1 I am the man that hath seen affliction
by the rod of his wrath.
Jeremiah speaks using himself as a type for the Lord's servant. What the people suffer collectively the Servant goes through personally. He sees affliction by the rod of God's wrath who is the King of Assyria.
2 He hath led me, and brought me
into darkness, but not into light.
He is brought into darkness instead of light. It's both literal and spiritual.
3 Surely against me is he turned;
he turneth his hand against me all the day.
The Lord is turned against the Servant by his hand the King of Assyria unceasingly. He alone endures this kind of personal punishment.
4 My flesh and my skin hath he made old;
he hath broken my bones.
His flesh is worn away and his bones shattered.
5 He hath builded against me,
and compassed me with gall and travail.
All around Him is built misery and hardship.
6 He hath set me in dark places,
as they that be dead of old.
He lives in darkness like those who have been dead a long time. It implies that he can't see. The darkness is an allusion to the King of Assyria.
7 He hath hedged me about, that I cannot get out:
he hath made my chain heavy.
His situation is impossible to escape from. The heavy chains that weigh him down suggest servitude just as the people are put into servitude so is he and to larger degree.
8 Also when I cry and shout,
he shutteth out my prayer.
It doesn't matter how much he cries out or prayer God will not turn away the punishment.
9 He hath inclosed my ways with hewn stone,
he hath made my paths crooked.
He is enclosed in the situation with no way out and his paths are made into a maze.
10 He was unto me as a bear lying in wait,
and as a lion in secret places.
Like animals they lie in wait to attack so was the Lord to his own Servant. The lion may have allusions to the King of Assyria or Babylon as that's who the lion in Jeremiah refers to.
11 He hath turned aside my ways, and pulled me in pieces:
he hath made me desolate.
He has been forced out of his way and mangled. He is left numb.
12 He hath bent his bow,
and set me as a mark for the arrow.
The bow is the right hand or the Lord's servant. But here the Lord bends the bow as if to fire it and makes the Servant the target.
13 He hath caused the arrows of his quiver
to enter into my reins.
The arrows plunge into this vital organs. The wounds are severe. The quiver in Isaiah is where the Lord hides the servant from the world for a time and this implies that he is left exposed and wounded before the world.
14 I was a derision to all my people;
and their song all the day.
He is made into a laughingstock to all people. The butt of their jokes. There is an undercurrent of culture surrounding him.
15 He hath filled me with bitterness,
he hath made me drunken with wormwood.
Bitterness is paralleled with wormwood showing they have the same meaning. He is drunk with bitterness.
16 He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones,
he hath covered me with ashes.
His teeth are broken on gravel, and he is ground into the dust. Suggesting that he becomes a non-entity. Reverts to a state of chaos.
17 And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace:
I forgat prosperity.
His situation is so dire that he has no peace, its far from him, just like his people and he forgets what happiness is.
18 And I said, My strength and my hope
is perished from the LORD:
He seems to be on the verge of giving up. His strength is gone and his hope is dead.
19 Remembering mine affliction and my misery,
the wormwood and the gall.
When he thinks about his distress and misery it's like bitterness and poison.
20 My soul hath them still in remembrance,
and is humbled in me.
Whenever he thinks about his situation he is bowed low or humbled.
21 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.
But he still has hope, even though he said his hope was dead, he still hopes.
22 It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed,
because his compassions fail not.
He knows the kindness of the Lord has not ended and his mercies are not all spent.
23 They are new every morning:
great is thy faithfulness.
They are renewed every morning. The Lord's grace is ample.
24 The LORD is my portion, saith my soul;
therefore will I hope in him.
He says with full heart the Lord is my portion. So I will hope in Him. This shows that despite his awful circumstances he has the right attitude. It contrasts in some ways with some of the people's attitude who say that the Lord has forsaken them.
25 The LORD is good unto them that wait for him,
to the soul that seeketh him.
He knows that God is good to those who trust in Him or wait for Him. To those who seek Him.
26 It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.
Waiting patiently for God's salvation or rescue is a good thing and that's exactly what the Servant is doing and what the people should do as well.
27 It is good for a man
that he bear the yoke in his youth.
He sees the positive of the situation and explains it can be good for a young man to bare a yoke. It refines him.
28 He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him.
He explain that the young man should sit alone a be patient when the yoke is laid upon him.
29 He putteth his mouth in the dust;
if so be there may be hope.
He should put his mouth to the dust that there may still be hope. The mouth is an allusion to the Lord's Servant and dust implies a state of chaos or non entity. So they should mimic what the servant does and accept the state of chaos knowing they can hope in the Lord.
30 He giveth his cheek to him that smiteth him:
he is filled full with reproach.
The Servant is explaining what he has done and saying that his people should do the same. To offer his cheek to the smiter, this is a reference to Isaiah where the Lord's Servant does this. To be surfeited with mockery.
31 For the Lord will not
cast off for ever:
They should do this because it is a test and the Lord does not reject them forever.
32 But though he cause grief,
yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies.
First the Lord afflicts them and then pardons because of His abundant kindness.
33 For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children 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.
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 Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?
Jeremiah or the Servant says in these verses God doesn't punish for no reason. In fact he doesn't want to do it. But these are all things he has done he afflicted and grieved his own people, he crushed the prisoners of the earth. However he does not deny a man his rights in His presence. He doesn't willfully wrong man in his cause without reason. Then it states that nobody can predict the future and have it happen unless God wills it.
Out the mouth of the Most High comes good and woe. The mouth is also the Lord's Servant, he speaks good things for God's people and also speak woes or covenant curses if they don't obey the Most High God.
We have nothing to complain about because everyone is punished for their own sins.
40 Let us search and try our ways,
and turn again to the LORD.
If there's a problem in our lives let us search and examine our own ways first and turn back to the Lord. This implies that we have no one to blame but ourselves, and the Lord is most definitely not at fault.
41 Let us lift up our heart with our hands
unto God in the heavens.
To perform prayer with our hearts as well as in the proper way.
42 We have transgressed and have rebelled:
thou hast not pardoned.
The people are beginning to realize their own mistakes now. Confessing their sins. Because they transgressed and rebelled, God has not forgiven them.
43 Thou hast covered with anger,
and persecuted us:
thou hast slain, thou hast not pitied.
God clothed himself with anger or the King of Assyria and killed his own people without pity.
44 Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud,
that our prayer should not pass through.
He screens Himself with a cloud denoting the absence of His presence. Their prayers can't reach him.
45 Thou hast made us as the offscouring and refuse
in the midst of the people.
God made his people like filth and refuse among all peoples.
46 All our enemies have opened their mouths against us.
Their enemies speak loudly and rail against them.
47 Fear and a snare is come upon us,
desolation and destruction.
They are filled with panic and pitfalls, they are desolate and destroyed.
48 Mine eye runneth down with rivers of water
for the destruction of the daughter of my people.
The Servant speaks again about the ruin of my poor people and is weeping.
49 Mine eye trickleth down, and ceaseth not,
without any intermission,
50 Till the LORD look down,
and behold from heaven.
He going to keep on crying until God looks down from heaven and takes notice.
51 Mine eye affecteth mine heart
because of all the daughters of my city.
His eyes because of the weeping have brought Him grief concerning all the maidens of his city.
52 Mine enemies chased me sore, like a bird,
His enemies pursued him and caught him like a bird, and they had no justification for doing so.
53 They have cut off my life in the dungeon,
and cast a stone upon me.
The Servant's life is ended in a Pit. Which in Isaiah is where the wicked are cast off. His enemies threw stones at Him.
54 Waters flowed over mine head;
then I said, I am cut off.
The Pit he is in is filled with water and as they flow over His head he says, I am lost!
55 I called upon thy name, O LORD,
out of the low dungeon.
He calls on the name of the Lord from inside the Pit.
56 Thou hast heard my voice:
hide not thine ear
at my breathing, at my cry.
He asks God to hear his plea and not to shut His ears from his groan and cry.
57 Thou drewest near in the day that I called upon thee:
thou saidst, Fear not.
The Lord in the past was always with Him or drew near when he called out. God told him, do not fear!
58 O Lord, thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul;
thou hast redeemed my life.
God then champions his cause and redeems his life. As this happens to the Servant so God will help his people. What happens to the one happens to the other.
59 O LORD, thou hast seen my wrong:
judge thou my cause.
He states that God has seen the wrong done to Him and asks for his right to be vindicated.
60 Thou hast seen all their vengeance
and all their imaginations against me.
God has seen all their malice and their designs against the Servant.
61 Thou hast heard their reproach, O LORD,
and all their imaginations against me;
God has heard their taunts and all their designs against the Servant.
In the JPS Tanakh or masoretic text verse 50 and 51 and quoted here with a slight alteration.
"Until the Lord looks down from heaven and beholds
The Lord has brought me grief."
62 The lips of those that rose up against me,
and their device against me all the day.
The Servant's enemies mouth off against Him all day long or constantly. Lips is a metaphor of the King of Assyria.
63 Behold their sitting down, and their rising up;
I am their musick.
Wherever they are at ease or at work He is the butt of their jokes. Implies a sub culture.
64 Render unto them a recompence, O LORD,
according to the work of their hands.
He asks God to give them their deserts or reward according to their deeds.
65 Give them sorrow of heart,
thy curse unto them.
To give them anguish of heart and curse them.
66 Persecute and destroy them in anger
from under the heavens of the LORD.
To pursue them in wrath alluding to the King of Assyria and to destroy them from under the heavens or off the face of the earth. So what has been done to the Servant he now asks be done to all his enemies and the King of Assyria.