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Quietly wait for the salvation

In a conversation about nearby verses, I found this quote from Lamentations, 3:22-31:

This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.
It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.
It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.
He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him.
He putteth his mouth in the dust; if so be there may be hope.
He giveth his cheek to him that smiteth him: he is filled full with reproach.
For the Lord will not cast off for ever. (KJV)

I only wonder why he "sitteth alone." The rest feels like a good fit for Quakerism generally, Quietism particularly.


Sometimes I find it helpful to check other translations of a puzzling verse. Here's the New King James Version:

It is good for a man to bear
The yoke in his youth.
Let him sit alone and keep silent,
Because God has laid it on him....

And here's the New Revised Standard Version:

It is good for one to bear
the yoke in youth,
to sit alone in silence
when the Lord has imposed it....

So both these groups of translators have chosen to clarify the meaning of the verse by supplying "God" / "the Lord" as an antecedent for the pronoun "he".

"Sitting alone and keeping silence in one's youth" is fully in keeping with traditional Quakerism. Many Friends wrote in their autobiographies of some period in their youth when they were driven by a need to go off alone and sit in silence, to pray or otherwise reach for God or spiritual Reality.

The alone part was mostly what I was thinking about, though you picked up an ambiguity I'd read past.

You're certainly right that it fits one aspect of Quakerism - just not the part we gather for.