Lamentations Chapter 3-5 : English Standard Version   | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

Other Versions3 Great Is Your Faithfulness

3:1 I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of his wrath; 2he has driven and brought me into darkness without any light; 3surely against me he turns his hand again and again the whole day long.

4He has made my flesh and my skin waste away; he has broken my bones; 5he has besieged and enveloped me with bitterness and tribulation; 6he has made me dwell in darkness like the dead of long ago.

7He has walled me about so that I cannot escape; he has made my chains heavy; 8though I call and cry for help, he shuts out my prayer; 9he has blocked my ways with blocks of stones; he has made my paths crooked.

10He is a bear lying in wait for me, a lion in hiding; 11he turned aside my steps and tore me to pieces; he has made me desolate; 12he bent his bow and set me as a target for his arrow.

13He drove into my kidneys the arrows of his quiver; 14I have become the laughingstock of all peoples, the object of their taunts all day long. 15He has filled me with bitterness; he has sated me with wormwood.

16He has made my teeth grind on gravel, and made me cower in ashes; 17my soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness[1] is; 18so I say, “My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the Lord.”

19Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! 20My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. 21But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:

22The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;[2] his mercies never come to an end; 23they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

25The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. 26It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. 27It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.

28Let him sit alone in silence when it is laid on him; 29let him put his mouth in the dust— there may yet be hope; 30let him give his cheek to the one who strikes, and let him be filled with insults.

31For the Lord will not cast off forever, 32but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; 33for he does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men.

34To crush underfoot all the prisoners of the earth, 35to deny a man justice in the presence of the Most High, 36to subvert a man in his lawsuit, the Lord does not approve.

37Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it? 38Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come? 39Why should a living man complain, a man, about the punishment of his sins?

40Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord! 41Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven: 42“We have transgressed and rebelled, and you have not forgiven.

43“You have wrapped yourself with anger and pursued us, killing without pity; 44you have wrapped yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can pass through. 45You have made us scum and garbage among the peoples.

46“All our enemies open their mouths against us; 47panic and pitfall have come upon us, devastation and destruction; 48my eyes flow with rivers of tears because of the destruction of the daughter of my people.

49“My eyes will flow without ceasing, without respite, 50until the Lord from heaven looks down and sees; 51my eyes cause me grief at the fate of all the daughters of my city.

52“I have been hunted like a bird by those who were my enemies without cause; 53they flung me alive into the pit and cast stones on me; 54water closed over my head; I said, ‘I am lost.’

55“I called on your name, O Lord, from the depths of the pit; 56you heard my plea, ‘Do not close your ear to my cry for help!’ 57You came near when I called on you; you said, ‘Do not fear!’

58“You have taken up my cause, O Lord; you have redeemed my life. 59You have seen the wrong done to me, O Lord; judge my cause. 60You have seen all their vengeance, all their plots against me.

61“You have heard their taunts, O Lord, all their plots against me. 62The lips and thoughts of my assailants are against me all the day long. 63Behold their sitting and their rising; I am the object of their taunts.

64“You will repay them,[3] O Lord, according to the work of their hands. 65You will give them[4] dullness of heart; your curse will be[5] on them. 66You will pursue them[6] in anger and destroy them from under your heavens, O Lord.”[7]

[1] Hebrew good  [2] Syriac, Targum; Hebrew Because of the steadfast love of the Lord, we are not cut off  [3] Or Repay them  [4] Or Give them  [5] Or Place your curse  [6] Or Pursue them  [7] Syriac (compare Septuagint, Vulgate); Hebrew the heavens of the Lord

4 The Holy Stones Lie Scattered

4:1 How the gold has grown dim, how the pure gold is changed! The holy stones lie scattered at the head of every street.

2The precious sons of Zion, worth their weight in fine gold, how they are regarded as earthen pots, the work of a potter’s hands!

3Even jackals offer the breast; they nurse their young, but the daughter of my people has become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness.

