Amplified Bible

Lamentations 3

Jeremiah Shares Israel’s Affliction

1I am [Jeremiah] the man who has seen affliction
Because of the rod of His wrath.

He has led me and made me walk
In darkness and not in light.

Surely He has turned His hand against me
Repeatedly all the day.

He has caused my flesh and my skin to waste away;
He has shattered my bones.

He has besieged and surrounded me with bitterness and hardship.

He has made me live in dark places
Like those who have long been dead.

He walled me in so that I cannot get out;
He has weighted down my chain.

Even when I cry out and shout for help,
He shuts out my prayer.

He has blocked my ways with cut stone;
He has made my paths crooked.
He is to me like a bear lying in wait,
And like a lion [hiding] in secret places.
He has turned aside my ways and torn me in pieces;
He has made me desolate.
He has bent His bow
And set me as a target for the arrow.
He has caused the arrows of His quiver
To enter my inner parts.
I have become the [object of] ridicule to all my people,
And [the subject of] their mocking song all the day.
He has filled me with bitterness;
He has made me drunk with wormwood (bitterness).
He has broken my teeth with gravel;
He has [covered me with ashes and] made me cower in the dust.
My soul has been cast far away from peace;
I have forgotten happiness.
So I say, “My strength has perished
And so has my hope and expectation from the Lord.”

Hope of Relief in God’s Mercy

Remember [O Lord] my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and the gall (bitterness).
My soul continually remembers them
And is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind,
Therefore I have hope.
It is because of the Lord’s lovingkindnesses that we are not consumed,
Because His [tender] compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great and beyond measure is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion and my inheritance,” says my soul;
“Therefore I have hope in Him and wait expectantly for Him.”
The Lord is good to those who wait [confidently] for Him,
To those who seek Him [on the authority of God’s word].
It is good that one waits quietly
For the salvation of the Lord.
It is good for a man that he should bear
The yoke [of godly discipline] in his youth.
Let him sit alone [in hope] and keep quiet,
Because God has laid it on him [for his benefit].
Let him put his mouth in the dust [in recognition of his unworthiness];
There may yet be hope.
Let him give his cheek to the one who strikes him;
Let him be filled with reproach.
For the Lord will not reject forever,
For if He causes grief,
Then He will have compassion
According to His abundant lovingkindness and tender mercy.
For He does not afflict willingly and from His heart
Or grieve the children of men.
To trample and crush under His feet
All the prisoners of the land,
To deprive a man of justice
In the presence of the Most High,
To defraud a man in his lawsuit—
The Lord does not approve of these things.
Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass,
Unless the Lord has authorized and commanded it?
Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
That both adversity (misfortune) and good (prosperity, happiness) proceed?

Why should any living mortal, or any man,
Complain [of punishment] in view of his sins?
Let us test and examine our ways,
And let us return to the Lord.
Let us lift up our hearts and our hands [in prayer]
Toward God in heaven;
We have transgressed and rebelled,
You have not pardoned.
You have covered Yourself with anger
And pursued us;
You have slain [without pity] and have not spared.
You have covered Yourself with a cloud
So that no prayer can pass through.
You have made us scum and refuse
Among the peoples (Gentile nations).
All our enemies have gaped at us.
Panic and pitfall (traps, danger) have come on us,
Devastation and destruction.
My eyes overflow with streams of tears
Because of the destruction of the daughter of my people (Jerusalem).
My eyes overflow unceasingly,
Without stopping,
Until the Lord looks down
And sees from heaven.
My eyes [see things that] bring pain to my soul
Because of all the daughters of my city.
Without cause my enemies
Hunted me down like a bird;
They silenced me in the pit
And placed a stone over me.
The waters ran down on my head;
I said, “I am cut off (destroyed)!”
I called on Your name, O Lord,
Out of the lowest pit.
You have heard my voice,
“Do not hide Your ear from my prayer for relief,
From my cry for help.”
You drew near on the day I called to You;
You said, “Do not fear.”
O Lord, You have pleaded my soul’s cause [You have guided my way and protected me];
You have rescued and redeemed my life.
O Lord, You have seen the wrong [done to me];
Judge my case.
You have seen all their vengeance,
All their schemes against me.
You have heard their reproach, O Lord,
And all their schemes against me.
The lips and whispering of my assailants
Are against me all day long.
Look at their sitting and their rising [their actions and secret counsels];
I am their mocking song [the subject of their ridicule].
You will repay them, O Lord,
According to the work of their hands.
You will harden their hearts;
Your curse will be upon them.
You will pursue them in anger and destroy them
From under the heavens of the Lord.

New International Reader's Version

Lamentations 3

1I am a man who has suffered greatly.
    The Lord has used the Babylonians
    to punish my people.
He has driven me away. He has made me walk
    in darkness instead of light.
He has turned his powerful hand against me.
    He has done it again and again, all day long.

