Lamentations (Ch 3-5)

In chapter 3 of 66 verses, Jeremiah proposes his own experience under afflictions, as an example as to how the Jews should behave under theirs, so as to have hope of a restoration; hence the change from singular to plural (Lamentations 3:22, 40-47). The stanzas consist of three lines, each of which begins with the same Hebrew letter א Aleph.

Lamentations 3

1 I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of His wrath.

He hath led me, and brought me into darkness, but not into light.

Surely against me is He turned; He turneth His hand against me all the day.

The Targum: א

1 I am that man who has seen affliction by the rod that chastises in his anger.
2 He has led and brought me to darkness, and not to light.
3 Indeed, against me he will turn, heaping upon me his blows all day.

My flesh and my skin hath He made old; He hath broken my bones.

He hath builded against me, and compassed me with gall and travail.

He hath set me in dark places, as they that are dead of old.

The Targum: ב

4 My flesh is worn out from beatings, my skin from the blow. He has shattered my bones.
5 He has built siege works and surrounded the city. He has uprooted the heads of the people and wearied them.
6 He has caused me to dwell in a dark prison like the dead who have gone to the other world.

He hath hedged me about, that I cannot get out; He hath made my chain heavy.

Also when I cry and shout, He shutteth out my prayer.

He hath enclosed my ways with hewn stone; He hath made my paths crooked.

The Targum: ג

7 He has locked me in so that I cannot go out from the prison. He has put heavy brass fetters on my feet.
8 Even when I cry out and pray the house of my prayer is blocked.
9 He has closed my paths with hewn marble stones. He has confounded my paths.

10 He was unto me as a bear lying in wait, and as a lion in secret places.

11 He hath turned aside my ways, and pulled me in pieces; He hath made me desolate.

12 He hath bent His bow, and set me as a mark for the arrow.

The Targum: ד

10 He is a bear lying in wait for me, a lion hiding in a hallow.
11 He has confounded my path and rent me. He has made me desolate.
12 He draws his bow and has set me as a target for the arrow.

13 He hath caused the arrows of His quiver to enter into my reins.

14 I was a derision to all my people, and their song all the day.

15 He hath filled me with bitterness; He hath made me drunken with wormwood.

The Targum: ה

13 He made the arrows of his quiver enter my vitals.
14 I have become a laughing stock to all the degenerate of my people; they mock me in song all day.
15 He has sated me with gall of snakes and made me drunk with wormwood.

16 He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones; He hath covered me with ashes.

17 And Thou hast removed my soul far off from peace; I forgot prosperity.

18 And I said, “My strength and my hope are perished from the Lord,”

The Targum: ו

16 And he crushed my teeth with gravel; he has pressed me into ashes.
17 And my soul shrinks from asking for peace; I have forgotten goodness.
18 And I said, “My strength is destroyed and the goodness which I had longed for from before the Lord.

19 remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall.

20 My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me.

21 This I recall to my mind; therefore have I hope:

The Targum: ז

19 “Remember the affliction of my soul and how my foes embittered me and caused me to drink wormwood and the poison of snakes.”
20 My soul surely will remember and bow down within me due to affliction.
21 This consolation I call to mind, therefore I have hope:

22 It is through the Lord’S mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.

23 They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness.

24 “The Lord is my portion,” saith my soul, “Therefore will I hope in Him.”

The Targum: ח

22 The goodness of the Lord, for his mercies do not end nor have they ceased.
23 He brings forth new wonders in the mornings; great is your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul; therefore I will hope in him.

25 The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him.

26 It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.

27 It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.

The Targum: ט

25 The Lord is good to those who hope for his salvation; to the soul who seeks his instruction.
26 It is good to wait and be silent until the salvation of the Lord comes.
27 It is good for a man to train his soul to bear the yoke of the commandments in his youth.

28 He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him.

29 He putteth his mouth in the dust; if so it be, there may be hope.

30 He giveth his cheek to him that smiteth him; he is filled full with reproach.

The Targum: י

28 Let him sit alone and be silent, bearing the corrections which have come upon him, for the sake of the unity of the name of the Lord, which have been sent to punish him for the minor sins which he has committed in this world, until he have mercy upon him and lift them from him so that he may receive him perfected in the world to come.
29 Let him put his mouth to the dust and prostrate himself before his master perhaps there is hope.
30 Let him turn his cheek to the one that smites, for the sake of the fear of the Lord, let him be filled with insult.

