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Lamentations 3:19-66

Context

ז (Zayin)

3:19 Remember 1  my impoverished and homeless condition, 2 

which is a bitter poison. 3 

3:20 I 4  continually think about 5  this,

and I 6  am depressed. 7 

3:21 But this I call 8  to mind; 9 

therefore I have hope:

ח (Khet)

3:22 The Lord’s loyal kindness 10  never ceases; 11 

his compassions 12  never end.

3:23 They are fresh 13  every morning;

your faithfulness is abundant! 14 

3:24 “My portion is the Lord,” I have said to myself, 15 

so I will put my hope in him.

ט (Tet)

3:25 The Lord is good to those who trust 16  in him,

to the one 17  who seeks him.

3:26 It is good to wait patiently 18 

for deliverance from the Lord. 19 

3:27 It is good for a man 20 

to bear 21  the yoke 22  while he is young. 23 

י (Yod)

3:28 Let a person 24  sit alone in silence,

when the Lord 25  is disciplining him. 26 

3:29 Let him bury his face in the dust; 27 

perhaps there is hope.

3:30 Let him offer his cheek to the one who hits him; 28 

let him have his fill of insults.

כ (Kaf)

3:31 For the Lord 29  will not

reject us forever. 30 

3:32 Though he causes us 31  grief, he then has compassion on us 32 

according to the abundance of his loyal kindness. 33 

3:33 For he is not predisposed to afflict 34 

or to grieve people. 35 

ל (Lamed)

3:34 To crush underfoot

all the earth’s prisoners, 36 

3:35 to deprive a person 37  of his rights 38 

in the presence of the Most High,

3:36 to defraud a person in a lawsuit –

the Lord 39  does not approve 40  of such things!

מ (Mem)

3:37 Whose command was ever fulfilled 41 

unless the Lord 42  decreed it?

3:38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that everything comes –

both calamity and blessing? 43 

3:39 Why should any living person 44  complain

when punished for his sins? 45 

נ (Nun)

3:40 Let us carefully examine our ways, 46 

and let us return to the Lord.

3:41 Let us lift up our hearts 47  and our hands

to God in heaven:

3:42 “We 48  have blatantly rebelled; 49 

you 50  have not forgiven.”

ס (Samek)

3:43 You shrouded yourself 51  with anger and then pursued us;

you killed without mercy.

3:44 You shrouded yourself with a cloud

so that no prayer can get through.

3:45 You make us like filthy scum 52 

in the estimation 53  of the nations.

פ (Pe)

3:46 All our enemies have gloated over us; 54 

3:47 Panic and pitfall 55  have come upon us,

devastation and destruction. 56 

3:48 Streams 57  of tears flow from my eyes 58 

because my people 59  are destroyed. 60 

ע (Ayin)

3:49 Tears flow from my eyes 61  and will not stop;

there will be no break 62 

3:50 until the Lord looks down from heaven

and sees what has happened. 63 

3:51 What my eyes see 64  grieves me 65 

all the suffering of the daughters in my city. 66 

צ (Tsade)

3:52 For no good reason 67  my enemies

hunted me down 68  like a bird.

3:53 They shut me 69  up in a pit

and threw stones at me.

3:54 The waters closed over my head;

I thought 70  I was about to die. 71 

ק (Qof)

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

from the deepest pit. 72 

3:56 You heard 73  my plea: 74 

“Do not close your ears to my cry for relief!” 75 

3:57 You came near 76  on the day I called to you;

you said, 77  “Do not fear!”

ר (Resh)

3:58 O Lord, 78  you championed 79  my cause, 80 

you redeemed my life.

3:59 You have seen the wrong done to me, O Lord;

pronounce judgment on my behalf! 81 

3:60 You have seen all their vengeance,

all their plots against me. 82 

ש (Sin/Shin)

3:61 You have heard 83  their taunts, O Lord,

all their plots against me.

3:62 My assailants revile and conspire 84 

against me all day long.

3:63 Watch them from morning to evening; 85 

I am the object of their mocking songs.

ת (Tav)

3:64 Pay them back 86  what they deserve, 87  O Lord,

according to what they 88  have done. 89 

3:65 Give them a distraught heart; 90 

may your curse be on them!

3:66 Pursue them 91  in anger and eradicate them

from under the Lord’s heaven.

