Prayer of an Afflicted Man for Mercy on Himself and on Zion.
A Prayer of the afflicted; when he is overwhelmed and pours out his complaint to God.
1Hear my prayer, O Lord,
And let my cry for help come to You!
Do not hide Your face from me in the day of my distress!
Incline Your ear to me;
In the day when I call, answer me quickly.
For my days have vanished in smoke,
And my bones have been scorched like a hearth.
My heart has been struck like grass and withered,
Indeed, [absorbed by my heartache] I forget to eat my food.
Because of the sound of my groaning [in suffering and trouble]
My bones cling to my flesh.
I am like a [mournful] vulture of the wilderness;
I am like a [desolate] owl of the wasteland.
I am sleepless and lie awake [mourning],
I have become like a lonely bird on a housetop.
My enemies taunt me all day long;
Those who ridicule me use my name as a curse.
For I have eaten ashes like bread,
And have mingled my drink with tears
Because of Your indignation and Your wrath,
For You have lifted me up and thrown me away.
My days are like an evening shadow that lengthens and vanishes [with the sun];
And as for me, I wither away like grass.
But You, O Lord, are enthroned forever [ruling eternally as sovereign];
And [the fame and glory of] Your name [endures] to all generations.
You will arise and have compassion on Zion,
For it is time to be gracious and show favor to her;
Yes, the appointed time [the moment designated] has come.
For Your servants find [melancholy] pleasure in the stones [of her ruins]
And feel pity for her dust.
So the nations will fear the name of the Lord,
And all the kings of the earth [will recognize] Your glory.
For the Lord has built up Zion;
He has appeared in His glory and brilliance;
He has regarded the prayer of the destitute,
And has not despised their prayer.
Let this be recorded for the generation to come,
That a people yet to be created will praise the Lord.
For He looked down from His holy height [of His sanctuary],
From heaven the Lord gazed on the earth,
To hear the sighing of the prisoner,
To set free those who were doomed to death,
So that people may declare the name of the Lord in Zion
And His praise in Jerusalem,
When the peoples are gathered together,
And the kingdoms, to serve the Lord.
He has exhausted my strength [humbling me with sorrow] in the way;
He has shortened my days.
I said, “O my God, do not take me away in the midst of my days;
Your years are [eternal] throughout all generations.
“At the beginning You founded the earth;
The heavens are the work of Your hands.
“Even they will perish, but You endure;
Yes, all of them will wear out like a garment.
Like clothing You will change them and they shall be changed.
“But You remain the same,
And Your years will never end.
“The children of Your servants will continue,
And their descendants will be established before You.”