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Lamentations 3 Expanded Bible (EXB)

The Meaning of Suffering

I am a man [C symbolizing Jerusalem] who has seen the ·suffering [affliction]
    that comes from the rod of ·the Lord’s [L his] anger.
He ·led [L guided and brought] me
    into darkness, not light.
He turned his hand against me
    again and again, all day long [Jer. 21:5].

He ·wore out [wasted away] my flesh and skin
    and broke my bones.
He ·surrounded me with sadness
    and attacked me with grief [L has built up and besieged me with bitterness/or poverty and hardship].
He made me sit in the dark,
    like those who have been dead a long time.

He ·shut me [L walled me] in so I could not get out;
    he put heavy chains on me.
I cry out and beg for help,
    but he ·ignores [obstructs] my prayer.
He ·blocked [L walled in] my way with ·a stone wall [L cut stones]
    and ·led me in the wrong direction [L twisted my paths; Job 19:7–12].

10 He is like a bear ready to ·attack [ambush] me,
    like a lion in hiding [Hos. 13:8; Amos 5:19].
11 He led me the wrong way and ·let me stray [or tore me to pieces]
    and left me ·without help [desolate].
12 He ·prepared to shoot [has drawn] his bow
    and made me the target for his arrows.

13 He shot me in the kidneys
    with the arrows from his ·bag [quiver; Job 16:13].
14 I was a joke to all my people,
    who make fun of me with ·songs [mocking songs] all day long [Ps. 22:7; 69:12; 119:51].
15 ·The Lord [L He] filled me with ·misery [bitterness];
    he made me drunk with ·suffering [affliction; L wormwood; gall; C a bitter-tasting herb].

16 He ·broke [made me gnash] my teeth with gravel
    and trampled me into the ·dirt [dust; ashes].
17 ·I have no more peace [L My life/soul is rejected from peace].
    I have forgotten ·what happiness is [prosperity; L good].
18 I said, “My ·strength [luster; or endurance] ·is gone [has perished],
    and I have no hope in the Lord.”

19 Lord, remember my ·suffering [affliction] and my ·misery [or wanderings; homelessness; 1:7],
    ·my sorrow and trouble [L it is wormwood and gall; 3:15].
20 Please remember me
    and think about ·me [L my life].
21 But I have hope
    when I ·think of this [L return to my mind/heart]:

22 The Lord’s ·love [loyalty] never ends;
    his ·mercies [compassion] never stop.
23 They are new every morning;
    Lord, your ·loyalty [faithfulness] is ·great [abundant; Ps. 33:4; 92:2; 143:1].
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is ·mine [L my lot/portion],
    so I hope in him.”

25 The Lord is good to those who ·hope in [wait for] him,
    to those who seek him.
26 It is good to wait ·quietly [silently]
    for the Lord to ·save [be victorious].
27 It is good for someone to ·work hard [L carry/bear the yoke]
    while he is young.

28 He should sit alone and be ·quiet [silent];
    ·the Lord has given him hard work to do [L when it is imposed/heavy on him].
29 He should ·bow down to the ground [L put his mouth in the dust];
    maybe there is still hope.
30 He should ·let anyone slap [L give to the striker] his cheek;
    he should be ·filled [sated] with ·shame [scorn].

31 The Lord will not reject
    his people forever.
32 Although he brings ·sorrow [grief],
    he also has ·mercy [compassion] and great ·love [loyalty].
33 He does not ·like to punish people [L afflict from his heart]
    or make them ·sad [grieve].

34 ·He sees [L Does he not see…?] if any prisoner of the earth
    is crushed under ·his [or their; C the wicked oppressors’] feet;
35 ·he sees [L does he not see…?] if ·someone is treated unfairly [human rights are distorted]
    before the Most High God;
36 ·the Lord sees [L does the Lord not see…?]
    if someone is cheated in his case in court.

37 ·Nobody [L Who…?] can speak and have it happen
    unless the Lord commands it.
38 ·Both [L Do not…?] bad and good things
    come by the command of the Most High God [Job 2:10].
39 No ·one [L living person] should complain
    ·when he is punished for [L before] his sins.

40 Let us ·examine [check] and ·see [investigate] ·what we have done [L our ways]
    and then return to the Lord [C repent; Jer. 17:9–10; Ps. 139:23–24].
41 Let us lift up our hands ·and pray from [as well as] our hearts
    to God in heaven:
42 “We have ·sinned [transgressed] and ·turned [rebelled] against you,
    and you have not forgiven us.

43 “You ·wrapped [covered] yourself in anger and ·chased [pursued] us;
    you killed us without ·mercy [pity].
44 You ·wrapped [covered] yourself in a cloud [Ex. 40:34–38],
    and no prayer could ·get [pass] through.
45 You made us like ·scum [sweepings] and trash
    ·among the other nations [L in the midst of the peoples].

46 “All of our enemies
    ·open [L crack] their mouths and speak against us [2:16].
47 We have been ·frightened [terrified] and fearful,
    ruined and ·destroyed [broken].”
48 ·Streams of tears [L Channels of water] flow from my eyes,
    because ·my people are destroyed [L of the fracture of my people].

49 My tears flow ·continually [without ceasing],
    without ·stopping [respite; relaxation],
50 until the Lord looks down
    and sees from heaven.
51 ·I am sad when I see [L My eyes torment my life/soul]
    ·what has happened to all the women [because of all the daughters] of my city.

52 Those who are my enemies ·for no reason [without cause; Ps. 7:4; 35:7]
    hunted me like a bird [Ps. 91:3; Prov. 6:5; 7:23].
53 They ·tried to kill me [destroyed my life/soul] in a pit [Ps. 7:15; 9:15];
    they threw stones at me.
54 Water came up over my head [Ps. 69:1–2],
    and I said, “I am ·going to die [lost; L cut off].”
55 I called out ·to you [L your name], Lord,
    from the ·bottom [depth] of the pit [Ps. 130:1].
56 You heard ·me calling [L my voice], “Do not close your ears
    ·and ignore my gasps and shouts [to my cries for relief].”
57 You came near ·when [L in the day] I called to you;
    you said, “Don’t be afraid.”

58 Lord, ·you have taken my case [you defend/have defended me]
    and ·given me back [L redeem; redeemed] my life.
59 Lord, you have seen how I have been wronged.
    Now judge my case for me.
60 You have seen ·how my enemies took revenge on me [L all their vengeance]
    ·and made evil plans against me [L all their plots against me].

61 Lord, you ·have heard [hear] their ·insults [scorn]
    and all their ·evil plans [plots] against me.
62 The ·words [whispers; L lips] and ·thoughts [mumblings; murmurs] of ·my enemies [L those who rise up against me]
    are against me all the time.
63 Look! In ·everything they do [L their sitting and their rising up]
    they ·make fun of me with songs [sing mocking songs; Ps. 69:7–12].

64 Pay them back, Lord,
    ·for what they have done [L according to the acts of their hands].
65 Make them ·stubborn [L insolent of heart],
    and put your curse on them.
66 ·Chase [Pursue] them in anger, Lord,
    and destroy them from under ·your [L the Lord’s] heavens.

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