1 tc The LXX records ἐμνήσθην (emnhsqhn, “I remembered”) which may reflect a first singular form זָכַרְתִּי (zakharti) whereas the MT preserves the form זְכָר (zÿkhor) which may be Qal imperative 2nd person masculine singular (“Remember!”) or infinitive construct (“To remember…”). A 2nd person masculine singular imperative would most likely address God. In the next verse נַפְשִׁי (nafshi, “my soul”) is the subject of זְכָר (zÿkhor). If נַפְשִׁי (nafshi) is also the subject here one would expect a 2fs Imperative זִכְרִי (zikhri) a form that stands in the middle of the MT’s זְכָר (zÿkhor) and the presumed זָכַרְתִּי (zakharti) read by the LXX. English versions are split between the options: “To recall” (NJPS), “Remember!” (RSV, NRSV, NASB), “Remembering” (KJV, NKJV), “I remember” (NIV).

tn The basic meaning of זָכַר (zakhar) is “to remember, call to mind” (HALOT 270 s.v. I זכר). Although it is often used in reference to recollection of past events, it can also describe consideration of present situations: “to consider, think about” something present (BDB 270 s.v. 5).

2 tn The two nouns עָנְיִי וּמְרוּדִי (’onyi umÿrudi, lit., “my poverty and my homelessness”) form a nominal hendiadys in which one noun functions adjectivally and the other retains its full nominal sense: “my impoverished homelessness” or “homeless poor” (GKC 397-98 §124.e). The nearly identical phrase is used in Lam 1:7 and Isa 58:7 (see GKC 226 §83.c), suggesting this was a Hebrew idiom. Jerusalem’s inhabitants were impoverished and homeless.

3 tn Heb “wormwood and gall.” The two nouns joined by ו (vav), לַעֲנָה וָרֹאשׁ (laana varosh, “wormwood and bitterness”) form a nominal hendiadys. The first retains its full verbal sense and the second functions adjectivally: “bitter poison.”

4 tc The MT reads נַפְשִׁי (nafshi, “my soul”); however, the Masoretic scribes preserve an alternate textual tradition, marked by the Tiqqune Sopherim (“corrections by the scribes”) of נַפְשֶׁךָ (nafshekha, “your soul”).

tn Heb “my soul.” The term נַפְשִׁי (nafshi, “my soul”) is used as a synecdoche of part (= my soul) for the whole person (= I ). The verb תִּזְכּוֹר (tizkor) is Qal imperfect 3rd person feminine singular and the subject is נַפְשִׁי (nafshi, “my soul”), though the term does not appear until the end of the verse functioning as the subject of both verbs. Due to the synecdoche, the line is translated as though the verb were 1st person common singular.

5 tn The infinitive absolute followed by an imperfect of the same root is an emphatic rhetorical statement: זָכוֹר תִּזְכּוֹר (zakhor tizkor, “continually think”). Although the basic meaning of זָכַר (zakhar) is “to remember, call to mind” (HALOT 270 I זכר), here it refers to consideration of a present situation: “to consider, think about” something present (BDB 270 s.v. זָכַר 5). The referent of the 3rd person feminine singular form of תִּזְכּוֹר (tizkor) is the feminine singular noun נַפְשִׁי (nafshi, “my soul”).

6 tc The MT reads נַפְשִׁי (nafshi, “my soul”); however, the Masoretic scribes preserve an alternate textual tradition, included in some lists of the Tiqqune Sopherim (“corrections by the scribes”) of נַפְשֶׁךָ (nafshekha, “your soul”).

tn Heb “my soul…” or “your soul…” The term נַפְשִׁי (nafshi, “my soul”) is used as a synecdoche of part (= my soul) for the whole person (= I ). Likewise, נַפְשֶׁךָ (nafshekha, “your soul”) is also a synecdoche of part (= your soul) for the whole person (= you).