31 For the Lord will not cast off for ever.

32 But though He cause grief, yet will He have compassion according to the multitude of His mercies.

33 For He doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.

The Targum: כ

31 For the Lord will not neglect his servants forever, giving them over into the hand of their enemy.
32 But first he breaks and afterwards he repents and has mercy on the righteous in the abundance of his goodness.
33 For since man did not afflict his soul nor removed arrogance from his heart, therefore he caused destruction to come upon the sons of men.

34 To crush under His feet all the prisoners of the earth,

35 to turn aside the right of a man before the face of the Most High,

36 to subvert a man in his cause—the Lord approveth not.

The Targum: ל

34 Humbling and subduing all the prisoners of the earth under his feet,
35 And perverting the justice of a poor man in the presence of the Most High,
36 Confounding a poor man in his quarrels; is it possible that this will not be revealed before the Lord?

37 Who is he that saith and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?

38 Out of the mouth of the Most High proceedeth not evil and good?

39 Why then doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?

The Targum: מ

37 Who is the man who has spoken and an evil thing had been done in the world, unless because they did that which they were not commanded by the mouth of the Lord?
38 From the mouth of God Most High there does not issue evil, rather by the hint of a whisper, because of the violence with which the land is filled. But when he desires to decree good in the world it issues from the holy mouth.
39 What profit shall a man find who sins all the days of his life; a wicked man for his sins?

40 Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord.

41 Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.

42 We have transgressed and have rebelled; Thou hast not pardoned.

The Targum: נ

40 Let us search and examine our ways; and turn in repentance before the Lord.
41 Let us lift our cleansed hearts and cast away theft and robbery from our hands. And let us repent before God the dwelling of whose Shekinah is in heaven above.
42 We have rebelled and been disobedient and since we did not return to you, you have not forgiven.

43 Thou hast covered Thyself with anger and persecuted us; Thou hast slain, Thou hast not pitied.

44 Thou hast covered Thyself with a cloud, that our prayer should not pass through.

45 Thou hast made us as the offscouring and refuse in the midst of the people.

The Targum: ס

43 You have covered us in anger and pursued us in exile. You have killed and have not pitied.
44 You have covered the heavens with your clouds of glory so that our prayers cannot cross to you.
45 You have made us like wanderers and vagabonds among the nations.

46 All our enemies have opened their mouths against us.

47 Fear and a snare have come upon us, desolation and destruction.

48 Mine eye runneth down with rivers of water for the destruction of the daughter of my people.

The Targum: ע

46 All our enemies have opened their mouths against us, to announce evil decrees against us.
47 Panic and fear have come upon us because of them, trembling and destruction have seized us.
48 Like streams of water my eyes flowed with tears because of the destruction of the Congregation of my people.

49 Mine eye trickleth down and ceaseth not, without any intermission,

50 till the Lord look down and behold from heaven.

51 Mine eye affecteth mine heart because of all the daughters of my city.

The Targum: פ

49 My eye weeps tears and does not cease from crying. There is no respite from my anguish or anyone to comfort me;
50 Until the Lord looks out and sees my humiliation from heaven.
51 The weeping of my eyes is the cause of the affliction of my soul over the destruction of the districts of my people and the humiliation of the daughters of Jerusalem, my city.

52 Mine enemies chased me sorely like a bird, without cause.

53 They have cut off my life in the dungeon, and cast a stone upon me.

54 Waters flowed over mine head; then I said, “I am cut off!”

The Targum: צ

52 My enemies, without cause, laid a trap for me like a bird.
53 They caused my life to pass in the pit and cast stones at me.
54 Waters flowed over my head. I said in my word, “I am cut off from the world.”

