Lamentations 3:23
They are new every morning: great is your faithfulness.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(23) They are new.—The subject of the sentence is found in the “compassions” of the preceding verse. With the dawn of every day there dawn also the mercies of Jehovah.

3:21-36 Having stated his distress and temptation, the prophet shows how he was raised above it. Bad as things are, it is owing to the mercy of God that they are not worse. We should observe what makes for us, as well as what is against us. God's compassions fail not; of this we have fresh instances every morning. Portions on earth are perishing things, but God is a portion for ever. It is our duty, and will be our comfort and satisfaction, to hope and quietly to wait for the salvation of the Lord. Afflictions do and will work very much for good: many have found it good to bear this yoke in their youth; it has made many humble and serious, and has weaned them from the world, who otherwise would have been proud and unruly. If tribulation work patience, that patience will work experience, and that experience a hope that makes not ashamed. Due thoughts of the evil of sin, and of our own sinfulness, will convince us that it is of the Lord's mercies we are not consumed. If we cannot say with unwavering voice, The Lord is my portion; may we not say, I desire to have Him for my portion and salvation, and in his word do I hope? Happy shall we be, if we learn to receive affliction as laid upon us by the hand of God.Verses 22-42 are the center of the present poem, as it also holds the central place in the whole series of the Lamentations. In them the riches of God's grace and mercy are set forth in the brightest colors, but no sooner are they ended than the prophet resumes the language of woe.

That we - He is speaking as the representative of all sufferers.

23. (Isa 33:2). These compassions of God are renewed day by day, to declare the great faithfulness of God in fulfilling his many promises made for mercy to his people. They are new every morning,.... That is, the tender mercies or compassions of God are, which prove that they fail not; there are instances of them every day, not only in a temporal, but in a spiritual sense; they are ever new, always fresh and vigorous, constant and perpetual; such are the love, grace, and mercy of God, though of old, yet daily renewed in the manifestations thereof; and which make a morning of spiritual light, joy, and comfort; and whenever it is morning with the saints, they have new discoveries of the love of God to them; and these indeed are a bright morning to them, a morning without clouds;

great is thy faithfulness; some render it "thy faith concerning thee" (y); this is a great grace, it is the gift of God, the operation of his Spirit, and to exercise it is a great thing; to this purpose is Jarchi's note,

"great is thy promise, and a great thing it is to believe in thee, that it shall be performed, and that thou wilt observe or keep what thou hast promised to us;''

but the attribute of God's faithfulness is rather meant; which is another reason why the people of God are not consumed, since that never fails; God is faithful to himself, and cannot deny himself; he is faithful to his counsels and purposes, which shall be truly accomplished; and to his covenant and promises, which shall be fulfilled; and to his Son, the surety and Saviour of his people.

(y) "fides tua", V. L. Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "fides quae est de te", Pagninus.

They are new {k} every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

(k) We feel your benefits daily.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
In Lamentations 3:17 and Lamentations 3:18 the speaker, in his lamentation, gives expression to that disposition of his heart which has been produced by the misery that has befallen him to so fearful an extent. He has quite given up hopes of attaining safety and prosperity, and his hope in the Lord is gone. In Lamentations 3:17 it is a question whether תּזנח is second or third pers. of the imperf. Following the lxx, who give the rendering ἀπώσατο ἐξ εἰρήνης ψυχήν μου, Rosenmller, Gesenius, De Wette, and Ngelsbach consider זנח transitive, as in Deuteronomy 2:7, and take תּזנח as of the second pers.: "Thou didst reject my soul (me) from peace." But to this view of the words there is the decided objection, that neither before nor after is there any direct address to Jahveh, and that the verbs which immediately follow stand in the first person, and succeed the first clause appropriately enough, provided we take נפשׁי as the subject to תּזנח (third pers.). זנח has both a transitive and an intransitive meaning in Kal; cf. Hosea 8:3 (trans.) and Hosea 8:5 (intrans.). Ngelsbach has no ground for casting doubt on the intrans. meaning in Hosea 8:5. Moreover, the objection that the passage now before us is a quotation from Psalm 88:15 (Ngelsbach) does not prove that תּזנח נפשׁי is to be taken in the same sense here as in that passage: "O Jahveh, Thou despisest my soul." By adding משּׁלום, Jeremiah has made an independent reproduction of that passage in the Psalms, if he had it before his mind. This addition does not permit of our attaching a transitive sense to תּזנח, for the verb means to despise, not to reject; hence we cannot render the words, "Thou didst reject my soul from peace." The meaning of the clause is not "my soul loathes prosperity," as it is rendered by Thenius, who further gives the sense as follows: "I had such a thorough disgust for life, that I had no longer the least desire for prosperity." As Gerlach has already remarked, this explanation neither harmonizes with the meaning of שׁלום, not with the expression of doubt in the following verse, which implies a very lively "sense of the prosperous;" moreover, it has no good lexical basis. The fundamental meaning of זנח is to stink, be rancid, from which comes the metaphorical one of instilling disgust, - not, feeling disgust (Hosea 8:5), - and further, that of despising. The meaning "to instil disgust" does not suit this passage, but only that of being despised. "My soul is despised of prosperity," i.e., so that it shares not in prosperity; with this accords the intransitive use of the Hiphil הזניח with מן, 2 Chronicles 11:14. The Vulgate, which does not catch the idea of זנח so exactly, renders the passage by expulsa est a pace anima mea. To this there are appropriately joined the words, "I have forgotten good" (good fortune), because I constantly experience nothing but misfortune; and not less appropriate is the expression of doubt, "I say (i.e., I think) my strength and my hope from Jahveh is gone (vanished)," i.e., my strength is worn out through suffering, and I have nothing more to hope for from Jahveh. Starting from the fundamental idea of stability, permanence, נצח, according to the traditional explanation, means vigor, strength; then, by a metaphor, vis vitalis, Isaiah 63:3, Isaiah 63:6, - not trust (Rosenmller, Thenius, Ngelsbach, etc.), in support of which we are pointed to 1 Samuel 15:29, but without sufficient reason; see Delitzsch on Isaiah, l.c. The complaint here attains its deepest and worst. The complainant in his thoughts has gone far from God, and is on the very verge of despair. But here also begins the turning-point. When for the first time he utters the name of God in the expression "my hope from Jahveh," he shows that Jahveh is to him also still the ground of hope and trust. Hence also he not merely complains, "my strength is gone," etc., but introduces this thought with the words ואמר, "I said," sc. in my heart, i.e., I thought, "my strength is gone, and my hope from Jahveh lost," i.e., vanished. The mention of the name Jahveh, i.e., the Covenant-God, keeps him from sinking into despair, and urges him not to let go his trust on the Lord, so that he can now (in what follows) complain to the Lord of his state of distress, and beseech His help.
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