7 tc The MT preserves the Kethib וְתָשִׁיחַ (vÿtashiakh), Qal imperfect 3rd person feminine singular from II שׁוּחַ (shuakh) + vav (ו) consecutive, while the Qere reads וְתָשׁוֹחַ (vÿtashoakh), Hiphil imperfect 3rd person feminine singular from II שׁוּחַ (shuakh) + vav (ו) consecutive. According to D. R. Hillers (Lamentations [AB], 56), the Kethib implies a Hiphil of שׁוּחַ (shuakh) which is unclear due to a lack of parallels, and reads the Qere as from the root שָׁחַח (shakhakh) which has close parallels in Ps 42:6, 7, 11; 43:5. The conjectured meaning for שׁוּחַ (shuakh) in BDB 1005 s.v שׁוּחַ is that of שָׁחַח (shakhakh). HALOT 1438-39 s.v. שׁוח reads the root as שָׁחַח (shakhakh) but the form as Qal.

tn Heb “and my soul sinks down within me.” The verb II שׁוּחַ (shuakh, “to sink down”) is used here in a figurative sense, meaning “to be depressed.”

8 tn Heb “I cause to return.”

9 tn Heb “to my heart.” The noun לֵבָב (levav, “heart”) has a broad range of meanings, including its use as a metonymy of association, standing for thoughts and thinking = “mind” (e.g., Deut 32:46; 1 Chr 29:18; Job 17:11; Ps 73:7; Isa 10:7; Hag 1:5, 7; 2:15, 18; Zech 7:10; 8:17).

10 tn It is difficult to capture the nuances of the Hebrew word חֶסֶד (khesed). When used of the Lord it is often connected to his covenant loyalty. This is the only occasion when the plural form of חֶסֶד (khesed) precedes the plural form of רַחֲמִים (rakhamim, “mercy, compassion”). The plural forms, as with this one, tend to be in late texts. The plural may indicate several concrete expressions of God’s kindnesses or may indicate the abstract concept of his kindness.

11 tc The MT reads תָמְנוּ (tamnu) “indeed we are [not] cut off,” Qal perfect 1st person common plural from תָּמַם (tamam, “be finished”): “[Because of] the kindnesses of the Lord, we are not cut off.” However, the ancient versions (LXX, Syriac Peshitta, Aramaic Targum) and many medieval Hebrew mss preserve the alternate reading תָּמּוּ (tammu), Qal perfect 3rd person common plural from תָּמַם (tamam, “to be finished”): “The kindnesses of the Lord never cease.” The external evidence favors the alternate reading. The internal evidence supports this as well, as the parallel B-line suggests: “his compassions never come to an end.” Several English versions follow the MT: “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed” (KJV, NKJV), “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed” (NIV). Other English versions follow the alternate textual tradition: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases” (RSV, NRSV), “The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease” (NASB), “The kindness of the Lord has not ended” (NJPS) and “The Lord’s unfailing love still continues” (TEV).

12 tn The plural form of רַחֲמִים (rakhamim) may denote the abstract concept of mercy, several concrete expressions of mercy, or the plural of intensity: “great compassion.” See IBHS 122 §7.4.3a.

13 tn Heb “they are new.”

14 tn The adjective רַב (rav) has a broad range of meanings: (1) quantitative: “much, numerous, many (with plurals), abundant, enough, exceedingly” and (2) less often in a qualitative sense: “great” (a) of space and location, (b) “strong” as opposed to “weak” and (c) “major.” The traditional translation, “great is thy faithfulness,” is less likely than the quantitative sense: “your faithfulness is abundant” [or, “plentiful”]. NJPS is on target in its translation: “Ample is your grace!”

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

16 tn Heb “wait for him”

17 tn Heb “to the soul…” The term נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, “soul”) is a synecdoche of part (= “the soul who seeks him”) for the whole person (= “the person who seeks him”).

18 tn Heb “waiting and silently.” The two adjectives וְיָחִיל וְדוּמָם (vÿyakhil vÿdumam, “waiting and silently”) form a hendiadys: The first functions verbally and the second functions adverbially: “to wait silently.” The adjective דוּמָם (dumam, “silently”) also functions as a metonymy of association, standing for patience or rest (HALOT 217 s.v.). This metonymical nuance is captured well in less literal English versions: “wait in patience” (TEV) and “wait patiently” (CEV, NJPS). The more literal English versions do not express the metonymy as well: “quietly wait” (KJV, NKJV, ASV), “waits silently” (NASB), “wait quietly” (RSV, NRSV, NIV).

19 tn Heb “deliverance of the Lord.” In the genitive-construct, the genitive יהוה (YHWH, “the Lord”) denotes source, that is, he is the source of the deliverance: “deliverance from the Lord.”

20 tn See note at 3:1 on the Hebrew term for “man” here.

