Lamentations 3 Expanded Bible (EXB)
The Meaning of Suffering
3 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.
2 He ·led [L guided and brought] me
into darkness, not light.
3 He turned his hand against me
again and again, all day long [Jer. 21:5].
4 He ·wore out [wasted away] my flesh and skin
and broke my bones.
5 He ·surrounded me with sadness
and attacked me with grief [L has built up and besieged me with bitterness/or poverty and hardship].
6 He made me sit in the dark,
like those who have been dead a long time.
7 He ·shut me [L walled me] in so I could not get out;
he put heavy chains on me.
8 I cry out and beg for help,
but he ·ignores [obstructs] my prayer.
9 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.