Lamentations 3 – “Complaint, Confidence, and Petition”

melrose-trashHebrew-English Text
I. Summary
Lamentations 3 is an acrostic poem, and each letter takes up three verses. The speaker complains about his miserable state, encourages others to turn to God, leads them in a prayer, and begs God to punish his enemies with a vengeance.

II. Photo
The people complain to God in v. 45: “You have made us filth and refuse In the midst of the peoples!”

III. Important Verses
vv. 3-8: On none but me He brings down His hand Again and again, without cease. He has worn away my flesh and skin; He has shattered my bones. All around me He has built Misery and hardship; He has made me dwell in darkness, Like those long dead. He has walled me in and I cannot break out; He has weighed me down with chains. And when I cry and plead, He shuts out my prayer.
vv. 21-23: But this do I call to mind, Therefore I have hope: The kindness of the LORD has not ended, His mercies are not spent. They are renewed every morning — Ample is Your grace!
vv. 24-26: “The LORD is my portion,” I say with full heart; Therefore will I hope in Him. The LORD is good to those who trust in Him, To the one who seeks Him; It is good to wait patiently Till rescue comes from the LORD.
vv. 37-38: Whose decree was ever fulfilled, Unless the Lord willed it? Is it not at the word of the Most High, That weal and woe befall?
vv. 40-41: Let us search and examine our ways, And turn back to the LORD; Let us lift up our hearts with our hands To God in heaven.
vv. 55-56:  I have called on Your name, O LORD, From the depths of the Pit. Hear my plea; Do not shut Your ear To my groan, to my cry!

IV. Outline
1-20. Complaint
21-36. Affirmation of confidence
37-54. Communal confession and complaint
55-66. Petition

V. Comment
No comment today. I hope to revisit this chapter at the end of the cycle. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Gerstenberger, Psalms Part 2 and Lamentations (Forms of Old Testament Literature)
Photo taken from