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Lamentations 3:8

Context

3:8 Also, when I cry out desperately 1  for help, 2 

he has shut out my prayer. 3 

Lamentations 3:18

Context

3:18 So I said, “My endurance has expired;

I have lost all hope of deliverance 4  from the Lord.”

Lamentations 3:54-58

Context

3:54 The waters closed over my head;

I thought 5  I was about to die. 6 

ק (Qof)

3:55 I have called on your name, O Lord,

from the deepest pit. 7 

3:56 You heard 8  my plea: 9 

“Do not close your ears to my cry for relief!” 10 

3:57 You came near 11  on the day I called to you;

you said, 12  “Do not fear!”

ר (Resh)

3:58 O Lord, 13  you championed 14  my cause, 15 

you redeemed my life.

1 tn Heb “I call and I cry out.” The verbs אֶזְעַק וַאֲשַׁוֵּעַ (’ezaq vaashavvea’, “I call and I cry out”) form a verbal hendiadys: the second retains its full verbal sense, while the first functions adverbially: “I cry out desperately.”

2 tn The verb שׁוע (“to cry out”) usually refers to calling out to God for help or deliverance from a lamentable plight (e.g., Job 30:20; 36:13; 38:41; Pss 5:3; 18:7, 42; 22:25; 28:2; 30:3; 31:23; 88:14; 119:147; Isa 58:9; Lam 3:8; Jon 2:3; Hab 1:2).

3 tn The verb שָׂתַם (satam) is a hapax legomenon (term that appears in the Hebrew scriptures only once) that means “to stop up” or “shut out.” It functions as an idiom here, meaning “he has shut his ears to my prayer” (BDB 979 s.v.).

4 tn Heb “and my hope from the Lord.” The hope is for deliverance. The words, “I have lost all…” have been supplied in the translation in order to clarify the Hebrew idiom for the English reader.

5 tn Heb “I said,” meaning “I said to myself” = “I thought.”

6 tn Heb “I was about to be cut off.” The verb נִגְזָרְתִּי (nigzarti), Niphal perfect 1st person common singular from גָּזַר (gazar, “to be cut off”), functions in an ingressive sense: “about to be cut off.” It is used in reference to the threat of death (e.g., Ezek 37:11). To be “cut off” from the hand of the living means to experience death (Ps 88:6).

7 tn Heb “from a pit of lowest places.”

8 tn The verb could be understood as a precative, “hear my plea,” parallel to the following volitive verb, “do not close.”

9 tn Heb “my voice.”

10 tn The preposition ל (lamed) continues syntactically from “my plea” in the previous line (e.g. Ex 5:2; Josh 22:2; 1 Sam 8:7; 12:1; Jer 43:4).

11 tn The verb could be understood as a precative (“Draw near”). The perspective of the poem seems to be that of prayer during distress rather than a testimony that God has delivered.

12 tn The verb could be understood as a precative (“Say”).

13 tc The MT reads אֲדֹנָי (’adonay, “the Lord”) here rather than יהוה (YHWH, “the Lord”) as in the following verse. See the tc note at 1:14.

14 tn This verb, like others in this stanza, could be understood as a precative (“Plead”).

15 tn Heb “the causes of my soul.” The term נַפְשִׁי (nafshi, “my soul”) is a synecdoche of part (= my soul) for the whole person (= me).



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