21 tn Heb “that he bear.”

22 sn Jeremiah is referring to the painful humiliation of subjugation to the Babylonians, particularly to the exile of the populace of Jerusalem. The Babylonians and Assyrians frequently used the phrase “bear the yoke” as a metaphor: their subjects were made as subservient to them as yoked oxen were to their masters. Because the Babylonian exile would last for seventy years, only those who were in their youth when Jerusalem fell would have any hope of living until the return of the remnant. For the middle-aged and elderly, the yoke of exile would be insufferable; but those who bore this “yoke” in their youth would have hope.

23 tn Heb “in his youth.” The preposition ב (bet) functions in a temporal sense: “when.”

24 tn Heb “him.” The speaking voice in this chapter continues to be that of the גֶּבֶר (gever, “man”). The image of female Jerusalem in chs. 1-2 was fluid, being able to refer to the city or its inhabitants, both female and male. So too the “defeated soldier” or “everyman” (see note at 3:1 on “man”) is fluid and can represent any member of the Jewish community, male and female. This line especially has a proverbial character which can be extended to any person, hence the translation. But masculine pronouns are otherwise maintained reflecting the Hebrew grammatical system and the speaking voice of the poem.

25 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

26 tn Heb “has laid it on him.” The verb נָטַל (natal) is used 4 times in Biblical Hebrew; the related noun refers to heaviness or a burden. The entry of BDB 642 s.v. is outdated while HALOT 694 s.v. נטל is acceptable for the Qal. See D. R. Hillers, Lamentations (AB), 57. Hillers’ suggestion of a stative meaning for the Qal is followed here, though based on 2 Sam 24:12 “impose” is also possible.

27 tn Heb “Let him put his mouth in the dust.”

28 tn Heb “to the smiter.”

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

30 tn The verse is unusually short and something unrecoverable may be missing.

31 tn Heb “Although he has caused grief.” The word “us” is added in the translation.

32 tn Heb “He will have compassion.” The words “on us” are added in the translation.

33 tc The Kethib preserves the singular form חַסְדּוֹ (khasdo, “his kindness”), also reflected in the LXX and Aramaic Targum. The Qere reads the plural form חֲסָדָיו (khasadayv, “his kindnesses”) which is reflected in the Latin Vulgate.

34 tn Heb “he does not afflict from his heart.” The term לֵבָב (levav, “heart”) preceded by the preposition מִן (min) most often describes one’s initiative or motivation, e.g. “of one’s own accord” (Num. 16:28; 24:13; Deut. 4:9; 1Kings 12:33; Neh. 6:8; Job 8:10; Is. 59:13; Ezek. 13:2, 17). It is not God’s internal motivation to bring calamity and trouble upon people.

35 tn Heb “sons of men.”

36 tn Heb “prisoners of earth/land.” The term ארצ may refer to (1) the earth or (2) a country or (3) the promised land in particular (as well as other referents). “Earth” is chosen here since the context presents God’s general principles in dealing with humanity. Given the historical circumstances, however, prisoners from the land of Israel are certainly in the background.

37 tn The speaking voice is still that of the גֶּבֶר (gever, “man”), but the context and line are more universal in character.

38 tn Heb “to turn away a man’s justice,” that is, the justice or equitable judgment he would receive. See the previous note regarding the “man.”

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

40 tn Heb “the Lord does not see.” The verb רָאָה (raah, “to see”) is here used in reference to mental observation and approval: “to gaze at” with joy and pleasure (e.g., 2 Kgs 10:16; Mic 7:9; Jer 29:32; Isa 52:8; Job 20:17; 33:28; Pss 54:9; 106:5; 128:5; Son 3:11; 6:11; Eccl 2:1). If the line is parallel to the end of v. 35 then a circumstantial clause “the Lord not seeing” would be appropriate. The infinitives in 34-36 would then depend on the verbs in v. 33; see D. R. Hillers, Lamentations (AB), 71.

41 tn Heb “Who is this, he spoke and it came to pass?” The general sense is to ask whose commands are fulfilled. The phrase “he spoke and it came to pass” is taken as an allusion to the creation account (see Gen 1:3).

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

43 tn Heb “From the mouth of the Most High does it not go forth, both evil and good?”

