The Prophet’s Anguish and Hope
3 I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of His wrath.
2 He has led me and made me walk
In darkness and not in light.
3 Surely He has turned His hand against me
Time and time again throughout the day.
4 He has aged my flesh and my skin,
And broken my bones.
5 He has besieged me
And surrounded me with bitterness and [a]woe.
6 He has set me in dark places
Like the dead of long ago.
7 He has hedged me in so that I cannot get out;
He has made my chain heavy.
8 Even when I cry and shout,
He shuts out my prayer.
9 He has blocked my ways with hewn stone;
He has made my paths crooked.
10 He has been to me a bear lying in wait,
Like a lion in [b]ambush.
11 He has turned aside my ways and torn me in pieces;
He has made me desolate.
12 He has bent His bow
And set me up as a target for the arrow.
13 He has caused the [c]arrows of His quiver
To pierce my [d]loins.
14 I have become the ridicule of all my people—
Their taunting song all the day.
15 He has filled me with bitterness,
He has made me drink wormwood.
16 He has also broken my teeth with gravel,
And [e]covered me with ashes.
17 You have moved my soul far from peace;
I have forgotten [f]prosperity.
18 And I said, “My strength and my hope
Have perished from the Lord.”
19 Remember my affliction and roaming,
The wormwood and the [g]gall.
20 My soul still remembers
And [h]sinks within me.
21 This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.
22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”
25 The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.
26 It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
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 silent,
Because God has laid it on him;
29 Let him put his mouth in the dust—
There may yet be hope.
30 Let him give his cheek to the one who strikes him,
And be full of reproach.
31 For the Lord will not cast off forever.
32 Though He causes grief,
Yet He will show compassion
According to the multitude of His mercies.
33 For He does not afflict [i]willingly,
Nor grieve the children of men.
34 To crush under one’s feet
All the prisoners of the earth,
35 To turn aside the justice due a man
Before the face of the Most High,
36 Or subvert a man in his cause—
The Lord does not approve.
37 Who is he who speaks and it comes to pass,
When the Lord has not commanded it?
38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
That woe and well-being proceed?
39 Why should a living man [j]complain,
A man for the punishment of his sins?
40 Let us search out and examine our ways,
And turn back to the Lord;
41 Let us lift our hearts and hands
To God in heaven.
42 We have transgressed and rebelled;
You have not pardoned.
43 You have covered Yourself with anger
And pursued us;
You have slain and not pitied.
44 You have covered Yourself with a cloud,
That prayer should not pass through.
45 You have made us an offscouring and refuse
In the midst of the peoples.
46 All our enemies
Have opened their mouths against us.
47 Fear and a snare have come upon us,
Desolation and destruction.
48 My eyes overflow with rivers of water
For the destruction of the daughter of my people.
49 My eyes flow and do not cease,
50 Till the Lord from heaven
Looks down and sees.
51 My eyes bring suffering to my soul
Because of all the daughters of my city.
52 My enemies without cause
Hunted me down like a bird.
53 They [k]silenced my life in the pit
And threw [l]stones at me.
54 The waters flowed over my head;
I said, “I am cut off!”
55 I called on Your name, O Lord,
From the lowest pit.
56 You have heard my voice:
“Do not hide Your ear
From my sighing, from my cry for help.”
57 You drew near on the day I called on You,
And said, “Do not fear!”
58 O Lord, You have pleaded the case for my soul;
You have redeemed my life.
59 O Lord, You have seen [m]how I am wronged;
Judge my case.
60 You have seen all their vengeance,
All their schemes against me.
61 You have heard their reproach, O Lord,
All their schemes against me,
62 The lips of my enemies
And their whispering against me all the day.
63 Look at their sitting down and their rising up;
I am their taunting song.
64 Repay them, O Lord,
According to the work of their hands.
65 Give them [n]a veiled heart;
Your curse be upon them!
66 In Your anger,
Pursue and destroy them
From under the heavens of the Lord.
- Lamentations 3:5 hardship or weariness
- Lamentations 3:10 Lit. secret places
- Lamentations 3:13 Lit. sons of
- Lamentations 3:13 Lit. kidneys
- Lamentations 3:16 Lit. bent me down in
- Lamentations 3:17 Lit. good
- Lamentations 3:19 bitterness
- Lamentations 3:20 Lit. bowed down
- Lamentations 3:33 Lit. from His heart
- Lamentations 3:39 Or murmur
- Lamentations 3:53 LXX put to death
- Lamentations 3:53 Lit. a stone on
- Lamentations 3:59 Lit. my wrong
- Lamentations 3:65 A Jewish tradition sorrow of