Lamentations 3 – New International Version (NIV)

  1. [a]I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of the Lord’s wrath.
  2. He has driven me away and made me walk in darkness rather than light;
  3. indeed, he has turned his hand against me again and again, all day long.
  4. He has made my skin and my flesh grow old and has broken my bones.
  5. He has besieged me and surrounded me with bitterness and hardship.
  6. He has made me dwell in darkness like those long dead.
  7. He has walled me in so I cannot escape; he has weighed me down with chains.
  8. Even when I call out or cry for help, he shuts out my prayer.
  9. He has barred my way with blocks of stone; he has made my paths crooked.
  10. Like a bear lying in wait, like a lion in hiding,
  11. he dragged me from the path and mangled me and left me without help.
  12. He drew his bow and made me the target for his arrows.
  13. He pierced my heart with arrows from his quiver.
  14. I became the laughingstock of all my people; they mock me in song all day long.
  15. He has filled me with bitter herbs and given me gall to drink.
  16. He has broken my teeth with gravel; he has trampled me in the dust.
  17. I have been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is.
  18. So I say, “My splendor is gone and all that I had hoped from the Lord.”
  19. I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.
  20. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.
  21. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
  22. Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
  23. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
  24. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”
  25. The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;
  26. it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
  27. It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young.
  28. Let him sit alone in silence, for the Lord has laid it on him.
  29. Let him bury his face in the dust— there may yet be hope.
  30. Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him, and let him be filled with disgrace.
  31. For no one is cast off by the Lord forever.
  32. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love.
  33. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone.
  34. To crush underfoot all prisoners in the land,
  35. to deny people their rights before the Most High,
  36. to deprive them of justice— would not the Lord see such things?
  37. Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it?
  38. Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?
  39. Why should the living complain when punished for their sins?
  40. Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.
  41. Let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven, and say:
  42. “We have sinned and rebelled and you have not forgiven.
  43. “You have covered yourself with anger and pursued us; you have slain without pity.
  44. You have covered yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can get through.
  45. You have made us scum and refuse among the nations.
  46. “All our enemies have opened their mouths wide against us.
  47. We have suffered terror and pitfalls, ruin and destruction.”
  48. Streams of tears flow from my eyes because my people are destroyed.
  49. My eyes will flow unceasingly, without relief,
  50. until the Lord looks down from heaven and sees.
  51. What I see brings grief to my soul because of all the women of my city.
  52. Those who were my enemies without cause hunted me like a bird.
  53. They tried to end my life in a pit and threw stones at me;
  54. the waters closed over my head, and I thought I was about to perish.
  55. I called on your name, Lord, from the depths of the pit.
  56. You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.”
  57. You came near when I called you, and you said, “Do not fear.”
  58. You, Lord, took up my case; you redeemed my life.
  59. Lord, you have seen the wrong done to me. Uphold my cause!
  60. You have seen the depth of their vengeance, all their plots against me.
  61. Lord, you have heard their insults, all their plots against me—
  62. what my enemies whisper and mutter against me all day long.
  63. Look at them! Sitting or standing, they mock me in their songs.
  64. Pay them back what they deserve, Lord, for what their hands have done.
  65. Put a veil over their hearts, and may your curse be on them!
  66. Pursue them in anger and destroy them from under the heavens of the Lord.


a. Lamentations 3:1 This chapter is an acrostic poem; the verses of each stanza begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet, and the verses within each stanza begin with the same letter.

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Lamentations 3 – King James Version (KJV)

  1. I Am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath.
  2. He hath led me, and brought me into darkness, but not into light.
  3. Surely against me is he turned; he turneth his hand against me all the day.
  4. My flesh and my skin hath he made old; he hath broken my bones.
  5. He hath builded against me, and compassed me with gall and travail.
  6. He hath set me in dark places, as they that be dead of old.
  7. He hath hedged me about, that I cannot get out: he hath made my chain heavy.
  8. Also when I cry and shout, he shutteth out my prayer.
  9. He hath inclosed my ways with hewn stone, he hath made my paths crooked.
  10. He was unto me as a bear lying in wait, and as a lion in secret places.
  11. He hath turned aside my ways, and pulled me in pieces: he hath made me desolate.
  12. He hath bent his bow, and set me as a mark for the arrow.
  13. He hath caused the arrows of his quiver to enter into my reins.
  14. I was a derision to all my people; and their song all the day.
  15. He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath made me drunken with wormwood.
  16. He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones, he hath covered me with ashes.
  17. And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace: I forgat prosperity.
  18. And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord:
  19. Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall.
  20. My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me.
  21.  This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.
  22. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
  23. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
  24. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
  25. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
  26. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.
  27. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.
  28. He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him.
  29. He putteth his mouth in the dust; if so be there may be hope.
  30. He giveth his cheek to him that smiteth him: he is filled full with reproach.
  31. For the Lord will not cast off for ever:
  32. But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies.
  33. For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.
  34. To crush under his feet all the prisoners of the earth.
  35. To turn aside the right of a man before the face of the most High,
  36. To subvert a man in his cause, the Lord approveth not.
  37. Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?
  38. Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?
  39. Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?
  40. Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord.
  41. Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.
  42. We have transgressed and have rebelled: thou hast not pardoned.
  43. Thou hast covered with anger, and persecuted us: thou hast slain, thou hast not pitied.
  44. Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud, that our prayer should not pass through.
  45. Thou hast made us as the offscouring and refuse in the midst of the people.
  46. All our enemies have opened their mouths against us.
  47. Fear and a snare is come upon us, desolation and destruction.
  48. Mine eye runneth down with rivers of water for the destruction of the daughter of my people.
  49. Mine eye trickleth down, and ceaseth not, without any intermission.
  50. Till the Lord look down, and behold from heaven.
  51. Mine eye affecteth mine heart because of all the daughters of my city.
  52. Mine enemies chased me sore, like a bird, without cause.
  53. They have cut off my life in the dungeon, and cast a stone upon me.
  54. Waters flowed over mine head; then I said, I am cut off.
  55. I called upon thy name, O Lord, out of the low dungeon.
  56. Thou hast heard my voice: hide not thine ear at my breathing, at my cry.
  57. Thou drewest near in the day that I called upon thee: thou saidst, Fear not.
  58. O Lord, thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul; thou hast redeemed my life.
  59. O Lord, thou hast seen my wrong: judge thou my cause.
  60. Thou hast seen all their vengeance and all their imaginations against me.
  61. Thou hast heard their reproach, O Lord, and all their imaginations against me;
  62. The lips of those that rose up against me, and their device against me all the day.
  63. Behold their sitting down, and their rising up; I am their musick.
  64. Render unto them a recompence, O Lord, according to the work of their hands.
  65. Give them sorrow of heart, thy curse unto them.
  66. Persecute and destroy them in anger from under the heavens of the Lord.