Lamentations 3:22-33

Lamentations 3:22-33
Proper 8B


22 The steadfast loveA of the LordB never ceases,C
    his merciesD never come to an end;E

Notes on verse 22

A “steadfast love” = chesed. From chasad (being good, kind, merciful; may mean bowing one’s neck as is done in the presence of an equal for courtesy’s sake; so, if one in a superior position is treating you like an equal, that is what is captured here). This is favor, goodness, kindness, loving kindness, pity, reproach, or a good deed. When done by God to humanity, this is mercy/loving kindness. When done by humanity to God, it is piety.
B “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
C “ceases” = tamam. This is to finish or accomplish. It is to make perfect, demonstrate that you are upright, consume or cease. It is to complete in a literal or figurative sense, positive or negative.
D “mercies” = racham. From the same as rechem (womb); from racham (to love, have compassion, have mercy); from racham (compassion, tender love, womb, compassion; the womb as that which cherishes the fetus). This is compassion, mercy, or tender love.
E “come to an end” = kalah. This is to end, be finished, complete, prepare, consume, spent, or completely destroyed.

23 they are newF every morning;G
    greatH is your faithfulness.I

Notes on verse 23

F “new” = chadash. From chadash (to renew or restore, to repair or rebuild). This is something fresh or new.
G “morning” = boqer. From baqar (to seek, plow, break forth, admire, care for). This refers to the break of day. So it is dawn, early, morning, or morrow.
H “great” = rab. From rabab (increasing in any aspect whether quantity, authority, size, quality, greatness, etc.). This is abundance, many, elder, exceedingly, great. It refers to abundance of amount, rank, or status.
I “faithfulness” = emunah. From aman (to believe, endure, fulfill, confirm, support, be faithful, put one’s trust in, be steadfast. Figuratively, this is to be firm, steadfast, or faithful, trusting, believing, being permanent, morally solid). This word is literally firmness, but figuratively fidelity, faithfulness, honesty, responsibility, trust, truth, steadfastness. This word shares a root with the word “Amen.”

24 “The Lord is my portion,”J says my soul,K
    “therefore I will hopeL in him.”

Notes on verse 24

J “portion” = cheleq. From chalaq (to be smooth in a figurative sense; can refer to the stones that were part of casting lots – hence, apportion, share, distribute; figuratively, it can also mean to flatter). This is a division, lot, inheritance, legacy, or portion. It can also refer to a smooth tongue.
K “soul” = nephesh. Related to naphash (to refresh or be refreshed). This is soul, self, person, emotion. It is a breathing creature. Can also refer to appetites and desires.
L “hope” = yachal. This is to wait, which implies patience, hope, and trust. It can also be pained waiting.

25 The Lord is goodM to those who waitN for him,
    to the soul that seeksO him.

Notes on verse 25

M “good” = tob. From tob (to be pleasing, to be good). This is good, beautiful, pleasant, agreeable, bountiful, at ease. This word is used for goodness as a concept, a good thing, a good person. This can refer to prosperity and welfare as well as joy, kindness, sweetness, and graciousness. So, this is ethically good, but also enjoyably good.
N “wait” = qavah. It can mean to bind or gather together, especially in the sense of twisting together. In that light, it can mean collect. Figuratively, this can mean to wait, await, expect, or tarry.
O “seeks” = darash. This is seek, ask, inquire, care for. Generally it means following in pursuit or following as part of a search, which implies seeking or asking. Also used specially to mean worship.

26 It is good that one should waitP quietlyQ
    for the salvationR of the Lord.

Notes on verse 26

P “wait” = chul. This is whirling around so dancing as in a circle or writhing in pain. It is used particularly for the pain of childbirth or from writhing due to fear. It can also be falling in pain or waiting.
Q “quietly” = dumam. 3x in OT. From the same as dumah (silence; figuratively, death). This is silence or stillness. It can also refer to waiting quietly.
R “salvation” = teshuah. From yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe; to free someone). This is deliverance or salvation.