55 I called upon Thy name, O Lord, out of the low dungeon.

56 Thou hast heard my voice: “Hide not Thine ear at my breathing, at my cry.”

57 Thou drewest near in the day that I called upon Thee; Thou saidst, “Fear not.”

The Targum: ק

55 I prayed to your name, O Lord, from the depths of the pit.
56 You received my prayer at that time, and now do not cover your ears from receiving my prayer to give me relief because of my plea.
57 You brought the angel near to save me, in the day that I prayed to you. You said by your Memra, “Do not fear.”

58 O Lord, Thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul; Thou hast redeemed my life.

59 O Lord, Thou hast seen my wrong; judge Thou my cause.

60 Thou hast seen all their vengeance and all their imaginings against me.

The Targum: ר

58 You have fought, O Lord, against those who made a quarrel with my soul. You delivered my life from their hands.
59 You have seen, O Lord, the wrong by which they wronged me. Judge my case.
60 All their vengeance has been revealed before you, all their evil plans against me.

61 Thou hast heard their reproach, O Lord, and all their imaginings against me,

62 the lips of those that rose up against me, and their devices against me all the day.

63 Behold their sitting down and their rising up; I am their — music.

The Targum: ש

61 Their taunts were heard before you, O Lord, all their evil plans against me.
62 The lips of the enemies are against me and their mutterings are against me all day.
63 Look at their sitting and rising! I am [the object of] their taunt-songs.

64 Render unto them a recompense, O Lord, according to the work of their hands.

65 Give them sorrow of heart, Thy curse unto them.

66 Persecute and destroy them in anger from under the heavens of the Lord.

The Targum: ת

64 May you return to them evil recompense, O Lord, according to the works of their hands.
65 May you give them brokenness of heart and may your weariness wear them out.
66 Pursue them in anger and destroy them from under the high heaven of the Lord.

Lamentations 4

Lamentations 4:1-22. The sad capture of Jerusalem, the hope of Restoration, and the retribution awaiting Edom and Idumea for joining Babylon against Judea.

1 How the gold hath become dim! How the most fine gold hath changed! The stones of the sanctuary are poured out at the head of every street.

The Targum: א

1 How the gold of the Temple has dimmed, the choice gold leaf has changed! The sacred jewels are scattered at the head of every street.

The precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold, how they are esteemed as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of the potter!

The Targum: ב

2 The precious sons of Zion which were comparable in their appearance to that of fine gold, how the unclean people brought them down near to their beds and stare at them, so that their wives might bear sons as beautiful as they and they are considered as [clay] vessels the work of the hands of the potter.

Even the seamonsters draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones; but the daughter of my people has become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness.

The Targum: ג

3 Even the pampered daughters of Israel untie their breasts to the nations who are like the basilisk. And the young men of the Congregation of my people are handed over to cruel men and their mothers mourn over them like ostriches in the desert.

The tongue of the sucking child cleaveth to the roof of his mouth for thirst; the young children ask bread, and no man breaketh it unto them.

The Targum: ד

4 The tongue of the youth clings to his palate from thirst. Children ask for bread, but there is no one who offers it to them.

They that fed on delicacies are desolate in the streets; they that were brought up in scarlet embrace dunghills.

The Targum: ה

5 Those who used to eat delicacies were desolate in the markets. Those who were reared in the color crimson embrace dunghills.

For the punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, that was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands stayed on her.

The Targum: ו

6 The sin of the Congregation of my people is greater than the sin of Sodom that was overthrown in a moment. And no prophets were left in her to prophesy, to turn her back in repentance.

Her Nazirites were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk; they were more ruddy in body than rubies, their polishing was of sapphire.

The Targum: ז

7 Her Nazarites were purer than snow, smoother than milk. Their appearance was ruddier than crimson and their faces like sapphires.

Now their visage is blacker than coal; they are not known in the streets; their skin cleaveth to their bones, it is withered, it has become like a stick.

The Targum: ח

8 Their appearance was darker than the blackness of the exile; they were not recognized in the markets. Their skin clung to their bones; brittle as a twig.

They that are slain with the sword are better than they that are slain with hunger; for these pine away, stricken through for want of the fruits of the field.

The Targum: ט

9 Better were those who were slain by the sword than those who were slain by hunger, for those slain by the sword perished when pierced in their bellies because they ate of the gleanings of the field; and those who were bloated from hunger; their bellies burst from food.

