Lamentations 3

Listen to Lamentations 3

Great Is Your Faithfulness

1 1I am the man who has seen affliction under the 2rod of his wrath;
2 he has driven and brought me 3into darkness without any light;
3 surely against me he turns his hand again and again the whole day long.
4 He has made my flesh and my skin waste away; 4he has broken my bones;
5 5he has besieged and enveloped me with 6bitterness and tribulation;
6 7he has made me dwell in darkness like the dead of long ago.
7 8He has walled me about so that 9I cannot escape; he has made my chains heavy;
8 though 10I call and cry for help, he shuts out my prayer;
9 11he has blocked my ways with blocks of stones; he has made my paths crooked.
10 12He is a bear lying in wait for me, a lion in hiding;
11 13he turned aside my steps and 14tore me to pieces; 15he has made me desolate;
12 16he bent his bow 17and set me as a target for his arrow.
13 He drove into my kidneys 18the arrows of his quiver;
14 19I have become the laughingstock of all peoples, 20the object of their taunts all day long.
15 21He has filled me with bitterness; he has sated me with 22wormwood.
16 23He has made my teeth grind on gravel, and 24made me cower in ashes;
17 my soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness[a] is;
18 25so I say, "My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the LORD."
19 26Remember my affliction and my wanderings, 27the wormwood and 28the gall!
20 My soul continually remembers it 29and is bowed down within me.
21 But this I call to mind, and 30therefore I have hope:
22 31The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;[b] 32his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new 33every morning; 34great is your faithfulness.
24 35"The LORD is my portion," says my soul, 36"therefore I will hope in him."
25 The LORD is good to those who 37wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.
26 38It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.
27 39It is good for a man that he bear the yoke 40in his youth.
28 Let him 41sit alone in silence when it is laid on him;
29 42let him put his mouth in the dust-- there may yet be hope;
30 43let him give his cheek to the one who strikes, and let him be filled with insults.
31 44For the Lord will not cast off forever,
32 but, though he 45cause grief, 46he will have compassion 47according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
33 48for he does not willingly afflict or 49grieve the children of men.
34 To crush underfoot all 50the prisoners of the earth,
35 51to deny a man justice in the presence of the Most High,
36 to subvert a man in his lawsuit, 52the Lord does not approve.
37 53Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it?
38 54Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come?
39 55Why should a living man complain, a man, about the punishment of his sins?
40 Let us test and examine our ways, 56and return to the LORD!
41 57Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven:
42 58"We have transgressed and 59rebelled, and you have not forgiven.
43 "You have wrapped yourself with anger and pursued us, 60killing without pity;
44 61you have wrapped yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can pass through.
45 62You have made us scum and garbage among the peoples.
46 63"All our enemies open their mouths against us;
47 64panic and pitfall have come upon us, devastation and 65destruction;
48 66my eyes flow with rivers of tears because of the destruction of the daughter of my people.
49 67"My eyes will flow without ceasing, without respite,
50 68until the LORD from heaven looks down and sees;
51 my eyes cause me grief at the fate of all the daughters of my city.
52 69"I have been hunted 70like a bird by those who were my enemies 71without cause;
53 72they flung me alive into the pit 73and cast stones on me;
54 74water closed over my head; I said, 75'I am lost.'
55 76"I called on your name, O LORD, from the depths of the pit;
56 77you heard my plea, 'Do not close your ear to my cry for help!'
57 78You came near when I called on you; you said, 79'Do not fear!'
58 "You have 80taken up my cause, 81O Lord; you have 82redeemed my life.
59 You have seen the wrong done to me, 83O LORD; judge my cause.
60 You have seen all their vengeance, all 84their plots against me.
61 85"You have heard their taunts, O LORD, all 86their plots against me.
62 The lips and thoughts 87of my assailants are against me all the day long.
63 88Behold their sitting and their rising; 89I am the object of their taunts.
64 90"You will repay them,[c] O LORD, 91according to the work of their hands.
65 You will give them[d] dullness of heart; your curse will be[e] on them.
66 You will pursue them[f] in anger and 92destroy them from under 93your heavens, O LORD."[g]

Images for Lamentations 3

Videos for Lamentations 3

Lamentations 3 Commentary

Chapter 3

The faithful lament their calamities, and hope in God's mercies.

