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Lamentations 3 Common English Bible (CEB)

An individual’s complaint

I am someone[a] who saw the suffering caused by God’s[b] angry rod.
He drove me away, forced me to walk in darkness, not light.
He turned his hand even against me, over and over again, all day long.

He wore out my flesh and my skin; he broke my bones.
He besieged me, surrounding me with bitterness and weariness.
He made me live in dark places like those who’ve been dead a long time.

He walled me in so I couldn’t escape; he made my chains heavy.
Even though I call out and cry for help, he silences my prayer.
He walled in my paths with stonework; he made my routes crooked.

10 He is a bear lurking for me, a lion in hiding.
11 He took me from my path[c] and tore me apart; he made me desolate.
12 He drew back his bow, made me a shooting target for arrows.

13 He shot the arrows of his quiver into my inside parts.
14 I have become a joke to all my people, the object of their song of ridicule all day long.
15 He saturated me with grief, made me choke on bitterness.

16 He crushed my teeth into the gravel; he pressed me down into the ashes.
17 I’ve[d] rejected peace; I’ve forgotten what is good.
18 I thought: My future is gone, as well as my hope from the Lord.

19 The memory of my suffering and homelessness is bitterness and poison.
20 I[e] can’t help but remember and am depressed.
21 I call all this to mind—therefore, I will wait.

22 Certainly the faithful love of the Lord hasn’t ended;[f] certainly God’s compassion isn’t through!
23 They are renewed every morning. Great is your faithfulness.
24 I think:[g] The Lord is my portion! Therefore, I’ll wait for him.

25 The Lord is good to those who hope in him, to the person[h] who seeks him.
26 It’s good to wait in silence for the Lord’s deliverance.
27 It’s good for a man to carry a yoke in his youth.
28 He should sit alone and be silent when God lays it on him.
29 He should put his mouth in the dirt—perhaps there is hope.
30 He should offer his cheek for a blow; he should be filled with shame.

31 My Lord definitely[i] won’t reject forever.
32 Although he has caused grief, he will show compassion in measure with his covenant loyalty.
33 He definitely doesn’t enjoy affliction,[j] making humans suffer.

34 Now crushing underfoot all the earth’s prisoners,
35     denying someone justice before the Most High,
36     subverting a person’s lawsuit—doesn’t my Lord see all this?

37 Who ever spoke and it happened if my Lord hadn’t commanded the same?
38 From the mouth of the Most High evil things don’t come, but rather good!
39 Why then does any living person complain; why should anyone complain about their sins?

40 We must search and examine our ways; we must return to the Lord.
41 We should lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven.
42 We are the ones who did wrong; we rebelled. But you, God, have not forgiven.

43 You wrapped yourself up in wrath and hunted us; you killed, showing no compassion.
44 You wrapped yourself up in a cloud; prayers can’t make it through!
45 You made us trash and garbage in front of all other people.

46 All our enemies have opened their mouths against us.
47 Terror and trap have come upon us, catastrophe and collapse!
48 Streams of water pour from my eyes because of the destruction of the daughter of my people.

49 My eyes flow and don’t stop. There is no relief
50     until the Lord looks down from the heavens and notices.
51 My eyes hurt me[k] because of what’s happened to my city’s daughters.

52 My enemies hunted me down like a bird, relentlessly, for no reason.
53 They caught me alive in a pit and threw stones at me;
54     water flowed over my head. I thought: I’m finished.

55 I call on your name, Lord, from the depths of the pit.
56 Hear my voice. Don’t close your ear[l] to my need for relief, to my cry for help.[m]
57 Come near to me on the day I call to you. Say to me, “Don’t be afraid.”

58 My Lord! Plead my desperate case;[n] redeem my life.
59 Lord, look at my mistreatment; judge my cause.
60 Look at all of my enemies’ vengeance, all of their scheming against me.

61 Hear their jeering, Lord, all of their scheming against me,
62     the speech of those who rise up against me, their incessant gossiping about me.
63 Whether sitting or standing, look at how I am the object of their song of ridicule.
64 Pay them back fully, Lord, according to what they have done.
65 Give them a tortured mind—put your curse on them!
66 Angrily hunt them down; wipe them out from under the Lord’s heaven.

