Bible: Lam 3

The Prophet Speaks:

3:1 א (Alef) 1 

I am the man 2  who has experienced 3  affliction

from the rod 4  of his wrath.

3:2 He drove me into captivity 5  and made me walk 6 

in darkness and not light.

3:3 He repeatedly 7  attacks me,

he turns his hand 8  against me all day long. 9 

3:4 ב (Bet)

He has made my mortal skin 10  waste away;

he has broken my bones.

3:5 He has besieged 11  and surrounded 12  me

with bitter hardship. 13 

3:6 He has made me reside in deepest darkness 14 

like those who died long ago.

3:7 ג (Gimel)

He has walled me in 15  so that I cannot get out;

he has weighted me down with heavy prison chains. 16 

3:8 Also, when I cry out desperately 17  for help, 18 

he has shut out my prayer. 19 

3:9 He has blocked 20  every road I take 21  with a wall of hewn stones;

he has made every path impassable. 22 

3:10 ד (Dalet)

To me he is like a bear lying in ambush, 23 

like a hidden lion 24  stalking its prey. 25 

3:11 He has obstructed my paths 26  and torn me to pieces; 27 

he has made me desolate.

3:12 He drew 28  his bow and made me 29 

the target for his arrow.

3:13 ה (He)

He shot 30  his arrows 31 

into my heart. 32 

3:14 I have become the laughingstock of all people, 33 

their mocking song 34  all day long. 35 

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

and made me drunk with bitterness. 36 

3:16 ו (Vav)

He ground 37  my teeth in gravel;

he trampled 38  me in the dust.

3:17 I 39  am deprived 40  of peace; 41 

I have forgotten what happiness 42  is.

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

I have lost all hope of deliverance 43  from the Lord.”

3:19 ז (Zayin)

Remember 44  my impoverished and homeless condition, 45 

which is a bitter poison. 46 

3:20 I 47  continually think about 48  this,

and I 49  am depressed. 50 

3:21 But this I call 51  to mind; 52 

therefore I have hope:

3:22 ח (Khet)

The Lord’s loyal kindness 53  never ceases; 54 

his compassions 55  never end.

3:23 They are fresh 56  every morning;

your faithfulness is abundant! 57 

3:24My portion is the Lord,” I have said to myself, 58 

so I will put my hope in him.

3:25 ט (Tet)

The Lord is good to those who trust 59  in him,

to the one 60  who seeks him.

3:26 It is good to wait patiently 61 

for deliverance from the Lord. 62 

3:27 It is good for a man 63 

to bear 64  the yoke 65  while he is young. 66 

3:28 י (Yod)

Let a person 67  sit alone in silence,

when the Lord 68  is disciplining him. 69 

3:29 Let him bury his face in the dust; 70 

perhaps there is hope.

3:30 Let him offer his cheek to the one who hits him; 71 

let him have his fill of insults.

3:31 כ (Kaf)

For the Lord 72  will not

reject us forever. 73 

3:32 Though he causes us 74  grief, he then has compassion on us 75 

according to the abundance of his loyal kindness. 76 

3:33 For he is not predisposed to afflict 77 

or to grieve people. 78 

3:34 ל (Lamed)

To crush underfoot

all the earth’s prisoners, 79 

3:35 to deprive a person 80  of his rights 81 

in the presence of the Most High,

3:36 to defraud a person in a lawsuit

the Lord 82  does not approve 83  of such things!

3:37 מ (Mem)

Whose command was ever fulfilled 84 

unless the Lord 85  decreed it?

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

both calamity and blessing? 86 

3:39 Why should any living person 87  complain

when punished for his sins? 88 

3:40 נ (Nun)

Let us carefully examine our ways, 89 

and let us return to the Lord.

3:41 Let us lift up our hearts 90  and our hands

to God in heaven:

3:42We 91  have blatantly rebelled; 92 

you 93  have not forgiven.”

3:43 ס (Samek)

You shrouded yourself 94  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 95 

in the estimation 96  of the nations.

3:46 פ (Pe)

All our enemies have gloated over us; 97 

3:47 Panic and pitfall 98  have come upon us,

devastation and destruction. 99 

3:48 Streams 100  of tears flow from my eyes 101 

because my people 102  are destroyed. 103 

3:49 ע (Ayin)

Tears flow from my eyes 104  and will not stop;

there will be no break 105 

3:50 until the Lord looks down from heaven

and sees what has happened. 106 

3:51 What my eyes see 107  grieves me 108 

all the suffering of the daughters in my city. 109 

3:52 צ (Tsade)

For no good reason 110  my enemies

hunted me down 111  like a bird.

3:53 They shut me 112  up in a pit

and threw stones at me.

3:54 The waters closed over my head;

I thought 113  I was about to die. 114 

3:55 ק (Qof)

I have called on your name, O Lord,

from the deepest pit. 115 

3:56 You heard 116  my plea: 117 

“Do not close your ears to my cry for relief! 118 

3:57 You came near 119  on the day I called to you;

you said, 120 Do not fear!

3:58 ר (Resh)

O Lord, 121  you championed 122  my cause, 123 

you redeemed my life.

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

pronounce judgment on my behalf! 124 

3:60 You have seen all their vengeance,

all their plots against me. 125 

3:61 ש (Sin/Shin)

You have heard 126  their taunts, O Lord,

all their plots against me.

3:62 My assailants revile and conspire 127 

against me all day long.

3:63 Watch them from morning to evening; 128 

I am the object of their mocking songs.

3:64 ת (Tav)

Pay them back 129  what they deserve, 130  O Lord,

according to what they 131  have done. 132 

3:65 Give them a distraught heart; 133 

may your curse be on them!

3:66 Pursue them 134  in anger and eradicate them

from under the Lord’s heaven.

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