Paul Kretzmann Commentary - Lamentations 3:1 - 3:18

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Paul Kretzmann Commentary - Lamentations 3:1 - 3:18

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

A Lament over Grievous Sufferings

v. 1. I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of His wrath, so Jeremiah writes in setting forth his own experiences as characteristic of the misery which is often the lot of God's children in the world, as He Himself chastises those whom He loves.

v. 2. He hath led me and brought me into darkness,
into various calamities, but not into light, this being the manner in which the pious of all times have regarded adversity, as though they had been shut out from the rays of God's mercy.

v. 3. Surely against me is He turned,
in continual and severe chastisements; He turneth His hand against me all the day, smiting without ceasing.

v. 4. My flesh and my skin hath He made old,
so that they were wasting away with sickness and premature old age; He hath broken my bones. Cf Isa_38:13.

v. 5. He hath builded against me,
like a besieging army, and compassed me with gall and travel (travail), that is, with poison and heavy afflictions.

v. 6. He hath set me in dark places,
literally, "He caused me to dwell in darkness," as they that be dead of old, those encompassed by the long night of death. Cf Psa_143:3.

v. 7. He hath hedged me about,
surrounding him with a solid enclosure, that I cannot get out, that there is no escape; He hath made my chain heavy, so that he was absolutely hemmed in.

v. 8. Also when I cry and shout,
begging for deliverance, He shutteth out my prayer, this refusal to hear making the afflictions all the harder to bear.

v. 9. He hath enclosed my ways with hewn stone,
with a strong wall, placing insurmountable obstacles in his way; He hath made my paths crooked, so that he could not proceed on his way.

v. 10. He was unto me as a bear lying in wait,
lurking to pounce upon his prey, and as a lion in secret places, crouched in ambush, ready to spring upon the unsuspecting traveler.

v. 11. He hath turned aside my ways,
so that he went astray, and pulled me in pieces, so that his members were as severed from his body; He hath made me desolate, casting him away, lonely and miserable.

v. 12. He hath bent His bow,
taking deliberate aim at His target, and set me as a mark for the arrow. Cf Job_16:12.

v. 13. He hath caused the arrows of His quiver,
the darts of affliction, to enter into my reins, the vital organs of the body, as we now speak of the heart.

v. 14. I was a derision to all my people,
as when they mockingly set aside his advice not to go down to Egypt, and their song all the day, so that they made him their laughing-stock.

v. 15. He hath filled me with bitterness,
Job_9:18; He hath made me drunken with worm wood, with the nauseous cup which He caused him to drink, instead of the strengthening medicine which his condition seemed to require.

v. 16. He hath also broken my teeth with gravel-stones,
feeding him stones instead of bread; He hath covered me with ashes, in shameful humiliation.

v. 17. And Thou hast removed my soul far off from peace,
thrusting it back from happiness; I forgat prosperity, the very recollection of it no longer being present with him.

v. 18. And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord.
His vitality was sapped by his afflictions, and his hope and trust in Jehovah had left him. Thus even children of the Lord are at times so deeply affected by the griefs which they must bear that they come very near to despair.