10 The hands of the pitying women have sodden their own children; they were their meat in the destruction of the daughter of my people.

The Targum: י

10 The hands of women who were merciful towards the poor boiled their young, they became sustenance for them when the day of famine broke, when the Congregation of my people was destroyed.

11 The Lord hath accomplished His fury; He hath poured out His fierce anger, and hath kindled a fire in Zion, and it hath devoured the foundations thereof.

The Targum: כ

11 The Lord has finished his anger; he has poured out his fierce wrath upon Jerusalem and he has brought up a raging fire in Zion, and it consumed her foundations.

12 The kings of the earth, and all the inhabitants of the world, would not have believed that the adversary and the enemy should have entered into the gates of Jerusalem.

The Targum: ל

12 The kingdoms of the earth did not believe, nor did those who dwell in the world, that the wicked Nebuchadnezzar and Nebuzaradan the enemy would enter to slaughter the people of the House of Israel in the gates of Jerusalem.

13 For the sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests, that have shed the blood of the just in the midst of her,

The Targum: מ

13 The Attribute of Justice spoke up and said, “All this would not have happened but for the sins of her prophets who prophesied to her false prophesies and the iniquity of her priests who offered up burning incense to idols. They themselves caused the blood of the innocent to be shed in her midst.”

14 they have wandered as blind men in the streets; they have polluted themselves with blood, so that men could not touch their garments.

The Targum: נ

14 The blind wandered about in the markets, defiled with the blood of those slain by the sword and since they could not see they touched their clothes.

15 They cried unto them, “Depart ye; it is unclean! Depart, depart, touch not!” When they fled away and wandered, it was said among the heathen, “They shall no more sojourn there.”

The Targum: ס

15 “Turn away from the unclean!” cried the nations, “Turn away, turn away! Do not touch them!” For they quarreled, indeed they wandered. They said, when they were peacefully established among the nations, “They shall not continue to dwell [here].”

16 The anger of the Lord hath divided them; He will no more regard them; they respected not the persons of the priests, they favored not the elders.

The Targum: ע

16 They were dispersed from before the face of the Lord, he no longer regarded them. Therefore the wicked peoples did not respect the priests nor did they spare the elders.

17 As for us, our eyes as yet failed for our vain help: in our watching we have watched for a nation that could not save us.

The Targum: פ

17 Our eyes still fail to see our help which we expected to come from the Romans, but which turned to naught for us. In hope we watched for the Edomites who were a nation that could not save.

18 They hunt our steps, that we cannot go in our streets; our end is near, our days are fulfilled, for our end has come.

The Targum: צ

18 They prowled our paths so that we could not walk safely in our open places. We said, “Our end is near; our days are fulfilled,” for our end had come.

19 Our persecutors are swifter than the eagles of the heavens; they pursued us upon the mountains, they lay in wait for us in the wilderness.

The Targum: ק

19 Our pursuers were swifter than the eagles of the heavens; unto the mountains they chased us, in the desert they lay in wait for us.

20 The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the Lord, was taken in their pits, of whom we said, “Under his shadow we shall live among the heathen.”

The Targum: ר

20 King Josiah, who was as dear to us as the breath of the spirit of life in our nostrils and was anointed with the anointing oil of the Lord, was entrapped in Egypt’s snare of corruption. It was he of whom we said, “In the shadow of his merit we will live among the nations.”

21 Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, that dwellest in the land of Uz. The cup also shall pass through unto thee; thou shalt be drunken and shalt make thyself naked.

The Targum: ש

21 Rejoice and be of good cheer Constantinople, city of wicked Edom, which is built in the land of Armenia with crowds from the people of Edom. Retribution is about to come upon even you, and the Parkevi will destroy you and the accursed cup shall pass to you and you shall become drunk and exposed.

22 The punishment of thine iniquity is accomplished, O daughter of Zion; He will no more carry thee away into captivity. He will visit thine iniquity, O daughter of Edom; He will uncover thy sins.

The Targum: ת

22 And after this your iniquity will be finished, O Congregation of Zion and you will be freed by the hands of the King Messiah and Elijah the High Priest and the Lord will no longer exile you. And at that time I will punish your iniquities, wicked Rome, built in Italy and filled with crowds of Edomites. And the Persians will come and oppress you and destroy you because your sins have been made known before the Lord.

