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Lamentations 3:48-51


3:48 Streams 1  of tears flow from my eyes 2 

because my people 3  are destroyed. 4 

ע (Ayin)

3:49 Tears flow from my eyes 5  and will not stop;

there will be no break 6 

3:50 until the Lord looks down from heaven

and sees what has happened. 7 

3:51 What my eyes see 8  grieves me 9 

all the suffering of the daughters in my city. 10 

1 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.

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

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

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

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

6 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”).

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

8 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.

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

10 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.

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