Lamentations 3

Study the Inner Meaning

English: World English Bible         

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1 I am the man that has seen affliction by the rod of his wrath.

2 He has led me and caused me to walk in darkness, and not in light.

3 Surely against me he turns his hand again and again all the day.

4 My flesh and my skin has he made old; he has broken my bones.

5 He has built against me, and surrounded me with gall and travail.

6 He has made me to dwell in dark places, as those that have been long dead.

7 He has walled me about, that I can't go forth; he has made my chain heavy.

8 Yes, when I cry, and call for help, he shuts out my prayer.

9 He has walled up my ways with cut stone; he has made my paths crooked.

10 He is to me as a bear lying in wait, as a lion in secret places.

11 He has turned aside my ways, and pulled me in pieces; he has made me desolate.

12 He has bent his bow, and set me as a mark for the arrow.

13 He has caused the shafts of his quiver to enter into my kidneys.

14 I am become a derision to all my people, and their song all the day.

15 He has filled me with bitterness, he has sated me with wormwood.

16 He has also broken my teeth with gravel stones; he has covered me with ashes.

17 You have removed my soul far off from peace; I forgot prosperity.

18 I said, My strength is perished, and my expectation from Yahweh.

19 Remember my affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall.

20 My soul still remembers them, and is bowed down within me.

21 This I recall to my mind; therefore have I hope.

22 [It is of] Yahweh's loving kindnesses that we are not consumed, because his compassion doesn't fail.

23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

24 Yahweh is my portion, says my soul; therefore will I hope in him.

25 Yahweh is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him.

26 It is good that a man should hope and quietly wait for the salvation of Yahweh.

27 It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.

28 Let him sit alone and keep silence, because he has laid it on him.

29 Let him put his mouth in the dust, if so be there may be hope.

30 Let him give his cheek to him who strikes him; let him be filled full with reproach.

31 For the Lord will not cast off forever.

32 For though he cause grief, yet he will have compassion according to the multitude of his loving kindnesses.

33 For he does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.

34 To crush under foot 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 doesn't approve.

37 Who is he who says, and it comes to pass, when the Lord doesn't command it?

38 Doesn't evil and good come out of the mouth of the Most High?

39 Why does a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?

40 Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to Yahweh.

41 Let us lift up our heart with our hands to God in the heavens.

42 We have transgressed and have rebelled; you have not pardoned.

43 You have covered with anger and pursued us; you have killed, you have not pitied.

44 You have covered yourself with a cloud, so that no prayer can pass through.

45 You have made us an off-scouring and refuse in the midst of the peoples.

46 All our enemies have opened their mouth wide against us.

47 Fear and the pit are come on us, devastation and destruction.

48 My eye runs down with streams of water, for the destruction of the daughter of my people.

49 My eye pours down, and doesn't cease, without any intermission,

50 Until Yahweh look down, and see from heaven.

51 My eye affects my soul, because of all the daughters of my city.

52 They have chased me relentlessly like a bird, those who are my enemies without cause.

53 They have cut off my life in the dungeon, and have cast a stone on me.

54 Waters flowed over my head; I said, I am cut off.

55 I called on your name, Yahweh, out of the lowest dungeon.

56 You heard my voice; don't hide your ear at my breathing, at my cry.

57 You drew near in the day that I called on you; you said, Don't be afraid.

58 Lord, you have pleaded the causes of my soul; you have redeemed my life.

59 Yahweh, you have seen my wrong. Judge my cause.

60 You have seen all their vengeance and all their devices against me.

61 You have heard their reproach, Yahweh, and all their devices against me,

62 The lips of those that rose up against me, and their device against me all the day.

63 You see their sitting down, and their rising up; I am their song.

64 You will render to them a recompense, Yahweh, according to the work of their hands.

65 You will give them hardness of heart, your curse to them.

66 You will pursue them in anger, and destroy them from under the heavens of Yahweh.

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   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 121


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 3869, 8941, 9024, 9163

Apocalypse Revealed 306, 410, 485, 573, 721


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 365, 419, 519, 727, 781

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 58

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 59

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 26:24

Exodus 14:14

Deuteronomy 4:30, 25:1, 28:37

1 Samuel 25:39

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Word/Phrase Explanations

affliction
An affliction "such as was not from the beginning of the world, no nor ever shall be", mentioned in 'Matthew 24:21', means the infestation from...

Led
'To be led by the Lord' is to be in a state of essential liberty, blessedness, and happiness.

walk
To walk in the Bible represents living, and usually means living according to the true things taught to us by the Lord -- to "walk...

darkness
"Darkness" is a state without light. "Light" is truth from the Lord, so "darkness" is a state where truth is lacking.

light
Nov. 4, 1879: Thomas Edison filed a patent for a long-burning light bulb. Nov. 5, 1879: The light bulb was universally accepted as the symbol...

hand
In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good.

day
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

flesh
Flesh has several meanings just in its most obvious form. It can mean all living creatures as when the Lord talks about the flood "destroying...

skin
'Skin' corresponds to truth or to falsity in the extremes. 'The skin,' as relates to the grand human, means the natural self. There are spirits...

broken
To “break” something creates an image that is much different from “attacking,” “destroying,” or “shattering.” It is less emotional, less violent in its intent; it...

