Lamentations 3
International Standard Version

The LORD’s Purposes for Affliction

1I am a man familiar with affliction—

under the rod of God’sa anger.

2He has led me—brought me

into darkness, not into light.

3He truly turned his hand against me,

again and again, all day long.

4He made my flesh and skin prematurely old;

he broke my bones.

5He laid siege against me,

surrounding me with bitterness and suffering.

6He has forced me to live in darkness,

like those who are long dead.

7He has walled me in so I cannot escape;

he placed heavy chains on me.

8Indeed, when I cry out, calling for help,

he shuts out my prayer.

9He impeded my way with blocks of stone,

making my paths uneven.

10He is likeb a bear that lies in wait for me,

a lion in hiding.

11He forced me off my path,

tearing me to pieces and making me desolate.

12He bent his bow,

aiming at me with his arrow.

13He caused his war arrowsc

to pierce my vital organs.

14I have become a laughingstock to all my people,

the object of their taunts throughout the day.

15He has filled me with bitterness,

making me drink wormwood.

16He broke my teeth on gravel,

covering me with dust.

17You have removed peace from my life;

I have forgotten what prosperity is.d

18So I say, “My strength is gone

as is my hope in the LORD.”

19Remember my affliction and homelessness—

wormwood and gall!

20My mind keeps reflecting on it,

and I become depressed.e

21This is what comes to mind,

and therefore I have hope:

22Because of the LORD’s gracious love we are not consumed,

since his compassions never end.

23They are new every morning—

great is your faithfulness!

24“The LORD is all I have,”f says my soul,

“Therefore I will trust in him.”

25The LORD is good to those who wait for him,

to the person who searches for him.

26It is good to hope and wait patiently

for the LORD’s salvation.

27It is good when a young man carries the yoke

of disciplineg in his youth.

28He is to sit apart and remain silent,

because the LORDh has laid it upon him.

29Let him fall face down in the dust,

so there may yet be hope.

30He will endure being slapped in the face,

bringing him public disgrace.

31Indeed, the Lord will not always

reject usi

32though he causes grief,

his compassion abounds according to his gracious love.

33For he does not deliberately hurt

or grieve human beings.

34When any of the prisoners of the earth

are crushed underfoot,

35when a person’s rights are perverted

in defiance of the Most High.

36When a man is thwarted in his appeal,

does the Lord condonej it?

37Who can command, and it happens,

without the Lord having ordered it?

38Do not both good and evil things proceed

from the mouth of the Most High?

39Why should anyone living complain,

any mortal, about being punished for sin?

40Let us examine our lifestyles,

putting them to the test,

and turn back to the LORD.

41Let us lift up our hearts

and our hands

to God in heaven.

42As for us, we have sinned and rebelled;

but you have not pardoned us.k

43Clothing yourself with anger, you pursued us.

You killed without pity,

44You covered yourself with a cloud

that prayer cannot pierce.

45You have reduced us to scum and garbage

among the nations.l

46All our enemies

jeer at us with gaping mouths.

47Panic and pitfalls beset us,

along with devastation and ruin.

48My eyes run with rivers of tears

over the destruction of my cherishedm people.

49My tears pourn down ceaselessly;

I am far from relief

50until the LORD bends down

to see from heaven.

51What I seeo grieves my soul

because of all the young womenp of my city.

52My enemies hunted me like a bird,

viciously and without justification.

53They dumped me alive into a pit,

sealing me in with stone.q

54Water closed over my head,

and I said, “I’m a dead man.”r

55I called on your name, LORD,

from the depths of the Pit,s

56You heard my voice—

don’t close your ear to my sighs and cries.t

57You drew near when I called out to you.

You said, “Stop being afraid”

58Lord, you have defended my cause;

you have redeemed my life.

59LORD, you observed how I have been wronged;

now make your ruling in my case.

60You examined their plans for vengeance,

all of their plots against me.

61LORD, you listened to their insults—

all their plots against me,

62the whisperings of my opponents,

their scheming against me all day long.

63Watch! Whether they sit down or stand up,

they mock me with their songs.

64Pay them back, LORD,

according to their actions.

65Give them an anguished heart;

may your curse be upon them!

66Pursue them in your anger

and destroy them from under the LORD’s heaven.


Footnotes:
a 3:1 Lit. his
b 3:10 The Heb. lacks like
c 3:13 Lit. caused the sons of his arrows
d 3:17 Lit. forgotten prosperity
e 3:20 Lit. and sinks within me
f 3:24 Lit. is my portion
g 3:27 The Heb. lacks of discipline
h 3:28 Lit. because he
i 3:31 The Heb. lacks us
j 3:36 Lit. see
k 3:42 The Heb. lacks us
l 3:45 Or peoples
m 3:48 Lit. of the daughter of
n 3:49 Lit. My eye pours
o 3:51 Lit. My eye
p 3:51 Lit. the daughters
q 3:53 Lit. pit, casting a stone at me
r 3:54 Lit. “I’m cut off.”
s 3:55 i.e. the place of punishment in the afterlife
t 3:56 Lit. my relief, to my cry



The Holy Bible: International Standard Version® Release 2.1
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