44 tn The Hebrew word here is אָדָם (’adam) which can mean “man” or “person.” The second half of the line is more personalized to the speaking voice of the defeated soldier using גֶּבֶר (gever, “man”). See the note at 3:1.

45 tc Kethib reads the singular חֶטְאוֹ (kheto, “his sin”), which is reflected in the LXX. Qere reads the plural חֲטָאָיו (khataayv, “his sins”) which is preserved in many medieval Hebrew mss and reflected in the other early versions (Aramaic Targum, Syriac Peshitta, Latin Vulgate). The external and internal evidence are not decisive in favor of either reading.

tn Heb “concerning his punishment.” The noun חֵטְא (khet’) has a broad range of meanings: (1) “sin,” (2) “guilt of sin” and (3) “punishment for sin,” which fits the context of calamity as discipline and punishment for sin (e.g., Lev 19:17; 20:20; 22:9; 24:15; Num 9:13; 18:22, 32; Isa 53:12; Ezek 23:49). The metonymical (cause-effect) relation between sin and punishment is clear in the expressions חֵטְא מִשְׁפַט־מָוֶת (khetmishpat-mavet, “sin deserving death penalty,” Deut 21:22) and חֵטְא מָוֶת (khetmavet, “sin unto death,” Deut 22:26). The point of this verse is that the punishment of sin can sometimes lead to death; therefore, any one who is being punished by God for his sins, and yet lives, has little to complain about.

46 tn Heb “Let us test our ways and examine.” The two verbs וְנַחְקֹרָהנַחְפְּשָׂה (nakhpÿsahvÿnakhqorah, “Let us test and let us examine”) form a verbal hendiadys in which the first functions adverbially and the second retains its full verbal force: “Let us carefully examine our ways.”

47 tc The MT reads the singular noun לְבָבֵנוּ (lÿvavenu, “our heart”) but the ancient versions (LXX, Aramaic Targum, Latin Vulgate) and many medieval Hebrew mss read the plural noun לְבָבֵינוּ (lÿvavenu, “our hearts”). Hebrew regularly places plural pronouns on singular nouns used as a collective (135 times on the singular “heart” and only twice on the plural “hearts”). The plural “hearts” in any Hebrew construction is actually rather rare. The LXX renders similar Hebrew constructions (singular “heart” plus a plural pronoun) with the plural “hearts” about 1/3 of the time, therefore it cannot be considered evidence for the reading. The Vulgate may have been influenced by the LXX. Although a distributive sense is appropriate for a much higher percentage of passages using the plural “hearts” in the LXX, no clear reason for the differentiation in the LXX has emerged. Likely the singular Hebrew form is original but the meaning is best represented in English with the plural.

48 tn The Heb emphasiszes the pronoun “We – we have sinned….” Given the contrast with the following, it means “For our part, we have sinned….” A poetic reading in English would place vocal emphasis on “we” followed by a short pause.

49 tn Heb “We have revolted and we have rebelled.” The two verbs פָשַׁעְנוּ וּמָרִינוּ (pashanu umarinu, “we have revolted and we have rebelled”) form a verbal hendiadys in which the synonyms emphasize the single idea.

50 tn The Heb emphasiszes the pronoun “You – you have not forgiven.” Given the contrast with the preceding, it means “For your part, you have not forgiven.” A poetic reading in English would place vocal emphasis on “you” followed by a short pause.

51 tn Heb “covered.” The object must be supplied either from the next line (“covered yourself”) or from the end of this line (“covered us”).

52 tn Heb “offscouring and refuse.” The two nouns סְחִי וּמָאוֹס (sÿkhi umaos) probably form a nominal hendiadys, in which the first noun functions as an adjective and the second retains its full nominal sense: “filthy refuse,” i.e., “filthy scum.”

53 tn Heb “in the midst of.”

54 tn Heb “open wide their mouths.”

55 tn The similar sounding nouns פַּחַד וָפַחַת (pakhad vafakhat, “panic and pitfall”) are an example of paronomasia.

56 tn Similar to the paronomasia in the preceding line, the words הַשֵּׁאת וְהַשָּׁבֶר (hashet vÿhashaver, “devastation and destruction”) form an example of alliteration: the beginning of the words sound alike.

57 tn Heb “canals.” The phrase “canals of water” (eye water = tears) is an example of hyperbole. The English idiom “streams of tears” is also hyperbolic.

58 tn Heb “my eyes flow down with canals of water.”

