Jeremiah Shares Israel’s Misery

I am the man who has (A)seen misery
Because of the rod of His wrath.
He has driven me and made me walk
In (B)darkness and not in light.
Indeed, He has (C)turned His hand against me
Repeatedly all the day.
He has consumed my (D)flesh and my skin,
He has (E)broken my bones.
He has [a](F)besieged and surrounded me with [b](G)bitterness and hardship.
He has made me live in (H)dark places,
Like those who have long been dead.
He has (I)walled me in so that I cannot go out;
He has made my [c](J)chain heavy.
Even when I cry out and call for help,
He (K)shuts out my prayer.
He has (L)blocked my ways with cut stone;
He has twisted my paths.
10 He is to me like a bear lying in wait,
Like a lion in secret places.
11 He has made my ways deviate, and (M)torn me to pieces;
He has made me desolate.
12 He (N)bent His bow
And (O)took aim at me as a target for the arrow.
13 He made the [d]arrows of His (P)quiver
Enter my [e]inward parts.
14 I have become a (Q)laughingstock to all my people,
Their (R)song of ridicule all the day.
15 He has (S)filled me with bitterness,
He has made me drink plenty of wormwood.
16 He has also (T)made my teeth grind with (U)gravel;
He has made me cower in the (V)dust.
17 My soul has been excluded (W)from peace;
I have forgotten [f]happiness.
18 So I say, “My [g]strength has failed,
And so has my (X)hope from the Lord.”

Hope of Relief in God’s Mercy

19 Remember my misery and my homelessness, the (Y)wormwood and [h]bitterness.
20 (Z)My soul certainly remembers,
And [i]is (AA)bent over within me.
21 I recall this to my mind,
Therefore I [j](AB)wait.
22 [k]The Lords (AC)acts of mercy indeed do not end,
(AD)For His compassions do not fail.
23 They are new (AE)every morning;
Great is (AF)Your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my (AG)portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I [l](AH)wait for Him.”
25 The Lord is good to those who [m](AI)await Him,
To the [n]person who (AJ)seeks Him.
26 It is good that he (AK)waits silently
For the salvation of the Lord.
27 It is good for a man to bear
The yoke in his youth.
28 Let him (AL)sit alone and keep quiet,
Since He has laid it on him.
29 Let him [o]put his mouth in the (AM)dust;
Perhaps there is (AN)hope.
30 Let him give his (AO)cheek to the one who is going to strike him;
Let him be filled with shame.
31 For the Lord will (AP)not reject forever,
32 For if He causes grief,
Then He will have (AQ)compassion
In proportion to His abundant mercy.
33 For He (AR)does not [p]afflict [q]willingly
Or [r]grieve the sons of mankind.
34 To crush under [s]one’s feet
All the prisoners of the [t]land,
35 To [u]deprive a man of (AS)justice
In the presence of the Most High,
36 To [v](AT)defraud someone in his lawsuit—
Of these things the Lord does not [w]approve.
37 Who is [x]there who speaks and it (AU)comes to pass,
Unless the Lord has commanded it?
38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
That [y](AV)both adversity and good proceed?

39 Of what can any living [z]mortal, or any man,
(AW)Complain [aa]in view of his sins?
40 Let’s (AX)examine and search out our ways,
And let’s return to the Lord.
41 We (AY)raise our heart [ab]and hands
Toward God in heaven;
42 We have (AZ)done wrong and rebelled;
You have (BA)not pardoned.
43 You have covered Yourself with (BB)anger
And (BC)pursued us;
You have slain and (BD)have not spared.
44 You have (BE)veiled Yourself with a cloud
So that (BF)no prayer can pass through.
45 You have made us mere (BG)refuse and rubbish
In the midst of the peoples.
46 All our enemies have (BH)opened their mouths against us.
47 (BI)Panic and pitfall have come upon us,
Devastation and destruction;
48 My [ac](BJ)eyes run down with streams of water
Because of the destruction of the daughter of my people.
49 My eyes flow (BK)unceasingly,
Without stopping,
50 Until the Lord (BL)looks down
And sees from heaven.
51 My eyes bring pain to my soul
Because of all the daughters of my city.
52 My enemies (BM)without reason
Hunted me down (BN)like a bird;
53 They have silenced [ad]me (BO)in the pit
And have [ae](BP)thrown stones on me.
54 Waters flowed (BQ)over my head;
I said, “I am [af]cut off!”
55 I (BR)called on Your name, Lord,
Out of the lowest pit.
56 You have (BS)heard my voice,
(BT)Do not cover Your ear from my plea for relief,
From my cry for help.”
57 You (BU)came near on the day I called to You;
You said, “(BV)Do not fear!”
58 Lord, You (BW)have pleaded my soul’s cause;
You have (BX)redeemed my life.
59 Lord, You have (BY)seen my oppression;
(BZ)Judge my case.
60 You have seen all their vengeance,
All their (CA)schemes against me.
61 You have heard their (CB)reproach, Lord,
All their schemes against me.
62 The (CC)lips of my assailants and their talk
Are against me all day long.
63 Look at their [ag](CD)sitting and their rising;
(CE)I am their mocking song.
64 You will (CF)repay them, Lord,
In accordance with the work of their hands.
65 You will give them [ah](CG)shamelessness of heart,
Your curse will be on them.
66 You will (CH)pursue them in anger and eliminate them
From under the (CI)heavens of the Lord!