27 It is good for oneS to bearT
    the yokeU in youth,V

Notes on verse 27

S “one” = geber. From gabar (to be strong or mighty; to prevail or to be insolent) This is man, warrior, a person generally, or a valiant person.
T “bear” = nasa. This is to lift in a broad sense, literally and figuratively. So it could be to carry, take, or arise. It could also be bring forth, advance, accept.
U “yoke” = ol. From alal (to insert). This is a yoke that is borne on the neck, whether a literal yoke or used of a figurative one.
V “youth” = naur. From naar (child or a servant; a child in their active years so they could be aged anywhere from infancy to adolescence); perhaps from naar (to shake, toss up and down, tumble around). This is youth or childhood.

28 to sitW aloneX in silenceY
    when the Lord has imposedZ it,

Notes on verse 28

W “sit” = yashab. This is to sit and so to remain and so to dwell. It is sitting for any reason – as a judge, in order to ambush, or just sitting quietly. Causatively, this can mean settling or marrying. This can also mean continue, endure, or establish.
X “alone” = badad. 12x in OT. From badad (to divide or be separated; alone, solitary, lonely, isolated, straggler). This is separation, alone, apart, isolation, secluded, desolate, or lonely.
Y “silence” = damam. This is to cease, be or become mute, silent, still, cut off, hold peace, be astonished, or die.
Z “imposed” = natal. 4x n OT. This is to lift, lay, take up, or impose.

29 to putAA one’s mouthBB to the dustCC
    (there may yet be hope),DD

Notes on verse 29

AA “put” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.
BB “mouth” = peh. This is mouth in a literal or figurative sense. So, more literally, it can be beak or jaws. More figuratively, it refers to speech, commands, or promises.
CC “dust” = aphar. May be related to aphar (to throw dust, be dust). This is dust as powdered, perhaps gray colored. It could be ashes, powder, ground, dry earth, clay mud, or rubbish.
DD “hope” = tiqvah. Related to “wait” in v25. From qavah (see note N above). This is literally a cord used to attach things. Figuratively, it’s expectation, hope, what you long for.

30 to giveEE one’s cheekFF to the smiter,GG
    and be filledHH with insults.II

Notes on verse 30

EE “give” = natan. Same as “put” in v29. See note AA above.
FF “cheek” = lechi. Root may refer to softness. This may be jaw bone or cheek.
GG “smiter” = nakah. This is to hit whether lightly or severely. It can be used in a literal or figurative sense. So, this could be beat, punish, give wounds, kill, or slaughter.
HH “be filled” = saba. To be satisfied or full in a literal or figurative sense. Also, to have plenty of.
II “insults” = cherpah. From charaph (to expose and so figuratively to reproach, defame, carp at, defy). This is reproach, rebuke, shame, or disgrace. It can also refer to genitals.

31 For the LordJJ will not
    rejectKK forever.LL

Notes on verse 31

JJ “Lord” = Adonai. From adon (lord, master, owner); root means to rule or be sovereign. This is the actual Hebrew word for Lord used (in a different form) of humans and (in the present form) of God. It means someone who is in control.
KK “reject” = zanach. This is to cast aside, reject, remove, forsake.
LL “forever” = olam. This is a long scope of time whether in the past (antiquity, ancient time) or in the future (eternal, everlasting).

32 Although he causes grief,MM he will have compassionNN
    according to the abundanceOO of his steadfast love;

Notes on verse 32

MM “causes grief” = yagah. 8x in OT. This is to suffer, grieve, afflict.
NN “have compassion” = racham. Related to “mercies” in v22. See note D above.
OO “abundance” = rob. Related to “great” in v23. From rabab (see note H above). This is any kind of abundance.

33 for he does not willinglyPP afflictQQ
    or grieve anyone.RR

Notes on verse 33

PP “willingly” = leb. May be related to labab (to encourage; properly, to be encased as with fat; used in a good sense, this means to transport someone with love; used in a bad sense, it can mean to dull one’s senses). This is the heart, courage, one’s inner self, the mind, or the will. Heart is only used in a figurative sense in the Old and New Testaments.
QQ “afflict” = anah. This is to be bowed down. It can refer to a sense of humility or to a sense of being browbeaten, oppressed, afflicted, or depressed. This can be literal or figurative – depressed in mood or circumstance.
RR “anyone” = ben + ish. Literally “children of men.” Ben is from banah (to build or obtain children). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense. Ish is perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is man, husband, another, or humankind.

Image credit: “Heavenly Window” at the Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Grace-et-de-Toute-Joie in Villeneuve-sur-lot, France.

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