Lamentations 3:1-66 - Israel's Affliction
1 I am [Jeremiah] the man who has seen affliction under the rod of His wrath. 2 He has led me and brought me into darkness and not light. 3 Surely He has turned away from me; His hand is against me all the day.
4 My flesh and my skin has He worn out and made old; He has shattered my bones. 5 He has built up [siege mounds] against me and surrounded me with bitterness, tribulation, and anguish. 6 He has caused me to dwell in dark places like those long dead.
7 He walled me in so that I cannot get out; He has weighted down my chain. 8 Even when I cry and shout for help, He shuts out my prayer. 9 He has enclosed my ways with hewn stone; He has made my paths crooked.
10 He is to me like a bear lying in wait, and like a lion [hiding] in secret places. 11 He has turned me off my ways and pulled me in pieces; He has made me desolate. 12 He has bent His bow and set me as a mark for the arrow.
13 He has caused the arrows of His quiver to enter into my heart [the seat of my affections and desires]. 14 I have become a derision to all my people, and [the subject of] their singsong all the day. 15 He has filled me with bitterness; He has made me drink to excess and until drunken with wormwood [bitterness].
16 He has also broken my teeth with gravel (stones); He has covered me with ashes. 17 And You have bereaved my soul and cast it off far from peace; I have forgotten what good and happiness are. 18 And I say, Perished is my strength and my expectation from the Lord.
19 [O Lord] remember [earnestly] my affliction and my misery, my wandering and my outcast state, the wormwood and the gall. 20 My soul has them continually in remembrance and is bowed down within me. 21 But this I recall and therefore have I hope and expectation:
22 It is because of the Lord's mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness. 24 The Lord is my portion or share, says my living being (my inner self); therefore will I hope in Him and wait expectantly for Him.
25 The Lord is good to those who wait hopefully and expectantly for Him, to those who seek Him [inquire of and for Him and require Him by right of necessity and on the authority of God's word]. 26 It is good that one should hope in and wait quietly for the salvation (the safety and ease) of the Lord. 27 It is good for a man that he should bear the yoke [of divine disciplinary dealings] in his youth.
28 Let him sit alone uncomplaining and keeping silent [in hope], because [God] has laid [the yoke] upon him [for his benefit]. 29 Let him put his mouth in the dust [in abject recognition of his unworthiness] -- "there may yet be hope. 30 Let him give his cheek to the One Who smites him [even through His human agents]; let him be filled [full] with [men's] reproach [in meekness].
31 For the Lord will not cast off forever! 32 But though He causes grief, yet will He be moved to compassion according to the multitude of His loving-kindness and tender mercy. 33 For He does not willingly and from His heart afflict or grieve the children of men.
34 To trample and crush underfoot all the prisoners of the earth, 35 To turn aside and deprive a man of his rights before the face of the Most High or a superior [acting as God's representative], 36 To subvert a man in his cause -- "[of these things] the Lord does not approve.
37 Who is he who speaks and it comes to pass, if the Lord has not authorized and commanded it? 38 Is it not out of the mouth of the Most High that evil and good both proceed [adversity and prosperity, physical evil or misfortune and physical good or happiness]? 39 Why does a living man sigh [one who is still in this life's school of discipline]? [And why does] a man complain for the punishment of his sins?
40 Let us test and examine our ways, and let us return to the Lord! 41 Let us lift up our hearts and our hands [and then with them mount up in prayer] to God in heaven: 42 We have transgressed and rebelled and You have not pardoned.
43 You have covered Yourself with wrath and pursued and afflicted us; You have slain without pity. 44 You have covered Yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can pass through. 45 You have made us offscouring and refuse among the nations.
46 All our enemies have gaped at us and railed against us. 47 Fear and pitfall have come upon us, devastation and destruction. 48 My eyes overflow with streams of tears because of the destruction of the daughter of my people.
49 My eyes overflow continually and will not cease 50 Until the Lord looks down and sees from heaven. 51 My eyes cause me grief at the fate of all the maidens [and the daughter-towns] of my city [Jerusalem].
52 I have been hunted down like a bird by those who were my enemies without cause. 53 They [thought they had] destroyed my life in the dungeon (pit) and cast a stone [over it] above me. 54 The waters ran down on my head; I said, I am gone.
55 I called upon Your name, O Lord, out of the depths [of the mire] of the dungeon. 56 You heard my voice [then]: [Oh] hide not Your ear [now] at my prayer for relief. 57 You drew near on the day I called to You; You said, Fear not.
58 O Lord, You have pleaded the causes of my soul [You have managed my affairs and You have protected my person and my rights]; You have rescued and redeemed my life! 59 O Lord, You have seen my wrong [done to me]; judge and maintain my cause. 60 You have seen all their vengeance, all their devices against me.
61 You have heard their reproach and revilings, O Lord, and all their devices against me -- " 62 The lips and thoughts of my assailants are against me all day long. 63 Look at their sitting down and their rising up [their movements, doings, and secret counsels]; I am their singsong [the subject of their derision and merriment].
64 Render to them a recompense, O Lord, according to the work of their hands. 65 You will give them hardness and blindness of heart; Your curse will be upon them. 66 You will pursue and afflict them in anger and destroy them from under Your heavens, O Lord.