4The tongue of the nursing infant sticks to the roof of its mouth for thirst; the children beg for food, but no one gives to them.

5Those who once feasted on delicacies perish in the streets; those who were brought up in purple embrace ash heaps.

6For the chastisement[8] of the daughter of my people has been greater than the punishment[9] of Sodom, which was overthrown in a moment, and no hands were wrung for her.[10]

7Her princes were purer than snow, whiter than milk; their bodies were more ruddy than coral, the beauty of their form[11] was like sapphire.[12]

8Now their face is blacker than soot; they are not recognized in the streets; their skin has shriveled on their bones; it has become as dry as wood.

9Happier were the victims of the sword than the victims of hunger, who wasted away, pierced by lack of the fruits of the field.

10The hands of compassionate women have boiled their own children; they became their food during the destruction of the daughter of my people.

11The Lord gave full vent to his wrath; he poured out his hot anger, and he kindled a fire in Zion that consumed its foundations.

12The kings of the earth did not believe, nor any of the inhabitants of the world, that foe or enemy could enter the gates of Jerusalem.

13This was for the sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests, who shed in the midst of her the blood of the righteous.

14They wandered, blind, through the streets; they were so defiled with blood that no one was able to touch their garments.

15“Away! Unclean!” people cried at them. “Away! Away! Do not touch!” So they became fugitives and wanderers; people said among the nations, “They shall stay with us no longer.”

16The Lord himself[13] has scattered them; he will regard them no more; no honor was shown to the priests, no favor to the elders.

17Our eyes failed, ever watching vainly for help; in our watching we watched for a nation which could not save.

18They dogged our steps so that we could not walk in our streets; our end drew near; our days were numbered, for our end had come.

19Our pursuers were swifter than the eagles in the heavens; they chased us on the mountains; they lay in wait for us in the wilderness.

20The breath of our nostrils, the Lord’s anointed, was captured in their pits, of whom we said, “Under his shadow we shall live among the nations.”

21Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, you who dwell in the land of Uz; but to you also the cup shall pass; you shall become drunk and strip yourself bare.

22The punishment of your iniquity, O daughter of Zion, is accomplished; he will keep you in exile no longer;[14] but your iniquity, O daughter of Edom, he will punish; he will uncover your sins.

[8] Or iniquity  [9] Or sin  [10] The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain  [11] The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain  [12] Hebrew lapis lazuli  [13] Hebrew The face of the Lord  [14] Or he will not exile you again

5 Restore Us to Yourself, O Lord

5:1 Remember, O Lord, what has befallen us; look, and see our disgrace! 2Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers, our homes to foreigners. 3We have become orphans, fatherless; our mothers are like widows. 4We must pay for the water we drink; the wood we get must be bought. 5Our pursuers are at our necks;[15] we are weary; we are given no rest. 6We have given the hand to Egypt, and to Assyria, to get bread enough. 7Our fathers sinned, and are no more; and we bear their iniquities. 8Slaves rule over us; there is none to deliver us from their hand. 9We get our bread at the peril of our lives, because of the sword in the wilderness. 10Our skin is hot as an oven with the burning heat of famine. 11Women are raped in Zion, young women in the towns of Judah. 12Princes are hung up by their hands; no respect is shown to the elders. 13Young men are compelled to grind at the mill, and boys stagger under loads of wood. 14The old men have left the city gate, the young men their music. 15The joy of our hearts has ceased; our dancing has been turned to mourning. 16The crown has fallen from our head; woe to us, for we have sinned! 17For this our heart has become sick, for these things our eyes have grown dim, 18for Mount Zion which lies desolate; jackals prowl over it. 19But you, O Lord, reign forever; your throne endures to all generations. 20Why do you forget us forever, why do you forsake us for so many days? 21Restore us to yourself, O Lord, that we may be restored! Renew our days as of old— 22unless you have utterly rejected us, and you remain exceedingly angry with us.

[15] Symmachus With a yoke on our necks

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