59 tn Heb “the daughter of my people,” or “the Daughter, my people.”

60 tn Heb “because of the destruction of [the daughter of my people].”

61 tn Heb “my eye flows.” The term “eye” is a metonymy of association, standing for the “tears” which flow from one’s eyes.

62 tn Heb “without stopping.” The noun הַפוּגָה (hafugah, “stop”) is a hapax legomenon (word that occurs only once in Hebrew scriptures). The form of the noun is unusual, probably being derived from the denominative Hiphil verbal stem of the root פּוּג (pug, “to grow weary, ineffective; numb, become cold”).

63 tn The phrase “what has happened” is added in the translation for smoother English style and readability.

64 tn Heb “my eye causes grief to my soul.” The term “eye” is a metonymy of association, standing for that which one sees with the eyes.

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

66 tn Heb “at the sight of all the daughters of my city.” It is understood that seeing the plight of the women, not simply seeing the women, is what is so grievous. To make this clear, “suffering” was supplied in the translation.

67 tn Heb “without cause.”

68 tn The construction צוֹד צָדוּנִי (tsod tsaduni, “they have hunted me down”) is emphatic: Qal infinitive absolute of the same root of Qal perfect 3rd person common plural + 1st person common singular suffix.

69 tn Heb “my life.”

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

71 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).

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

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

74 tn Heb “my voice.”

75 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).

76 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.

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

78 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.

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

80 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).

81 tn Heb “Please judge my judgment.”

82 tc The MT reads לִי (li, “to me”); but many medieval Hebrew mss and the ancient versions (Aramaic Targum, Syriac Peshitta, Latin Vulgate) all reflect a Vorlage of עָלָי (’alay, “against me”).

83 tn The verb could be understood as a precative (“Hear”).

84 tn Heb “the lips of my assailants and their thoughts.”

85 tn Heb “their rising and their sitting.” The two terms שִׁבְתָּם וְקִימָתָם (shivtam vÿqimatam, “their sitting and their rising”) form a merism: two terms that are polar opposites are used to encompass everything in between. The idiom “from your rising to your sitting” refers to the earliest action in the morning and the latest action in the evening (e.g., Deut 6:7; Ps 139:3). The enemies mock Jerusalem from the moment they arise in the morning until the moment they sit down in the evening.

86 tn Heb “Please cause to return.” The imperfect verb תָּשִׁיב (tashiv), Hiphil imperfect 2nd person masculine singular from שׁוּב (shuv, “to return”), functions in a volitional sense, like an imperative of request. The Hiphil stem of שׁוּב (shuv, in the Hiphil “to cause to return”) often means “to make requital, to pay back” (e.g., Judg 9:5, 56; 1 Sam 25:39; 1 Kgs 2:32, 44; Neh 3:36; Prov 24:12, 29; Hos 12:3; Joel 4:4, 7) (BDB 999 s.v. שׁוּב 4.a).

87 tn Heb “recompense to them.” The noun גְּמוּל (gÿmul, “dealing, accomplishment”) has two metonymical (cause-effect) meanings: (1) positive “benefit” and (2) negative “retribution, requital, recompense,” the sense used here (e.g., Pss 28:4; 94:2; 137:8; Prov 19:17; Isa 35:4; 59:18; 66:6; Jer 51:6; Lam 3:64; Joel 4:4, 7). The phrase תָּשִׁיב גְּמוּל (tashiv gÿmul) means “to pay back retribution” (e.g., Joel 4:4, 7), that is, to return the deeds of the wicked upon them as a display of talionic or poetic justice.

88 tn Heb “their hands.” The term “hand” is a synecdoche of part (= hands) for the whole person (= they).

89 tn Heb “according to the work of their hands.”

90 tn The noun מְגִנַּה (mÿginnah) is a hapax legomenon. Its meaning is debated; earlier lexicographers suggested that it meant “covering” (BDB 171 s.v.), but more recent lexicons suggest “shamelessness” or “insanity” (HALOT 546 s.v.). The translation is based on the term being parallel to “curse” and needing to relate to “heart.” Cf. NRSV “anguish of heart.”

91 tn Heb “pursue.” The accusative direct object is implied in the Hebrew, and inserted in the translation.



TIP #08: Use the Strong Number links to learn about the original Hebrew and Greek text. [ALL]
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