Lamentations 3

Hope through God’s Mercy

‏א‎ Alef

1 I am the man who has seen affliction
under the rod of God’s wrath.
2 He has driven me away and forced me to walk
in darkness instead of light. a
3 Yes, He repeatedly turns His hand
against me all day long.

‏ב‎ Bet

4 He has worn away my flesh and skin; b
He has shattered my bones. c
5 He has laid siege against me, d
encircling me with bitterness and hardship. e
6 He has made me dwell in darkness
like those who have been dead for ages. f

‏ג‎ Gimel

7 He has walled me in so I cannot escape; g
He has weighed me down with chains.
8 Even when I cry out and plead for help,
He rejects my prayer. h
9 He has walled in my ways with cut stones; i
He has made my paths crooked. j

‏ד‎ Dalet

10 He is
Lit is to me
a bear waiting in ambush,
a lion in hiding. l
11 He forced me off my way and tore me to pieces;
He left me desolate.
12 He strung His bow m
and set me as the target for His arrow.

‏ה‎ He

13 He pierced my kidneys
with His arrows. n
14 I am a laughingstock o to all my people,
Some Hb mss, LXX, Vg; other Hb mss, Syr read all peoples

mocked by their songs q all day long.
15 He filled me with bitterness,
satiated me with
wormwood: A small shrub used as a medicinal herb, noted for its bitter taste
wormwood. s

‏ו‎ Vav

16 He ground my teeth on gravel t
and made me cower
Or and trampled me
in the dust.
17 My soul has been deprived
Syr, Vg; MT reads You deprived my soul
of peace; w
I have forgotten what happiness is.
18 Then I thought: My future
Or splendor
is lost,
as well as my hope from the Lord.

‏ז‎ Zayin

19 Remember
Or I remember
my affliction and my homelessness, z
the wormwood and the poison. aa
20 I continually remember them
and have become depressed.
Ancient Jewish tradition reads and You cause me to collapse
21 Yet I call this to mind,
and therefore I have hope: ad

‏ח‎ Khet

22 Because of the Lord’s faithful love ae
we do not perish,
One Hb mss, Syr, Tg read The Lord’s faithful love, indeed, does not perish

for His mercies never end.
23 They are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness! ag
24 I say: The Lord is my portion, ah
therefore I will put my hope in Him.

‏ט‎ Tet

25 The Lord is good to those who wait ai for Him,
to the person who seeks Him.
26 It is good to wait quietly aj
for deliverance from the Lord. ak
27 It is good for a man to bear the yoke al
while he is still young.

‏י‎ Yod

28 Let him sit alone and be silent, am
for God has disciplined him.
29 Let him put his mouth in the dust an
perhaps there is still hope.
30 Let him offer his cheek
to the one who would strike him; ao
let him be filled with shame.

‏כ‎ Kaf

31 For the Lord
will not reject us forever.
32 Even if He causes suffering,
He will show compassion
according to His abundant, faithful love. ap
33 For He does not enjoy bringing affliction aq
or suffering on
mankind: Literally sons of man or sons of Adam

‏ל‎ Lamed

34 Crushing all the prisoners of the land
Or earth

beneath one’s feet,
35 denying justice to a man at
in the presence of the
Most High: The Hebrew word is Elyon. It is often used with other names of God, such as El (God) or Yahweh (Lord); it is used to refer to God as the supreme being.
Most High,
36 or suppressing a person’s lawsuit av
the Lord does not approve of these things.

‏מ‎ Mem

37 Who is there who speaks and it happens,
unless the Lord has ordained it? aw
38 Do not both adversity and good
come from the mouth of the Most High? ax
39 Why should any living person complain,
any man, because of the punishment for his sins?

‏נ‎ Nun

40 Let us search out and examine our ways,
and turn back to the Lord. ay
41 Let us lift up our hearts and our hands az
to God in heaven:
42 We have sinned and rebelled;
You have not forgiven. ba

‏ס‎ Samek

43 You have covered Yourself in anger and pursued us;
You have killed without compassion. bb
44 You have covered Yourself with a cloud
so that no prayer can pass through. bc
45 You have made us disgusting filth
among the peoples. bd

‏פ‎ Pe

46 All our enemies
open their mouths against us. be
47 We have experienced panic and pitfall, bf
devastation and destruction.
48 My eyes flow with streams of tears
because of the destruction of my dear people.

‏ע‎ Ayin

49 My eyes overflow unceasingly,
without end, bg
50 until the Lord looks down
from heaven and sees. bh
51 My eyes bring me grief
because of the fate of all the women in my city.

‏צ‎ Tsade

52 For no apparent reason, my enemies
Or Those who were my enemies for no reason

hunted me like a bird. bj
53 They dropped me alive into
Or They ended my life in; Hb obscure
a pit bl
and threw stones at me.
54 Water flooded over my head, bm
and I thought: I’m going to die! bn

‏ק‎ Qof

55 I called on Your name,
Yahweh/Yah: Or The Lord; the personal name of God in Hebrew; "Yah" is the shortened form of the name.
from the depths of the
Pit: Either the grave or the realm of the dead
Pit. bq
56 You hear my plea:
Do not ignore my cry for relief.
57 You come near when I call on You;
You say: “Do not be afraid.”

‏ר‎ Resh

58 You defend my cause, Lord; br
You redeem my life. bs
59 Lord, You see the wrong done to me;
judge my case.
60 You see all their malice,
all their plots against me. bt

‏ׂש‎ Sin/ ‏ׁש‎ Shin

61 Lord, You hear their insults, bu
all their plots against me.
62 The slander
Lit lips
and murmuring of my opponents
attack me all day long.
63 When they sit and when they rise, look,
I am mocked by their songs. bw

‏ת‎ Tav

64 You will pay them back what they deserve, Lord,
according to the work of their hands. bx
65 You will give them a heart filled with anguish.
Or them an obstinate heart; Hb obscure
May Your curse be on them!
66 You will pursue them in anger and destroy them
under Your heavens.
LXX, Syr, Vg read heavens, Lord
Lit under the Lord’s heavens
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