Bones
Bones are strong and supportive, providing a framework for our bodies and making motion and action possible. They are also the least "alive" part of...

built
wrought (also entwined or entwisted) is predicated of the natural scientific principle, and in Isaiah 45:13, of divine natural truth.

surrounded
People inspired by evil desires and informed by false ideas want nothing more than to attack and destroy the things that are good and true...

gall
'To vex' or 'gall' someone signifies resistance by falsities.

dwell
Many people were nomadic in Biblical times, especially the times of the Old Testament, and lived in tents that could be struck, moved and re-raised...

Long
'Long' and thence to prolong, refer to good.

dead
Dead (Gen. 23:8) signifies night, in respect to the goodnesses and truths of faith.

go
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

Go forth
To go forth, as in Genesis 19:14, signifies to recede from, or not to remain in [evil]. To go forth, as in Genesis 41:45, denotes...

Cry
As with most common verbs, the spiritual meaning of “crying” or “crying out” (meaning a shout or wail, not weeping) is highly dependent on context....

ways
These days we tend to think of "roads" as smooth swaths of pavement, and judge them by how fast we can drive cars on them....

lion
'A lion' signifies the good of celestial love and the truth from that good.

turned
Swedenborg says that the Lord is the sun of heaven, and like the natural sun of our world shines on everyone, good or evil. What...

Bow
A bow signifies falsity of doctrine destroying truth, and spear, the falsity of evil de­stroying good. (Jer. 6:23.)

arrow
'Shafts' or 'arrows' signify truths and spiritual truth.

Quiver
'A quiver,' as in Isaiah 49:2, signifies the Word. 'A quiver' signifies the doctrinal matters of good and truth.

enter
All changes of place in the Bible represent changes in spiritual state. “Entering” – usually used as entering someone’s house or “going in unto” someone...

kidneys
'Kidneys,' as in Exodus 29:13, signify interior truths, or truths exploring, purifying, and correcting.

Wormwood
'Wormwood' signifies infernal falsity because of its intense bitterness, which makes meat and drink awful. 'Waters of wormwood' signifies falsities of evil.

teeth
'Teeth' signify the outer edges of the life of the natural self, or the sensory level. This has two kinds, the will, and the understanding....

Ashes
Ashes as in ('Ezekiel 27:30') signify what is condemned; because fire from which they are derived signify infernal love. Ashes of the furnace ('Exodus 9:8')...

removed
As with many verbs, the meaning of "remove" in the Bible varies a good bit depending on context. It generally involves a separation of spiritual...

soul
The nature of the soul is a deep and complicated topic, but it can be summarized as "spiritual life," who we are in terms of...

peace
In ordinary life, we tend to think of "peace" as essentially "a lack of conflict." As a nation, if we're not at war, it's a...

Yahweh
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

remembers
'To remember,' as in Genesis 41:9, signifies conjunction. 'Remembering' denotes conjunction because the remembrance of anyone in the other life joins them together, because as...

to
‘To grieve at heart’ is in reference to love, and ‘to repent,’ to wisdom, as in Genesis 6:6.

morning
Morning comes with the rising of the sun, and the sun – which gives life to the earth with its warmth and light – represents...

faithfulness
In the modern world, we’re used to thinking of “faith” as primarily an emotional state. When Swedenborg talks about “faith” – which his books do...

says
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

good
It seems rather circular to say that “good” in the Bible represents good, but in a general sense it’s true! The case is this: The...

bear
Like many verbs, the spiritual meaning of "bearing" something depends greatly on context – what it is that's being borne, and why. It is further...

youth
'Tender of age' denotes the state of truths newly received not yet genuine.

Sit
'To sit before Jehovah' is to be with Him, and so, it also means willing and acting from Him. 'To stand before Him,' is to...

Put
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

mouth
In most cases, "mouth" in the Bible represents thought and logic, especially the kind of active, concrete thought that is connected with speech. The reason...

dust
'Powder' or 'dust' refers to love of self and the world.

give
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

Cheek
The cheek, referred to in Matthew 5:39, signifies the perception and understanding of interior truth. The right cheek signifies the affection, and thence perception, and...

Full
'To satiate' relates to the extent of a person's will, for good or evil.

reproach
To revile something – or "reproach," as it is often translated – represents making a direct and deliberate attack on what is spiritually true, in...

forever
'Perpetual' in the literal sense, means to the end of one’s life, after death, and eternity.

