Lamentations 3

Jeremiah Shares Israel’s Misery

I am the man who has seen misery
Because of the rod of His wrath.
He has driven me and made me walk
In darkness and not in light.
Indeed, He has turned His hand against me
Repeatedly all the day.
He has consumed my flesh and my skin,
He has broken my bones.
He has [a]besieged and surrounded me with [b]bitterness and hardship.
He has made me live in dark places,
Like those who have long been dead.
He has walled me in so that I cannot go out;
He has made my [c]chain heavy.
Even when I cry out and call for help,
He shuts out my prayer.
He has blocked my ways with cut stone;
He has twisted my paths.
10 He is to me like a bear lying in wait,
Like a lion in secret places.
11 He has made my ways deviate, and torn me to pieces;
He has made me desolate.
12 He bent His bow
And took aim at me as a target for the arrow.
13 He made the [d]arrows of His quiver
Enter my [e]inward parts.
14 I have become a laughingstock to all my people,
Their song of ridicule all the day.
15 He has filled me with bitterness,
He has made me drink plenty of wormwood.
16 He has also made my teeth grind with gravel;
He has made me cower in the dust.
17 My soul has been excluded from peace;
I have forgotten [f]happiness.
18 So I say, “My [g]strength has failed,
And so has my hope from the Lord.”

Hope of Relief in God’s Mercy

19 Remember my misery and my homelessness, the wormwood and [h]bitterness.
20 My soul certainly remembers,
And [i]is bent over within me.
21 I recall this to my mind,
Therefore I [j]wait.
22 [k]The Lords acts of mercy indeed do not end,
For His compassions do not fail.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I [l]wait for Him.”
25 The Lord is good to those who [m]await Him,
To the [n]person who seeks Him.
26 It is good that he waits silently
For the salvation of the Lord.
27 It is good for a man to bear
The yoke in his youth.
28 Let him sit alone and keep quiet,
Since He has laid it on him.
29 Let him [o]put his mouth in the dust;
Perhaps there is hope.
30 Let him give his cheek to the one who is going to strike him;
Let him be filled with shame.
31 For the Lord will not reject forever,
32 For if He causes grief,
Then He will have compassion
In proportion to His abundant mercy.
33 For He does not [p]afflict [q]willingly
Or [r]grieve the sons of mankind.
34 To crush under [s]one’s feet
All the prisoners of the [t]land,
35 To [u]deprive a man of justice
In the presence of the Most High,
36 To [v]defraud someone in his lawsuit—
Of these things the Lord does not [w]approve.
37 Who is [x]there who speaks and it comes to pass,
Unless the Lord has commanded it?
38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
That [y]both adversity and good proceed?

39 Of what can any living [z]mortal, or any man,
Complain [aa]in view of his sins?
40 Let’s examine and search out our ways,
And let’s return to the Lord.
41 We raise our heart [ab]and hands
Toward God in heaven;
42 We have done wrong and rebelled;
You have not pardoned.
43 You have covered Yourself with anger
And pursued us;
You have slain and have not spared.
44 You have veiled Yourself with a cloud
So that no prayer can pass through.
45 You have made us mere refuse and rubbish
In the midst of the peoples.
46 All our enemies have opened their mouths against us.
47 Panic and pitfall have come upon us,
Devastation and destruction;
48 My [ac]eyes run down with streams of water
Because of the destruction of the daughter of my people.
49 My eyes flow unceasingly,
Without stopping,
50 Until the Lord looks down
And sees from heaven.
51 My eyes bring pain to my soul
Because of all the daughters of my city.
52 My enemies without reason
Hunted me down like a bird;
53 They have silenced [ad]me in the pit
And have [ae]thrown stones on me.
54 Waters flowed over my head;
I said, “I am [af]cut off!”
55 I called on Your name, Lord,
Out of the lowest pit.
56 You have heard my voice,
“Do not cover Your ear from my plea for relief,
From my cry for help.”
57 You came near on the day I called to You;
You said, “Do not fear!”
58 Lord, You have pleaded my soul’s cause;
You have redeemed my life.
59 Lord, You have seen my oppression;
Judge my case.
60 You have seen all their vengeance,
All their schemes against me.
61 You have heard their reproach, Lord,
All their schemes against me.
62 The lips of my assailants and their talk
Are against me all day long.
63 Look at their [ag]sitting and their rising;
I am their mocking song.
64 You will repay them, Lord,
In accordance with the work of their hands.
65 You will give them [ah]shamelessness of heart,
Your curse will be on them.
66 You will pursue them in anger and eliminate them
From under the heavens of the Lord!


  1. Lamentations 3:5 Lit built against
  2. Lamentations 3:5 Lit poison
  3. Lamentations 3:7 Lit bronze piece
  4. Lamentations 3:13 Lit sons
  5. Lamentations 3:13 Lit kidneys
  6. Lamentations 3:17 Lit good
  7. Lamentations 3:18 Or splendor
  8. Lamentations 3:19 Lit poison
  9. Lamentations 3:20 Or bows down
  10. Lamentations 3:21 Lit have hope
  11. Lamentations 3:22 As in ancient versions; MT It is...mercy that we do not end
  12. Lamentations 3:24 Or hope in
  13. Lamentations 3:25 Or hope in
  14. Lamentations 3:25 Lit soul
  15. Lamentations 3:29 Lit give
  16. Lamentations 3:33 Or oppress
  17. Lamentations 3:33 Lit from His heart
  18. Lamentations 3:33 Or torment
  19. Lamentations 3:34 Lit his
  20. Lamentations 3:34 Or earth
  21. Lamentations 3:35 Or turn aside a man’s case
  22. Lamentations 3:36 Lit bend
  23. Lamentations 3:36 Lit see
  24. Lamentations 3:37 Lit this
  25. Lamentations 3:38 Lit the evil things and the good
  26. Lamentations 3:39 Or human being
  27. Lamentations 3:39 Or on the basis of
  28. Lamentations 3:41 Lit toward our
  29. Lamentations 3:48 Lit eye goes down
  30. Lamentations 3:53 Lit my life
  31. Lamentations 3:53 Or thrown a stone
  32. Lamentations 3:54 Or destroyed
  33. Lamentations 3:63 I.e., daily activities
  34. Lamentations 3:65 Or insanity