Lamentations 3:20
My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(20) My soul hath . . .—The verb, as in Lamentations 3:17, may be either in the second person or the third; the former gives, Thou wilt surely remember that my soul is humbled. Psalm 42:4 supports the Authorised version.

3:1-20 The prophet relates the more gloomy and discouraging part of his experience, and how he found support and relief. In the time of his trial the Lord had become terrible to him. It was an affliction that was misery itself; for sin makes the cup of affliction a bitter cup. The struggle between unbelief and faith is often very severe. But the weakest believer is wrong, if he thinks that his strength and hope are perished from the Lord.Remembering - Or, as in the margin. It is a prayer to Yahweh.

My misery - Or, "my" homelessness (Lamentations 1:7 note).

20. As often as my soul calls them to remembrance, it is humbled or bowed down in me. That is, I cannot forget them, and the thoughts of them sink my spirits.

My soul hath them still in remembrance,.... That is, according to our version, affliction and misery, compared to wormwood and gall: but the words, "my soul", are fetched from the next clause, where they ought to stand, and this to be rendered, "in remembering thou wilt remember" (t); or, "thou wilt surely remember", and so expresses the confidence of the prophet, and his firm belief, his faith and hope increasing in prayer, that God would in much mercy remember his people, and their afflictions, and save them out of them:

and is humbled in me; both under the afflicting hand of God, and in view and hope of his mercy: though rather it should be rendered, "and" or "for my soul meditateth within me" (u); says or suggests such things to me, that God will in wrath remember mercy; see Psalm 77:7. So Jarchi makes mention of a Midrash, that interprets it of his soul's waiting till the time that God remembers.

(t) "recordando recordaberis", Luther, Michaelis. (u) "meditatur apud me anima mea", Junius & Tremellius; "et animo meo meditor", Castalio.

My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled {h} in me.

(h) He shows that God thus uses to exercise his, to the intent that by this they may know themselves, and feel his mercies.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 20. - My soul, etc. This rendering is difficult. In the next verse we read, "This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope," which seems inconsistent with ver. 20 as given in the Authorized Version. An equally grammatical and still more obvious translation is, Thou (O God!) wilt surely remember, for my soul is bowed down within me. The latter part of the line is a reminiscence of Psalm 42:5, at least, if the text be correct, for the closing words do not cohere well with the opening ones. The Peshito (Syriac) has, "Remember, and revive [literally, 'cause to return'] my soul within me," which involves a slightly different reading of one word. But more tempting than any other view of the meaning is that of Bickell, though it involves a correction and an insertion, "My soul remembereth well and meditateth on thy faithfulness." Lamentations 3:20The view taken of this verse will depend on the answer to the question whether תּזכר is second or third pers. fem. Following in the wake of Luther ("Thou wilt assuredly think thereon"), C. B. Michaelis, Pareau, Rosenmller, and Kalkschmidt take it as second pers.: "Think, yea, think wilt Thou, that my soul is bowed down in me," or "that my soul is at rest within me" (Ngelsbach). But it is impossible to maintain either of these views in the face of the language employed. To take the ו before תּשׁיח in the meaning of quod is characterized by Ngelsbach as an arbitrary procedure, unwarranted either by Genesis 30:27 or Ezekiel 13:11; but neither can the meaning of resting, being at east, which is attributed to שׁוּח or שׁיח by that writer, be established. The verb means to sink down, Proverbs 2:18, and metaphorically, to be bowed down, Psalm 44:26. The latter meaning is required in the present passage, from the simple fact that the sentence undeniably refers to Psalm 42:6.

(Note: Luther's translation, "for my soul tells me," is founded on the circumstance that the lxx have mistaken שׁיח for שׂיח: καταδολεσχήσει ἐπ ̓ ἐμὲ ἡ ψυχή μου.)

ותּשׁיח expresses the consequence of זכר תּזכר, which therefore can only be the third pers., and "my soul" the subject of both clauses; for there is no logical consecution of the meaning given by such a rendering as, "If Thou wilt remember, my soul shall be bowed within me." The expression, "If my soul duly meditates thereon (on the deep suffering), it becomes depressed within me," forms the foundation of the request that God would think of his distress, his misery; and Lamentations 3:21, "I will lay this to heart," connects itself with the leading thought set forth in Lamentations 3:19, the reason for which is given in Lamentations 3:20, viz., that my soul is only bowed down within me over the thought of my distress, and must complain of it to God, that He may think of it and alleviate it: This will I lay to heart and set my hope upon. על־כּן is a strong inferential expression: "therefore," because God alone can help, will I hope. This self-encouragement begins with Lamentations 3:22, inasmuch as the prophet strengthens his hope by a consideration of the infinite compassion of the Lord. (It is) חסדי, "the mercies of God," i.e., proofs of His mercy (cf. Psalm 89:2; Psalm 107:43; Isaiah 63:7), "that we are not utterly consumed," as Luther and similarly our English translators have excellently rendered תּמנוּ. This form stands for תּמּונוּ, as in Jeremiah 44:18; Numbers 17:1-13 :28, not for תּמּוּ, third pers., as Pareau, Thenius, Vaihinger, and Ewald, referring to his Grammar, 84, b, would take it. The proofs of the grace of God have their foundation in His compassion, from which they flow. In Lamentations 3:23 we take חסדי as the subject of חדשׁים; it is the proofs of the grace of God that are new every morning, not "His compassions," although the idea remains the same. לבּקרים, every morning, as in Isaiah 33:2; Psalm 73:14. Ubi sol et dies oritur, simul et radii hujus inexhaustae bonitatis erumpunt (Tarnovius in Rosenmller). The consciousness of this constant renewal of the divine favour impels to the prayerful exclamation, "great is Thy faithfulness;" cf. Psalm 36:6.

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