Lamentations 3:22

22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end;

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Lamentations 3:22 Meaning and Commentary

Lamentations 3:22

[It is of] the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed
It was true of the prophet, that he died not in prison, or in the dungeon; and of the people of the Jews, who though many of them perished by the sword, famine, and pestilence, yet God did not make a full end of them, according to his gracious promise, ( Jeremiah 30:11 ) ; but left them a seed, a remnant, from whence the Messiah, the mercy promised, should come, and to which it was owing they were not utterly cut off for their sins: nor are any of the Lord's special people ever consumed; their estates may be consumed, and so may their bodies by wasting diseases, and at last by death; but not their souls, not only as to their being, but as to their well being, here and hereafter; though their peace, joy, and comfort, may be gone for a while, through temptation, desertion, and the prevalence of corruption; and they may be in declining circumstances, as to the exercise of grace, yet the principle itself can never be lost; faith, hope, and love, will abide; nor can they eternally perish, or be punished with an everlasting destruction: all which is to be ascribed not to their own strength to preserve themselves, nor to any want of desert in them to be destroyed, or of power in God to consume them; but to his "mercies" and "goodnesses", the multitude of them; for there is an abundance of mercy, grace, and goodness in God, and various are the instances of it; as in the choice of his people to grace and glory; in the covenant of grace, and the blessings of it they are interested in; in redemption by Christ; in regeneration by his Spirit; in the forgiveness of their sins; and in their complete salvation; which are all so many reasons why they are not, and shall not be, consumed. The words may be rendered, "the mercies" or "goodnesses of the Lord, for they are not consumed", or, "that the mercies of the Lord" F23 Jarchi observes, that "tamnu" is as "tammu"; the "nun" being inserted, according to Aben Ezra, instead of doubling the letter "mem"; and the former makes the sense to be this, in connection with the ( Lamentations 3:21 ) ; "this I recall to mind the mercies of the Lord, that they are not consumed"; to which agrees the Targum,

``the goodnesses, of the Lord, for they cease not;''
and so the Septuagint, "the mercies of the Lord, for they have not left me"; and to the same sense the Syriac version is, "the mercies of the Lord, for they have no end", and Aben Ezra's note on the text is almost in the same words,
``for there is no end to the mercies of God;''
because his compassions fail not;
or, "his tender mercies" F24; of which he is full, and which are bestowed in a free and sovereign way, and are the spring of all good things, and a never failing one they are; and this is another reason why the Lord's people are not consumed, and never shall, because of the mercies of the Lord, since these shall never fail; for though they are, yet should they fail, they might be consumed; but these are from everlasting to everlasting, and are kept with Christ their covenant head; see ( Psalms 103:17 ) ( 89:28 ) .

F23 (wnmt al yk hwhy ydox) "quod misericordiae Jehovae deficiunt", vel "defecerunt", so some in Vatablus; "studia Jehovae quod non defecerunt", Cocceius.
F24 (wmxr) "miserationes ejus", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

Lamentations 3:22 In-Context

20 My soul continually thinks of it and is bowed down within me.
21 But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
24 "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him."

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Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Syr Tg: Heb [Lord, we are not cut off]
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.