Lamentations 3:56
You have heard my voice: hide not your ear at my breathing, at my cry.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(56) Thou hast heard . . . hide not thine . . .—There is something eminently suggestive in the sequence of the two clauses. The recollection that prayer was answered in the past, prompts its utterance in the present. Historically, the words may point to the intervention of Ebed-melech in Jeremiah 38:7.

At my breathingi.e., the “sighs” or “sobs” of the mourner.

3:55-66 Faith comes off conqueror, for in these verses the prophet concludes with some comfort. Prayer is the breath of the new man, drawing in the air of mercy in petitions, and returning it in praises; it proves and maintains the spiritual life. He silenced their fears, and quieted their spirits. Thou saidst, Fear not. This was the language of God's grace, by the witness of his Spirit with their spirits. And what are all our sorrows, compared with those of the Redeemer? He will deliver his people from every trouble, and revive his church from every persecution. He will save believers with everlasting salvation, while his enemies perish with everlasting destruction.Thou hast heard - In sending Ebedmelech to deliver me. The next clause signifies "Hide not thine ear to my relief to my cry," i. e. to my cry for relief.56. Thou hast heard—namely formerly (so in La 3:57, 58).

breathing … cry—two kinds of prayer; the sigh of a prayer silently breathed forth, and the loud, earnest cry (compare "prayer," "secret speech," Isa 26:16, Margin; with "cry aloud," Ps 55:17).

I in former great afflictions applied myself unto thee, and thou didst hear me; show me now the same favour. Our former experiences of God’s goodness to us in hearing our prayers ought to hold up our hands in prayer, mid beget a confidence in us that we, persisting in our duty, shall find God the same God, yesterday, this day, and for ever. Thou hast heard my voice,.... Either in times past, when he cried unto him, and was delivered; and this was an encouragement to call upon him again in such extremity, who had shown himself to be a God hearing and answering prayer; hence it follows:

hide not thine ear at my breathing, at my cry; turn not a deaf ear to me, who hast been wont to hear me heretofore; stop not thine ear at my cry now, at my prayer, which he calls his "breathing"; prayer is the breath of a soul regenerated by the Spirit, and is a sign and evidence of life, when it is spiritual; in it a soul pants after God, and communion with him, and salvation by him. Some render it, "at my gasping" (s); or "panting", for breath; just ready to expire, unless immediate help is given: or else the whole of this refers to the present time, when the Lord heard and answered, not only the first clause, but this also; which may be rendered, not by way of petition, but affirmation, "thou didst not hide thine ear at my breathing, at my cry" (t); and this agrees both with what goes before, and with what is expressed in Lamentations 3:57.

(s) "ad anhelitum meum", Cocceius; "ad respirationem meam", Pagnius, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (t) "non avertisti", Grotius.

Thou hast heard my voice: hide not thine ear at my breathing, at my cry.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
56. The word rendered “breathing” occurs but once elsewhere (Exodus 8:15 [Heb. Lamentations 3:11]), and has there the sense of respite, relief. Accordingly Ewald proposes (by a change of one consonant) to render my cry, and consider “at my cry” to be a gloss.Verse 56. - At my breathing; rather, at my sighing; literally, at my relieving myself. נגּר means to be poured out, empty self; cf. 2 Samuel 14:14; Micah 1:4. "And is not silent" equals and rests not, i.e., incessantly; cf. Jeremiah 14:17. מאין הפגות does not mean, eo quod non sint intermissiones miseriarum vel fletus (C. B. Michaelis and Rosenmller, following the Chaldee), but "so that there is no intermission or drying up." As to הפגות, which means the same as פּוּגה, see on Lamentations 2:18. "Until the Lord look down from heaven and examine," in order to put an end to the distress, or to take compassion on His people. On ישׁקיף, cf. Psalm 14:2; Psalm 102:20.
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