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Jehovah’s Witnesses


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Lamentations 3:1-66

3  I am the man that saw hardship by the cudgel of his wrath. 2  Me he drove along to go darkling, unlighted. 3  Only at me all day he kept turning back his hand. 4  He wore away my flesh and skin, shattered my bones, 5*  Built siege-works against me and surrounded my head with hard experiences, 6  Seated me in places of darkness like men long since dead. 7  He walled me off so that I could not get out, made my fetters heavy. 8  Withal when I cried and clamored he shut off my prayer. 9*  He walled up my road with masonry, kept me making detours. 10  An ambushed bear he was to me, a lion under cover. 11  My roads he filled with briers and tore my flesh, laid me desolate. 12  He strung his bow and set me up like a target for the arrow, 13*  Sent in the contents of his quiver into my waist. 14*  I became a butt for the laughter of all my people, for their jingles all day long. 15  He filled me up with bitter greens, gave me wormwood-juice for refreshment, 16  And rasped my teeth with gravel, thrust me down in the ashes. 17*  And you banned my soul from welfare; I forgot such a thing as good, 18  And said “my continuance is lost, and my expectation from Jehovah.” 19*  The recollection of my miserable and homeless state is wormwood and opium. 20*  Recollect my soul does, and is downhearted within me. 21  This I will bring back to mind, will therefore wait, 22  Jehovah’s friendlinesses, that they are not exhausted, that his sympathy has not come to an end, 23  New every morning; great is your loyalty. 24  Jehovah is my portion, my soul has said; therefore I will wait for him. 25  Jehovah is good to those who hope in him, to a soul that betakes itself to him. 26  Good it is that one wait, and in silence, for Jehovah’s salvation. 27  Good it is for a man that he carry a yoke in his youth, 28  Sit alone and be still because it was laid on him, 29  Put his mouth in the dust,— perhaps there may be hope,— 30  Give his cheek to the one who strikes him, take his fill of humiliation. 31*  For the Lord will not repudiate man forever, 32  For if he causes misery he will have sympathy in accordance with his great friendliness, 33  For he does not arbitrarily grind down sons of man and bring them to misery. 34  To beating down underfoot all earth’s prisoners, 35  To warping the law against a man in the face of the Most High, 36  To circumventing a man in his suit over his rights, the Lord does not assent. 37*  Who is there that says a thing and has it come when the Lord has not ordered it? 38  Do not evils and good come out of the mouth of the Most High? 39*  What should a living man bemoan, a man over his sin? 40  Let us search our course and examine it, and come back to Jehovah. 41  Let us hold up our hearts in our hands to Deity in heaven. 42  We were criminal and disobedient; you did not forgive. 43  You overspread us with anger and pursued us, you killed without mercy. 44  You overspread yourself with a cloud to keep our prayers from coming through. 45  You are making us an offscouring and a bit of refuse among the peoples. 46  All our enemies have opened their mouths wide at us. 47*  We face dread and chasm, breaking and crash. 48  My eyes run streams of water for the breaking of the daughter of my people. 49  My eyes are running out and never halting for lack of a soothing balm. 50  Till Jehovah from the sky looks out and sees, 51  My eyes handle my soul cruelly because of all the daughters of my city. 52  My unprovoked enemies hunted me down like a sparrow. 53  They extinguished my life in the pit and flung stones on me. 54  Water rolled over my head; I thought “It is all over with me.” 55  I called your name, Jehovah, out of the abysmal pit; 56*  You heard my voice, “Do not let your ears disregard my freedom, my clamor.” 57  You drew near on the day I called you, you said “Do not be afraid.” 58  You upheld my right to exist, Lord, you stood up for my life. 59  You, Jehovah, saw the chicanery against me, did justice for me. 60  You saw all their revengefulness, all that they thought of for me. 61  You heard their taunts, Jehovah, all that they thought of against me, 62  My assailants’ lips and their whispering against me all day. 63  Look at their sitting down and standing up; I am the butt of their jingles. 64  You will give them back, Jehovah, treatment that matches the work of their hands: 65*  You will give them infatuated minds, your curse for them, 66  Will pursue them in anger and root them out from under Jehovah’s sky.


3:5 (my head with) Codd. me with poison and
3:9 (kept me making detours) Lit. contorted my paths
3:13 Lit. into my kidneys
3:14 Var. of all peoples
3:17 Conj. And my soul let welfare drop
3:19 Codd.* Recollect my miserable and homeless state, wormwood
3:20 Lit. over me
3:31 Codd. repudiate forever
3:37 Lit. Who says and it is, when
3:39 Susp.
3:47 Lit. We have got dread and chasm
3:56 (last words) Susp.
3:65 (infatuated) Unc.