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Lamentations 3:28-30

Context

י (Yod)

3:28 Let a person 1  sit alone in silence,

when the Lord 2  is disciplining him. 3 

3:29 Let him bury his face in the dust; 4 

perhaps there is hope.

3:30 Let him offer his cheek to the one who hits him; 5 

let him have his fill of insults.

1 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.

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

3 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 The entry of BDB 642 s.v. is outdated while HALOT 694 s.v. נטל is acceptable for the Qal.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.

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

5 tn Heb “to the smiter.”



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