Footnotes:

  1. Lamentations 3:1 Or the man; also in 3:27, 35, 39
  2. Lamentations 3:1 Or his
  3. Lamentations 3:11 Heb uncertain
  4. Lamentations 3:17 Or my spirit; also in 3:20, 24, 25, 51, 58
  5. Lamentations 3:20 Or My spirit can’t help but remember and is depressed
  6. Lamentations 3:22 Tg, Syr, and other ancient sources; MT we aren’t finished.
  7. Lamentations 3:24 Or My spirit thinks
  8. Lamentations 3:25 Or spirit
  9. Lamentations 3:31 Or Because my Lord won’t reject forever
  10. Lamentations 3:33 Heb He does not afflict from his heart.
  11. Lamentations 3:51 Or my spirit
  12. Lamentations 3:56 Or You didn’t close your ear.
  13. Lamentations 3:56 Or You have heard my voice.
  14. Lamentations 3:58 Or my spirit’s case or my spirit’s grievance
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Lamentations 3 New International Version (NIV)

[a]I am the man who has seen affliction
    by the rod of the Lord’s wrath.
He has driven me away and made me walk
    in darkness rather than light;
indeed, he has turned his hand against me
    again and again, all day long.

He has made my skin and my flesh grow old
    and has broken my bones.
He has besieged me and surrounded me
    with bitterness and hardship.
He has made me dwell in darkness
    like those long dead.

He has walled me in so I cannot escape;
    he has weighed me down with chains.
Even when I call out or cry for help,
    he shuts out my prayer.
He has barred my way with blocks of stone;
    he has made my paths crooked.

10 Like a bear lying in wait,
    like a lion in hiding,
11 he dragged me from the path and mangled me
    and left me without help.
12 He drew his bow
    and made me the target for his arrows.

13 He pierced my heart
    with arrows from his quiver.
14 I became the laughingstock of all my people;
    they mock me in song all day long.
15 He has filled me with bitter herbs
    and given me gall to drink.

16 He has broken my teeth with gravel;
    he has trampled me in the dust.
17 I have been deprived of peace;
    I have forgotten what prosperity is.
18 So I say, “My splendor is gone
    and all that I had hoped from the Lord.”

19 I remember my affliction and my wandering,
    the bitterness and the gall.
20 I well remember them,
    and my soul is downcast within me.
21 Yet this I call to mind
    and therefore I have hope:

22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.”

25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
    to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
    for the salvation of the Lord.
27 It is good for a man to bear the yoke
    while he is young.

28 Let him sit alone in silence,
    for the Lord has laid it on him.
29 Let him bury his face in the dust
    there may yet be hope.
30 Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him,
    and let him be filled with disgrace.

31 For no one is cast off
    by the Lord forever.
32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
    so great is his unfailing love.
33 For he does not willingly bring affliction
    or grief to anyone.

34 To crush underfoot
    all prisoners in the land,
35 to deny people their rights
    before the Most High,
36 to deprive them of justice—
    would not the Lord see such things?

37 Who can speak and have it happen
    if the Lord has not decreed it?
38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
    that both calamities and good things come?
39 Why should the living complain
    when punished for their sins?

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

43 “You have covered yourself with anger and pursued us;
    you have slain without pity.
44 You have covered yourself with a cloud
    so that no prayer can get through.
45 You have made us scum and refuse
    among the nations.

46 “All our enemies have opened their mouths
    wide against us.
47 We have suffered terror and pitfalls,
    ruin and destruction.
48 Streams of tears flow from my eyes
    because my people are destroyed.

49 My eyes will flow unceasingly,
    without relief,
50 until the Lord looks down
    from heaven and sees.
51 What I see brings grief to my soul
    because of all the women of my city.

52 Those who were my enemies without cause
    hunted me like a bird.
53 They tried to end my life in a pit
    and threw stones at me;
54 the waters closed over my head,
    and I thought I was about to perish.

55 I called on your name, Lord,
    from the depths of the pit.
56 You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears
    to my cry for relief.”
57 You came near when I called you,
    and you said, “Do not fear.”

58 You, Lord, took up my case;
    you redeemed my life.
59 Lord, you have seen the wrong done to me.
    Uphold my cause!
60 You have seen the depth of their vengeance,
    all their plots against me.

61 Lord, you have heard their insults,
    all their plots against me—
62 what my enemies whisper and mutter
    against me all day long.
63 Look at them! Sitting or standing,
    they mock me in their songs.

64 Pay them back what they deserve, Lord,
    for what their hands have done.
65 Put a veil over their hearts,
    and may your curse be on them!
66 Pursue them in anger and destroy them
    from under the heavens of the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. Lamentations 3:1 This chapter is an acrostic poem; the verses of each stanza begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet, and the verses within each stanza begin with the same letter.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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