Footnotes

  1. Lamentations 3:5 Lit built against
  2. Lamentations 3:5 Lit poison
  3. Lamentations 3:7 Lit bronze piece
  4. Lamentations 3:13 Lit sons
  5. Lamentations 3:13 Lit kidneys
  6. Lamentations 3:17 Lit good
  7. Lamentations 3:18 Or splendor
  8. Lamentations 3:19 Lit poison
  9. Lamentations 3:20 Or bows down
  10. Lamentations 3:21 Lit have hope
  11. Lamentations 3:22 As in ancient versions; MT It is...mercy that we do not end
  12. Lamentations 3:24 Or hope in
  13. Lamentations 3:25 Or hope in
  14. Lamentations 3:25 Lit soul
  15. Lamentations 3:29 Lit give
  16. Lamentations 3:33 Or oppress
  17. Lamentations 3:33 Lit from His heart
  18. Lamentations 3:33 Or torment
  19. Lamentations 3:34 Lit his
  20. Lamentations 3:34 Or earth
  21. Lamentations 3:35 Or turn aside a man’s case
  22. Lamentations 3:36 Lit bend
  23. Lamentations 3:36 Lit see
  24. Lamentations 3:37 Lit this
  25. Lamentations 3:38 Lit the evil things and the good
  26. Lamentations 3:39 Or human being
  27. Lamentations 3:39 Or on the basis of
  28. Lamentations 3:41 Lit toward our
  29. Lamentations 3:48 Lit eye goes down
  30. Lamentations 3:53 Lit my life
  31. Lamentations 3:53 Or thrown a stone
  32. Lamentations 3:54 Or destroyed
  33. Lamentations 3:63 I.e., daily activities
  34. Lamentations 3:65 Or insanity

Distress of the Siege Described

How (A)dark the gold has become,
How the pure gold has changed!
The sacred stones are spilled out
At the [a]corner of every street.
The precious sons of Zion,
Weighed against pure gold,
How they are regarded as (B)earthenware jars,
The work of a potter’s hands!
Even (C)jackals offer the breast,
They nurse their young;
But the daughter of my people has proved herself (D)cruel,
Like (E)ostriches in the wilderness.
The (F)tongue of the infant clings
To the roof of its mouth because of (G)thirst;
The children (H)ask for bread,
But no one breaks it for them.
Those who used to eat (I)delicacies
Are made to tremble in the streets;
Those who were raised in crimson clothing
Embrace garbage heaps.
For the [b]wrongdoing of the daughter of my people
Is greater than the [c](J)sin of Sodom,
Which was (K)overthrown as in a moment,
[d]And no hands were turned toward her.
Her [e]consecrated ones were (L)purer than snow,
They shined more than milk;
They were more ruddy in [f]body than pearls of coral,
Their form was like [g](M)lapis lazuli.
Their appearance is (N)darker than soot,
They are not recognized in the streets;
Their (O)skin is shriveled on their bones,
It is dry, it has become like wood.
Better off are those (P)killed by the sword
Than those killed by hunger;
For they [h](Q)waste away, [i]stricken
By the lack of the produce of the field.
10 The hands of compassionate women
(R)Boiled their own children;
They became (S)food for them
Due to the destruction of the daughter of my people.
11 The Lord has (T)expended His wrath,
He has poured out His fierce anger;
And He has (U)kindled a fire in Zion,
And it has consumed its foundations.
12 The kings of the earth did not believe,
Nor did any of (V)the inhabitants of the world,
That the adversary and the enemy
Would (W)enter the gates of Jerusalem.
13 Because of the sins of her (X)prophets
And the wrongdoings of her priests,
Who have shed in her midst
The (Y)blood of the righteous,
14 They wandered, (Z)blind, in the streets;
They were defiled with (AA)blood,
Such that no one could touch their (AB)garments.
15 “Keep away! (AC)Unclean!” [j]they cried out of themselves.
“Keep away, keep away, do not touch!”
For they (AD)distanced themselves as well as wandered;
People among the nations said,
“They shall not continue to reside with us.”
16 The presence of the Lord has scattered them,
He will not continue to look at them;
They did not [k](AE)honor the priests,
They did not favor the elders.
17 Yet our eyes failed,
Looking for [l]help was (AF)useless;
At our observation point we have watched
For a (AG)nation that could not save.
18 They (AH)hunted our steps
So that we could not walk in our streets;
Our (AI)end drew near,
Our days were [m]finished
For our end had come.
19 Our pursuers were (AJ)swifter
Than the eagles of the sky;
They chased us on the mountains,
They waited in ambush for us in the wilderness.
20 The (AK)breath of our nostrils, the (AL)Lords anointed,
Was (AM)captured in their pits,
Of whom we had said, “[n]In his (AN)shadow
We shall live among the nations.”
21 Rejoice and be joyful, daughter of (AO)Edom,
Who lives in the land of Uz;
But the (AP)cup will pass to you as well,
You will become drunk and expose yourself.
22 The punishment of your wrongdoing has been (AQ)completed, daughter of Zion;
He will no longer exile you.
But He (AR)will punish your wrongdoing, daughter of Edom;
He will expose your sins!