The end of chapter 4 seems like a supplement to A Sword from the South in Ezekiel 20:45 to 21:5! It seems to offer the connection and reasons why events are to go off the way they would. Here again it is the children of Edom that shall be upon the neck of the children of Israel, “He will uncover thy sins.” If so, could this also tie in with Ezekiel 4 – 390/40 Years?

Lamentations 5

The coloured is from the Targum:

1 Remember, O Lord, what is come upon us; consider, and behold our reproach.

א Remember, [O Lord], what was decreed to befall us; look from heaven and see our disgrace.

Our inheritance is turned to strangers, our houses to aliens.

ב Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers; our house to foreign peoples.

We are orphans and fatherless, our mothers are as widows.

ג We have become like orphans who have no father, our mothers like widows whose husbands have gone into the cities of the sea and it is uncertain if they are alive.

We have paid money for water we drink; our wood is sold unto us.

ד We drink our water for money and our wood comes at a price.

Our necks are under persecution; we labor and have no rest.

ה Upon the bone of our necks we were laden when we went into exile. The wicked Nebuchadnezzar saw that the commanders of the Israelites were going without any load [and] he ordered that they sew Torah scrolls and make sacks out of them. And they filled them with pebbles from the edge of the Euphrates and they loaded them upon their necks. At that time we were tired and there was no rest for us.

We have given the hand to the Egyptians and to the Assyrians to be provided with bread.

ו We gave support to Egypt so that we might be sustained there and to Assyria so that we might have enough bread.

Our fathers have sinned, and are no more; and we have borne their iniquities.

ז Our fathers sinned and are no longer in the world, but we have borne their iniquities after them.

Servants have ruled over us; there is none that doth deliver us out of their hand.

ח The sons of Ham, who were given as slaves to the sons of Shem, ruled over us and there was no one to deliver us from their hands.

We got our bread with the peril of our lives, because of the sword of the wilderness.

ט At the risk of our lives we gather bread to sustain us from before the slaying sword that comes from across the wilderness.

10 Our skin was black like an oven because of the terrible famine.

י Our skin has become black like an oven, because of the exhaustion of starvation.

11 They ravished the women in Zion, and the maids in the cities of Judah.

כ Women who were married to men in Zion were raped by Romans and virgins in the cities of Judah by Chaldeans.

12 Princes are hanged up by their hand; the faces of elders were not honored.

ל Princes were impaled by their hands and the faces of the elders they did not respect.

13 They took the young men to grind, and the children fell under the wood.

מ The young men carried millstones; and the boys staggered under the beam of wood.

14 The elders have ceased from the gate, the young men from their music.

נ The elders ceased from the gates of the Sanhedrin; and the young men from their houses of music.

15 The joy of our heart is ceased; our dance is turned into mourning.

ס The joy of our hearts has ceased; our dancing has turned into mourning.

16 The crown is fallen from our head. Woe unto us that we have sinned!

ע The crown of our head has fallen; Woe to us! for we have sinned.

17 For this our heart is faint; for these things our eyes are dim.

פ Because of our Temple, which is desolate, our heart was weak. And because of these people of the House of Israel who went into exile from there our eyes have become dim.

18 Because of the mountain of Zion which is desolate, the foxes walk upon it.

צ Because of Mount Zion which is desolate; foxes prowled on it.

19 Thou, O Lord, remainest for ever, Thy throne from generation to generation.

ק You are the Lord. Forever your dwelling place is in the heavenly heights. Your glorious throne is from generation to generation.

20 Why dost Thou forget us for ever, and forsake us so long a time?

ר Will you forget us forever and forsake us for a long time?

21 Turn Thou us unto Thee, O Lord, and we shall be turned! Renew our days as of old!

ש Restore us, O Lord, to yourself and we will return in complete repentance. May you renew our days for good as the festival days of old.

22 But Thou hast utterly rejected us; Thou art very wroth against us.

ת For you have utterly loathed us; you have been extremely angry with us.

~ by Joel Huan on May 4, 2022.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: