Surely against me has he turned; he turns his hand against me all the day.
All Commentaries on Lamentations 3:3 Go To Lamentations 3
After an enumeration of many penalties ( in Chapter 2) the despair of the people is excluded. Such exclusion is divided twofold.
First, despair is considered by appeals, second, is the argument for a fidelity that must be acceptable. As Verse 19 later states: "Remember my affliction and my bitterness, the wormwood and the gall." Third, an assumed faithfulness turns the people to prayer for (divine) mercy. Like expressed further on in Verse 37: "Who has commanded and it came to pass, unless the Lord has ordained it?"
On despair on appeals three ideas are conveyed. First is set forth affliction itself, second a reprobation is assumed. As later Verse 17 says: "My soul is bereft of peace, I have forgotten what happiness is".
Third, despair is concluded in Verse 18: "So I say, 'Gone is my glory, and' my expectation from the Lord'."
To the first idea (affliction itself) two further notions are added. First, the affliction is considered which people sustained through pressure of their hands. And second, the manner of this very affliction is viewed. Like Verse 4 says: "He has made my flesh and my skin waste away, and broken my bones
Third, a remedy for their escape is left out. Verse 7 so says: "He has walled me about so that I cannot escape; he has put heavy chains on me."
To the affliction sustained by the pressure of hands, three more ideas are advanced. First indignation is noticed of the person pressing hands. Verse 1 then states: "I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of his wrath." Jeremiah himself here is speaking in his own person, for he himself has been afflicted like other persons, concerning whom he repudiates their misery. For, Revelations 3:17 claims: "For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing; not knowing that you are wretched, piteable, poor, blind and naked." Thus allegorically such can be expressed about Christ and his Church. Morally, it can refer to human souls.
Second, a subtraction of consolation is viewed. Verse 2 so states: "He has driven and brought me into darkness without any light." Since, after blows, no consolation is offered in the accustomed manner. Thus, Job 3:23 asks: "Why is light given to a man whose way is hid, whom God has hedged in?"
Third is the condition for the blows, stated in Verse 3: "Surely against me he turns his hand again and again the whole day long". Namely, there follows a sequence of affliction that considers such blows alone.
Verse 3 again: "Surely against me he turns his hand again and again the whole day long." That is, striking blows again and again. Hence, Isaiah 9:12: "For all this, his anger is not turned away and his hand is stretched out still."