Lamentations 3

1 ALEPH ego vir videns paupertatem meam in virga indignationis eius
2 ALEPH me minavit et adduxit in tenebris et non in lucem
3 ALEPH tantum in me vertit et convertit manum suam tota die
4 BETH vetustam fecit pellem meam et carnem meam contrivit ossa mea
5 BETH aedificavit in gyro meo et circumdedit me felle et labore
6 BETH in tenebrosis conlocavit me quasi mortuos sempiternos
7 GIMEL circumaedificavit adversum me ut non egrediar adgravavit conpedem meam
8 GIMEL sed et cum clamavero et rogavero exclusit orationem meam
9 GIMEL conclusit vias meas lapidibus quadris semitas meas subvertit
10 DELETH ursus insidians factus est mihi leo in absconditis
11 DELETH semitas meas subvertit et confregit me posuit me desolatam
12 DELETH tetendit arcum suum et posuit me quasi signum ad sagittam
13 HE misit in renibus meis filias faretrae suae
14 HE factus sum in derisu omni populo meo canticum eorum tota die
15 HE replevit me amaritudinibus inebriavit me absinthio
16 VAV et fregit ad numerum dentes meos cibavit me cinere
17 VAV et repulsa est anima mea oblitus sum bonorum
18 VAV et dixi periit finis meus et spes mea a Domino
19 ZAI recordare paupertatis et transgressionis meae absinthii et fellis
20 ZAI memoria memor ero et tabescet in me anima mea
21 ZAI hoc recolens in corde meo ideo sperabo
22 HETH misericordiae Domini quia non sumus consumpti quia non defecerunt miserationes eius
23 HETH novae diluculo multa est fides tua
24 HETH pars mea Dominus dixit anima mea propterea expectabo eum
25 TETH bonus est Dominus sperantibus in eum animae quaerenti illum
26 TETH bonum est praestolari cum silentio salutare Domini
27 TETH bonum est viro cum portaverit iugum ab adulescentia sua
28 IOTH sedebit solitarius et tacebit quia levavit super se
29 IOTH ponet in pulvere os suum si forte sit spes
30 IOTH dabit percutienti se maxillam saturabitur obprobriis
31 CAPH quia non repellet in sempiternum Dominus
32 CAPH quia si abiecit et miserebitur secundum multitudinem misericordiarum suarum
33 CAPH non enim humiliavit ex corde suo et abiecit filios hominis
34 LAMED ut contereret sub pedibus suis omnes vinctos terrae
35 LAMED ut declinaret iudicium viri in conspectu vultus Altissimi
36 LAMED ut perverteret hominem in iudicio suo Dominus ignoravit
37 MEM quis est iste qui dixit ut fieret Domino non iubente
38 MEM ex ore Altissimi non egredientur nec mala nec bona
39 MEM quid murmuravit homo vivens vir pro peccatis suis
40 NUN scrutemur vias nostras et quaeramus et revertamur ad Dominum
41 NUN levemus corda nostra cum manibus ad Dominum in caelos
42 NUN nos inique egimus et ad iracundiam provocavimus idcirco tu inexorabilis es
43 SAMECH operuisti in furore et percussisti nos occidisti nec pepercisti
44 SAMECH opposuisti nubem tibi ne transeat oratio
45 SAMECH eradicationem et abiectionem posuisti me in medio populorum
46 FE aperuerunt super nos os suum omnes inimici
47 FE formido et laqueus facta est nobis vaticinatio et contritio
48 FE divisiones aquarum deduxit oculus meus in contritione filiae populi mei
49 AIN oculus meus adflictus est nec tacuit eo quod non esset requies
50 AIN donec respiceret et videret Dominus de caelis
51 AIN oculus meus depraedatus est animam meam in cunctis filiabus urbis meae
52 SADE venatione ceperunt me quasi avem inimici mei gratis
53 SADE lapsa est in lacu vita mea et posuerunt lapidem super me
54 SADE inundaverunt aquae super caput meum dixi perii
55 COPH invocavi nomen tuum Domine de lacis novissimis
56 COPH vocem meam audisti ne avertas aurem tuam a singultu meo et clamoribus
57 COPH adpropinquasti in die quando invocavi te dixisti ne timeas
58 RES iudicasti Domine causam animae meae redemptor vitae meae
59 RES vidisti Domine iniquitatem adversum me iudica iudicium meum
60 RES vidisti omnem furorem universas cogitationes eorum adversum me
61 SEN audisti obprobria eorum Domine omnes cogitationes eorum adversum me
62 SEN labia insurgentium mihi et meditationes eorum adversum me tota die
63 SEN sessionem eorum et resurrectionem eorum vide ego sum psalmus eorum
64 THAU reddes eis vicem Domine iuxta opera manuum suarum
65 THAU dabis eis scutum cordis laborem tuum
66 THAU persequeris in furore et conteres eos sub caelis Domine

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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.

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 Latin Vulgate is in the public domain.