Grief
Grief is anxiety of heart or will.

children
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

men
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

under
Generally speaking things that are seen as lower physically in the Bible represent things that are lower or more external spiritually. In some cases this...

foot
The foot, as in Deuteronomy 33:3, signifies an inferior principle. To set the right foot on the sea and the left on the earth, as...

Prisoners
Prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water,' as in Zechariah 9:11, signify the faithful who were kept in the lower earth until the...

earth
'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.

a
A help-meet for him,' or 'a help as before him,' as mentioned in Genesis 2:18, signifies proprium, or what is one's own. However, whereas the...

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

face
“The eyes are the windows of the soul.” That’s a sentiment with roots somewhere in murky antiquity, but one that has become hopelessly cliché because...

Most high
'The most high' signifies the inmost.

high
'Height' signifies what is inward, and also heaven.

command
To command is to give an order that something must be done, and is directed to an individual, or a group. It is an imperative,...

evil
'Wickedness' signifies evil, and 'iniquity' signifies falsities.

punishment
Punishment' is the consummation of evil, because after punishment, reformation succeeds. This is why it says in Deuteronomy 25:3, 'that no more than forty stripes...

Us
Because people are governed by angels and spirits, in Genesis 1:26 it says 'let us make man into our image.' But because the Lord alone...

lift
The idea of "lifting" is used in a number of different ways in the Bible. In general, it means connecting with a higher spiritual state...

hands
'Washing of the hands' was an ancient declaration of innocence, and signifies purification from evils and falsities, as in Psalms 73:13 and Matthew 27:24.

Heavens
Heavens are celestial and spiritual things. Consequently, they are inmost things, both of the Lord's kingdom in heaven the and in the earth. This also...

anger
'Wrath,' as in Genesis 49:7, signifies aversion from truth. 'Great wrath,' as in Revelation 12:12, signifies hatred against the new church.

Cloud
In Isaiah 19:1, "Jehovah rides upon a light cloud, and comes into Egypt", signifies the visitation of the natural man from spiritual-natural Divine Truth, for...

pass
'To pass,' as in Genesis 31:52, signifies flowing in. 'To pass the night,' as in Genesis 24:54, signifies having peace. 'To pass through,' as in...

enemies
An enemy in the Bible refers to people who are in the love of evil and the false thinking that springs from evil. On a...

eye
It’s common to say “I see” when we understand something. And indeed, “seeing” in the Bible represents grasping and understanding spiritual things. So it makes...

down
"Down" is used many different ways in natural language, and its spiritual meaning in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Phrases like "bowing down,"...

water
'Waters' signify truths in the natural self, and in the opposite sense, falsities. 'Waters' signify particularly the spiritual parts of a person, or the intellectual...

look
To look,' as in Genesis 18:22, signifies thinking, because seeing denotes understanding. Look not back behind thee,' as in Genesis 19:17, means that Lot, who...

see
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

the daughters of
The daughters of Rabbah' signify people who are in natural good and falsify the truths of the church.

Daughters
"Behold I have two daughters,” etc. (Gen. 19:8), signifies the affections of good and truth, and the blessedness perceivable from the enjoyment thereof, by those...

city
Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jer. 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.

bird
"Birds" mean rational concepts in the external man and intellectual concepts in the internal man.

stone
Stones in the Bible in general represent truths, or things we know concerning the Lord and what He wants from us and for us in...

waters
'Waters,' 'rivers,' and 'depths,' as in Psalm 78:15-16, signify truths from the Lord.

head
The head is the part of us that is highest, which means in a representative sense that it is what is closest to the Lord....

called
'To proclaim' signifies exploration from influx of the Lord.

name
It's easy to see that names are important in the Bible. Jehovah changed Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah, changed Jacob to Israel and...

heard
Thanks to modern science, we now understand that hearing actually happens in the brain, not the ears. The ears collect vibrations in the air and...

drew
"Drawing" is used a number of different ways in the Bible, generally in the sense of pulling, leading or moving: People most commonly draw water,...

near
'Near,' in the Word, signifies presence and conjunction. 'To be near' signifies being on internal levels. Near,' as in Genesis 19:20, signifies truth bordering upon...

afraid
The fearful signify people who have no faith.

redeemed
'To redeem' signifies vindication and liberation, because there are two words in the original language, which mean 'redemption.' One means vindication from evil, and the...

judge
It’s easy to see the connection between judging and truth. In a court of law, the judge’s whole purpose is to find the truth. In...

lips
'A lip' signifies doctrine. A lip,' as in Isaiah 6:3, 7, signifies the interior parts of a person, consequently, internal worship, where adoration is grounded....

sitting
If you think about sitting, it seems fair to say that where you're sitting is more important than that you're sitting. Sitting in a movie...

rising
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

Render
'To reward' signifies meting out punishment.

heart
The heart means love. A good heart means love to the Lord and to the neighbor while a hard or stony heart means the love...

Pursue
'To pursue,' as in Genesis 14:16, signifies a state of purification, because 'to pursue enemies' is the expulsion of evils and falsities which were with...


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