He has worn out my body.
    He has broken my bones.
He has surrounded me and attacked me.
    He has made me suffer bitterly.
    He has made things hard for me.
He has made me live in darkness
    like those who are dead and gone.

He has built walls around me, so I can’t escape.
    He has put heavy chains on me.
I call out and cry for help.
    But he won’t listen to me when I pray.
He has put up a stone wall to block my way.
    He has made my paths crooked.

10 He has been like a bear waiting to attack me.
    He has been like a lion hiding in the bushes.
11 He has dragged me off the path.
    He has torn me to pieces.
    And he has left me helpless.
12 He has gotten his bow ready to use.
    He has shot his arrows at me.

13 The arrows from his bag
    have gone through my heart.
14 My people laugh at me all the time.
    They sing and make fun of me all day long.
15 The Lord has made my life bitter.
    He has made me suffer bitterly.

16 He made me chew stones that broke my teeth.
    He has walked all over me in the dust.
17 I have lost all hope of ever having any peace.
    I’ve forgotten what good times are like.
18 So I say, “My glory has faded away.
    My hope in the Lord is gone.”

19 I remember how I suffered and wandered.
    I remember how bitter my life was.
20 I remember it very well.
    My spirit is very sad deep down inside me.
21 But here is something else I remember.
    And it gives me hope.

22 The Lord loves us very much.
    So we haven’t been completely destroyed.
    His loving concern never fails.
23 His great love is new every morning.
    Lord, how faithful you are!
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is everything I will ever need.
    So I will put my hope in him.”

25 The Lord is good to those who put their hope in him.
    He is good to those who look to him.
26 It is good when people wait quietly
    for the Lord to save them.
27 It is good for a man to carry a heavy load of suffering
    while he is young.

28 Let him sit alone and not say anything.
    The Lord has placed that load on him.
29 Let him bury his face in the dust.
    There might still be hope for him.
30 Let him turn his cheek toward those who would slap him.
    Let him be filled with shame.

31 The Lord doesn’t turn his back
    on people forever.
32 He might bring suffering.
    But he will also show loving concern.
    How great his faithful love is!
33 He doesn’t want to bring pain
    or suffering to anyone.

34 Every time people crush prisoners under their feet,
    the Lord knows all about it.
35 When people refuse to give someone what they should,
    the Most High God knows it.
36 When people don’t treat someone fairly,
    the Lord knows it.

37 Suppose people order something to happen.
    It won’t happen unless the Lord has planned it.
38 Troubles and good things alike come to people
    because the Most High God has commanded them to come.
39 A person who is still alive shouldn’t blame God
    when God punishes them for their sins.

40 Let’s take a good look at the way we’re living.
    Let’s return to the Lord.
41 Let’s lift up our hands to God in heaven.
    Let’s pray to him with all our hearts.
42 Let’s say, “We have sinned.
    We’ve refused to obey you.
    And you haven’t forgiven us.

43 “You have covered yourself with the cloud of your anger.
    You have chased us.
    You have killed us without pity.
44 You have covered yourself with the cloud of your anger.
    Our prayers can’t get through to you.
45 You have made us become like trash and garbage
    among the nations.

46 “All our enemies have opened their mouths wide
    to swallow us up.
47 We are terrified and trapped.
    We are broken and destroyed.”
48 Streams of tears flow from my eyes.
    That’s because my people are destroyed.

49 Tears will never stop flowing from my eyes.
    My eyes can’t get any rest.
50 I’ll weep until the Lord looks down from heaven.
    I’ll cry until he notices my tears.
51 What I see brings pain to my spirit.
    All the women of my city are mourning.

52 Those who were my enemies for no reason at all
    hunted me down as if I were a bird.
53 They tried to end my life
    by throwing me into a deep pit.
    They threw stones down at me.
54 The water rose and covered my head.
    I thought I was going to die.

55 Lord, I called out to you.
    I called out from the bottom of the pit.
56 I prayed, “Please don’t close your ears
    to my cry for help.”
    And you heard my appeal.
57 You came near when I called out to you.
    You said, “Do not be afraid.”

58 Lord, you stood up for me in court.
    You saved my life and set me free.
59 Lord, you have seen the wrong things
    people have done to me.
    Stand up for me again!
60 You have seen how my enemies
    have tried to get even with me.
    You know all about their plans against me.

61 Lord, you have heard them laugh at me.
    You know all about their plans against me.
62 You have heard my enemies
    whispering among themselves.
    They speak against me all day long.
63 Just look at them sitting and standing there!
    They sing and make fun of me.

64 Lord, pay them back.
    Punish them for what their hands have done.
65 Cover their minds with a veil.
    Put a curse on them!
66 Lord, get angry with them and hunt them down.
    Wipe them off the face of the earth.