Lamentations 3

Study the Inner Meaning

English: Young's Literal Translation         

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1 I [am] the man [who] hath seen affliction By the rod of His wrath.

2 Me He hath led, and causeth to go [in] darkness, and without light.

3 Surely against me He turneth back, He turneth His hand all the day.

4 He hath worn out my flesh and my skin. He hath broken my bones.

5 He hath built up against me, And setteth round poverty and weariness.

6 In dark places He hath caused me to dwell, As the dead of old.

7 He hath hedged me about, and I go not out, He hath made heavy my fetter.

8 Also when I call and cry out, He hath shut out my prayer.

9 He hath hedged my ways with hewn work, My paths He hath made crooked.

10 A bear lying in wait He [is] to me, A lion in secret hiding-places.

11 My ways He is turning aside, and He pulleth me in pieces, He hath made me a desolation.

12 He hath trodden His bow, And setteth me up as a mark for an arrow.

13 He hath caused to enter into my reins The sons of His quiver.

14 I have been a derision to all my people, Their song all the day.

15 He hath filled me with bitter things, He hath filled me [with] wormwood.

16 And He breaketh with gravel my teeth, He hath covered me with ashes.

17 And Thou castest off from peace my soul, I have forgotten prosperity.

18 And I say, Perished hath my strength and my hope from Jehovah.

19 Remember my affliction and my mourning, Wormwood and gall!

20 Remember well, and bow down doth my soul in me.

21 This I turn to my heart -- therefore I hope.

22 The kindnesses of Jehovah! For we have not been consumed, For not ended have His mercies.

23 New every morning, abundant [is] thy faithfulness.

24 My portion [is] Jehovah, hath my soul said, Therefore I hope for Him.

25 Good [is] Jehovah to those waiting for Him, To the soul [that] seeketh Him.

26 Good! when one doth stay and stand still For the salvation of Jehovah.

27 Good for a man that he beareth a yoke in his youth.

28 He sitteth alone, and is silent, For He hath laid [it] upon him.

29 He putteth in the dust his mouth, if so be there is hope.

30 He giveth to his smiter the cheek, He is filled with reproach.

31 For the Lord doth not cast off to the age.

32 For though He afflicted, yet He hath pitied, According to the abundance of His kindness.

33 For He hath not afflicted with His heart, Nor doth He grieve the sons of men.

34 To bruise under one's feet any bound ones of earth,

35 To turn aside the judgment of a man, Over-against the face of the Most High,

36 To subvert a man in his cause, the Lord hath not approved.

37 Who [is] this -- he hath said, and it is, [And] the Lord hath not commanded [it]?

38 From the mouth of the Most High Go not forth the evils and the good.

39 What -- sigh habitually doth a living man, A man for his sin?

40 We search our ways, and investigate, And turn back unto Jehovah.

41 We lift up our heart on the hands unto God in the heavens.

42 We -- we have transgressed and rebelled, Thou -- Thou hast not forgiven.

43 Thou hast covered Thyself with anger, And dost pursue us; Thou hast slain -- Thou hast not pitied.

44 Thou hast covered Thyself with a cloud, So that prayer doth not pass through.

45 Offscouring and refuse Thou dost make us In the midst of the peoples.

46 Opened against us their mouth have all our enemies.

47 Fear and a snare hath been for us, Desolation and destruction.

48 Rivulets of water go down my eye, For the destruction of the daughter of my people.

49 Mine eye is poured out, And doth not cease without intermission,

50 Till Jehovah looketh and seeth from the heavens,

51 My eye affecteth my soul, Because of all the daughters of my city.

52 Hunted me sore as a bird have my enemies without cause.

53 They have cut off in a pit my life, And they cast a stone against me.

54 Flowed have waters over my head, I have said, I have been cut off.

55 I called Thy name, O Jehovah, from the lower pit.

56 My voice Thou hast heard, Hide not Thine ear at my breathing -- at my cry.

57 Thou hast drawn near in the day I call Thee, Thou hast said, Fear not.

58 Thou hast pleaded, O Lord, the pleadings of my soul, Thou hast redeemed my life.

59 Thou hast seen, O Jehovah, my overthrow, Judge Thou my cause.

60 Thou hast seen all their vengeance, All their thoughts of me.

61 Thou hast heard their reproach, O Jehovah, All their thoughts against me,

62 The lips of my withstanders, Even their meditation against me all the day.

63 Their sitting down, and their rising up, Behold attentively, I [am] their song.

64 Thou returnest to them the deed, O Jehovah, According to the work of their hands.

65 Thou givest to them a covered heart, Thy curse to them.

66 Thou pursuest in anger, and destroyest them, From under the heavens of Jehovah!

← Lamentations 2   Lamentations 4 →
   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

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Word/Phrase Explanations

seen
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...

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.

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...

back
Everyone knows the phrase "the natural order of things." It means that everything is in its proper place, occupying the niche it is meant to...

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.

Weariness
'Weariness' denotes a state of temptation combat.

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...

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...

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....

paths
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....

bear
Bears represent the power of the literal external stories and ideas of Bible, separate from their deeper meanings. Since they are wild carnivores, this is...

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

turning
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.

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...

Sons
'Sons of Canaan,' as in Genesis 10, are people who kept external worship separate from internal.

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

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')...

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...

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...

Jehovah
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...

Remember
'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...

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

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

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...

mercies
In regular language, "mercy" means being caring and compassionate toward those who are in poor states. That's a position we are all in relative to...

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

abundant
'Sufficiency' relates to the reception of good, because good is the spiritual nourishment of the soul, as natural food is the nourishment of the body.

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...

said
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...

stand
'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...

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

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

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...

giveth
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...

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

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...

feet
Our feet are the lowest and most utilitarian parts of our bodies, and in the Bible they represent the lowest and most utilitarian part of...

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...

judgment
Judgement' pertains to the Lord's divine human and holy proceeding. Judgment' has two sides, a principle of good, and a principle of truth. The faithful...

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.

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.

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...

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...

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...

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...

go down
To go up and to go down: in the Word, mention is made of going up and going down when speaking of going from one...

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,"...

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...

daughter
It is because of a celestial and angelic proprium, or selfhood, that the church is called 'a woman,' 'a wife,' 'a bride,' 'a virgin,' and...

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.

Pit
A pit,' or 'well which has no water,' as in Jeremiah 2:13, signifies doctrines which have no truths.

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...

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...

Call
To call someone or summon someone in the Bible represents a desire for conjunction between higher and lower states of life. For instance, imagine someone...

fear
Fear has various significations according to the thing which causes it. Fear signifies love. Fear, as in Gen 28:17, signifies a holy change.

Fear not
Fear not, as in Revelation 1:17; Daniel 10:5, 12; Matthew 17:5, 7; 28:10, etc., signifies resuscitation to life, and at the same time adoration from...

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...

thoughts
There are thoughts from perception, from conscience, and from a lack of conscience. Thoughts from perception are only possible in the celestial, that is, people...

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...


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