October 23 – Lamentations 3 from the Old Testament

Lamentations 3 – The Prophet Speaks:

א (Alef)

3:1 I am the man who has experienced affliction

from the rod of his wrath.

3:2 He drove me into captivity and made me walk

in darkness and not light.

3:3 He repeatedly attacks me,

he turns his hand against me all day long.

ב (Bet)

3:4 He has made my mortal skin waste away;

he has broken my bones.

3:5 He has besieged and surrounded me

with bitter hardship.

3:6 He has made me reside in deepest darkness

like those who died long ago.

ג (Gimel)

3:7 He has walled me in so that I cannot get out;

he has weighted me down with heavy prison chains.

3:8 Also, when I cry out desperately for help,

he has shut out my prayer.

3:9 He has blocked every road I take with a wall of hewn stones;

he has made every path impassable.

ד (Dalet)

3:10 To me he is like a bear lying in ambush,

like a hidden lion stalking its prey.

3:11 He has obstructed my paths and torn me to pieces;

he has made me desolate.

3:12 He drew his bow and made me

the target for his arrow.

ה (He)

3:13 He shot his arrows

into my heart.

3:14 I have become the laughingstock of all people,

their mocking song all day long.

3:15 He has given me my fill of bitter herbs

and made me drunk with bitterness.

ו (Vav)

3:16 He ground my teeth in gravel;

he trampled me in the dust.

3:17 I am deprived of peace;

I have forgotten what happiness is.

3:18 So I said, “My endurance has expired;

I have lost all hope of deliverance from the Lord.”

ז (Zayin)

3:19 Remember my impoverished and homeless condition,

which is a bitter poison.

3:20 I continually think about this,

and I am depressed.

3:21 But this I call to mind;

therefore I have hope:

ח (Khet)

3:22 The Lord’s loyal kindness never ceases;

his compassions never end.

3:23 They are fresh every morning;

your faithfulness is abundant!

3:24 “My portion is the Lord,” I have said to myself,

so I will put my hope in him.

ט (Tet)

3:25 The Lord is good to those who trust in him,

to the one who seeks him.

3:26 It is good to wait patiently

for deliverance from the Lord.

3:27 It is good for a man

to bear the yoke while he is young.

י (Yod)

3:28 Let a person sit alone in silence,

when the Lord is disciplining him.

3:29 Let him bury his face in the dust;

perhaps there is hope.

3:30 Let him offer his cheek to the one who hits him;

let him have his fill of insults.

כ (Kaf)

3:31 For the Lord will not

reject us forever.

3:32 Though he causes us grief, he then has compassion on us

according to the abundance of his loyal kindness.

3:33 For he is not predisposed to afflict

or to grieve people.

ל (Lamed)

3:34 To crush underfoot

all the earth’s prisoners,

3:35 to deprive a person of his rights

in the presence of the Most High,

3:36 to defraud a person in a lawsuit –

the Lord does not approve of such things!

מ (Mem)

3:37 Whose command was ever fulfilled

unless the Lord decreed it?

3:38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that everything comes –

both calamity and blessing?

3:39 Why should any living person complain

when punished for his sins?

נ (Nun)

3:40 Let us carefully examine our ways,

and let us return to the Lord.

3:41 Let us lift up our hearts and our hands

to God in heaven:

3:42 “We have blatantly rebelled;

you have not forgiven.”

ס (Samek)

3:43 You shrouded yourself with anger and then pursued us;

you killed without mercy.

3:44 You shrouded yourself with a cloud

so that no prayer can get through.

3:45 You make us like filthy scum

in the estimation of the nations.

פ (Pe)

3:46 All our enemies have gloated over us;

3:47 Panic and pitfall have come upon us,

devastation and destruction.

3:48 Streams of tears flow from my eyes

because my people are destroyed.

ע (Ayin)

3:49 Tears flow from my eyes and will not stop;

there will be no break

3:50 until the Lord looks down from heaven

and sees what has happened.

3:51 What my eyes see grieves me –

all the suffering of the daughters in my city.

צ (Tsade)

3:52 For no good reason my enemies

hunted me down like a bird.

3:53 They shut me up in a pit

and threw stones at me.

3:54 The waters closed over my head;

I thought I was about to die.

ק (Qof)

3:55 I have called on your name, O Lord,

from the deepest pit.

3:56 You heard my plea:

“Do not close your ears to my cry for relief!”

3:57 You came near on the day I called to you;

you said, “Do not fear!”

ר (Resh)

3:58 O Lord, you championed my cause,

you redeemed my life.

3:59 You have seen the wrong done to me, O Lord;

pronounce judgment on my behalf!

3:60 You have seen all their vengeance,

all their plots against me.

ש (Sin/Shin)

3:61 You have heard their taunts, O Lord,

all their plots against me.

3:62 My assailants revile and conspire

against me all day long.

3:63 Watch them from morning to evening;

I am the object of their mocking songs.

ת (Tav)

3:64 Pay them back what they deserve, O Lord,

according to what they have done.

3:65 Give them a distraught heart;

may your curse be on them!

3:66 Pursue them in anger and eradicate them

from under the Lord’s heaven.

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