweh not see all those things?/Yahweh certainly sees all those things!► [RHQ]
 
37 No one can [RHQ] command something to happen and then cause it to happen
if Yahweh has not already decided that it should happen.
38 God in heaven [MTY] is [RHQ] the one who causes disasters to happen,
and he also causes good things to happen.
39 So it is certainly not [RHQ] right for us, who are only humans, to complain
when he punishes us for the sins that we have committed.
 
40 Instead, we should ◄examine/think carefully about► our behavior;
we should turn back to Yahweh.
41 We should pray with [IDI] all our inner beings and lift up our arms
toward God in heaven, and say,
42 “We have sinned and rebelled against you,
and you have not forgiven us.
43 You have surrounded us with your anger and pursued us;
you have slaughtered us without pitying us.
44 You have hidden yourself in a cloud,
with the result that you do not hear us when we pray.
45 You have caused the people of other nations to consider us
to be only garbage [DOU].
 
46 All our enemies have spoken things to insult us.
47 We are constantly afraid [DOU],
because we have experienced disasters and ruin [DOU].”
48 Many tears flow from my eyes
because my people have been destroyed.
49 My tears continually flow;
they will not stop
50 until Yahweh looks down from heaven and sees us.
51 I am very grieved
because of what has happened to the women of my city.
 
52 Those who are my enemies hunted for me
like [SIM] people hunt for a bird to kill it
even though there was no reason for them to do that.
53 They threw me into a pit to kill me,
and they threw stones on top of me.
54 The water in the pit rose above my head,
and I said to myself, “I am about to die/drown!”
 
55 But from the bottom of the pit I cried out to you [MTY],
“Yahweh, help me!”
56 I pleaded with you,
“Do not refuse to heed [MTY] me while I cry out to you!”
57 Then you answered me
and said, “Do not be afraid!”
 
58 Yahweh, you defended me;
you did not allow me to die.
59 Now, Yahweh, you have seen the evil things that my enemies have done to me,
so decide my case and show that I am right!
60 You know the evil things
that they have planned to do to me.
61 Yahweh, you have heard them insult me
and what they have planned to do to me.
62 Every day they whisper and mutter things about me,
all during the day.
63 Look at them! Whether they are standing or sitting
they make fun of me by the songs that they sing.
 
64 Yahweh, cause them to suffer
in return for their causing me to suffer!
65 Curse them [IDI]
for their being very stubborn [IDI].
66 Because you are angry with them, pursue them and get rid of them,
until none of them remain on the earth.