Footnotes

  1. Lamentations 4:1 Lit head
  2. Lamentations 4:6 Or punishment for wrongdoing
  3. Lamentations 4:6 Or punishment for sin
  4. Lamentations 4:6 I.e., without human intervention
  5. Lamentations 4:7 Or Nazirites
  6. Lamentations 4:7 Lit bones
  7. Lamentations 4:7 Heb sappir
  8. Lamentations 4:9 Lit flow away
  9. Lamentations 4:9 Lit pierced through
  10. Lamentations 4:15 Or they (other people) cried to them
  11. Lamentations 4:16 Lit lift up the faces of
  12. Lamentations 4:17 Lit our help
  13. Lamentations 4:18 Lit full
  14. Lamentations 4:20 I.e., under his protection

A Prayer for Mercy

Remember, Lord, what has come upon us;
Look, and see our (A)disgrace!
Our inheritance has been turned over to (B)strangers,
Our (C)houses to foreigners.
We have become orphans, (D)without a father;
Our mothers are like widows.
[a]We have to pay for our drinking (E)water,
Our wood comes to us at a price.
[b]Our pursuers are at our necks;
We are worn out, we are given (F)no rest.
We have [c]submitted to (G)Egypt and Assyria [d]to get enough bread.
Our (H)fathers sinned, and are gone;
It is we who have been burdened with the punishment for their wrongdoings.
(I)Slaves rule over us;
There is (J)no one to rescue us from their hand.
We get our bread [e]at the (K)risk of our lives
Because of the sword in the wilderness.
10 Our skin has become as (L)hot as an oven,
Because of the ravages of hunger.
11 They violated the (M)women in Zion,
The virgins in the cities of Judah.
12 Leaders were hung by their hands;
[f](N)Elders were not respected.
13 Young men [g](O)worked at the grinding mill,
And youths (P)staggered under loads of wood.
14 Elders are absent from the gate,
Young men from their (Q)music.
15 The joy of our hearts has (R)ended;
Our dancing has been turned into mourning.
16 The (S)crown has fallen from our head;
(T)Woe to us, for we have sinned!
17 Because of this our (U)heart is faint,
Because of these things our (V)eyes are dim;
18 Because of (W)Mount Zion which lies desolate,
(X)Jackals prowl in it.

19 (Y)You, Lord, [h]rule forever;
Your (Z)throne is from generation to generation.
20 Why will You (AA)forget us forever?
Why do You abandon us for [i]so long?
21 (AB)Restore us to You, Lord, so that we may be restored;
Renew (AC)our days as of old,
22 Unless (AD)You have utterly rejected us
And are exceedingly (AE)angry with us.

Footnotes

  1. Lamentations 5:4 Lit We drink our water with silver
  2. Lamentations 5:5 Lit We have been pursued upon
  3. Lamentations 5:6 Lit given Egypt a hand
  4. Lamentations 5:6 Lit to be satisfied with
  5. Lamentations 5:9 Lit with our soul
  6. Lamentations 5:12 Lit The faces of elders
  7. Lamentations 5:13 Lit carried the
  8. Lamentations 5:19 Lit sit
  9. Lamentations 5:20 Lit length of days