Verses 1-20 The prophet relates the more gloomy and discouraging part of his experience, and how he found support and relief. In the time of his trial the Lord had become terrible to him. It was an affliction that was misery itself; for sin makes the cup of affliction a bitter cup. The struggle between unbelief and faith is often very severe. But the weakest believer is wrong, if he thinks that his strength and hope are perished from the Lord.

Verses 21-36 Having stated his distress and temptation, the prophet shows how he was raised above it. Bad as things are, it is owing to the mercy of God that they are not worse. We should observe what makes for us, as well as what is against us. God's compassions fail not; of this we have fresh instances every morning. Portions on earth are perishing things, but God is a portion for ever. It is our duty, and will be our comfort and satisfaction, to hope and quietly to wait for the salvation of the Lord. Afflictions do and will work very much for good: many have found it good to bear this yoke in their youth; it has made many humble and serious, and has weaned them from the world, who otherwise would have been proud and unruly. If tribulation work patience, that patience will work experience, and that experience a hope that makes not ashamed. Due thoughts of the evil of sin, and of our own sinfulness, will convince us that it is of the Lord's mercies we are not consumed. If we cannot say with unwavering voice, The Lord is my portion; may we not say, I desire to have Him for my portion and salvation, and in his word do I hope? Happy shall we be, if we learn to receive affliction as laid upon us by the hand of God.

Verses 37-41 While there is life there is hope; and instead of complaining that things are bad, we should encourage ourselves with the hope they will be better. We are sinful men, and what we complain of, is far less than our sins deserve. We should complain to God, and not of him. We are apt, in times of calamity, to reflect on other people's ways, and blame them; but our duty is to search and try our own ways, that we may turn from evil to God. Our hearts must go with our prayers. If inward impressions do not answer to outward expressions, we mock God, and deceive ourselves.

Verses 42-54 The more the prophet looked on the desolations, the more he was grieved. Here is one word of comfort. While they continued weeping, they continued waiting; and neither did nor would expect relief and succour from any but the Lord.

Verses 55-66 Faith comes off conqueror, for in these verses the prophet concludes with some comfort. Prayer is the breath of the new man, drawing in the air of mercy in petitions, and returning it in praises; it proves and maintains the spiritual life. He silenced their fears, and quieted their spirits. Thou saidst, Fear not. This was the language of God's grace, by the witness of his Spirit with their spirits. And what are all our sorrows, compared with those of the Redeemer? He will deliver his people from every trouble, and revive his church from every persecution. He will save believers with everlasting salvation, while his enemies perish with everlasting destruction.

Cross References 93

Footnotes 7

  • [a]. Hebrew good
  • [b]. Syriac, Targum; Hebrew Because of the steadfast love of the Lord, we are not cut off
  • [c]. Or Repay them
  • [d]. Or Give them
  • [e]. Or place your curse
  • [f]. Or Pursue them
  • [g]. Syriac (compare Septuagint, Vulgate); Hebrew the heavens of the Lord

Chapter Summary


This chapter is a complaint and lamentation like the former, and on the same subject, only the prophet mixes his own afflictions and distresses with the public calamities; or else he represents the church in her complaints; and some have thought him to be a type of Christ throughout the whole; to whom various things may be applied. It is indeed written in a different form from the other chapters, in another sort of metre; and though in an alphabetical manner as the rest, yet with this difference, that three verses together begin with the same letter; so that the alphabet is gone through three times in it. Here is first a complaint of the afflictions of the prophet, and of the people, expressed by a rod, by darkness, by wormwood and gall, and many other things; and especially by the Lord's appearing against them as an enemy, in a most severe and terrible manner; shutting out their prayer; being as a bear and lion to them; and giving them up to the cruelty and scorn of their enemies, La 3:1-21; then follows some comfort taken by them, from the mercy, faithfulness, and goodness of God; from the usefulness of patience in bearing afflictions; and from the end of God in laying them upon men; and from the providence of God, by which all things are ordered, La 3:22-38; wherefore, instead of complaining, it would be better, it is suggested, to attend to the duties of examination of their ways, and of repentance, and of prayer, La 3:39-41; and a particular prayer is directed to, in which confession of sin is made, and their miseries deplored, by reason of the hidings of God's face, and the insults of their enemies, La 3:42-47; and then the prophet expresses his sympathy with his people under affliction, and declares what he himself met with from his enemies, La 3:48-54; and relates bow he called upon the Lord, and he heard and delivered him, La 3:55-58; and concludes with a request that he would judge his cause, and avenge him on enemies, La 3:59-66.

Lamentations 3 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.