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Lamentations 3:56-63


3:56 You heard 1  my plea: 2 

“Do not close your ears to my cry for relief!” 3 

3:57 You came near 4  on the day I called to you;

you said, 5  “Do not fear!”

ר (Resh)

3:58 O Lord, 6  you championed 7  my cause, 8 

you redeemed my life.

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

pronounce judgment on my behalf! 9 

3:60 You have seen all their vengeance,

all their plots against me. 10 

ש (Sin/Shin)

3:61 You have heard 11  their taunts, O Lord,

all their plots against me.

3:62 My assailants revile and conspire 12 

against me all day long.

3:63 Watch them from morning to evening; 13 

I am the object of their mocking songs.

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

2 tn Heb “my voice.”

3 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).

4 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.

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

6 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.

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

8 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).

9 tn Heb “Please judge my judgment.”

10 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”).

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

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

13 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.

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