Lamentations 1:1–4:22


א Aleph

How* she sits alone,a

the cityb once crowded with people!

She who was great among the nations

has become like a widow.c

The princess among the provinces

has been put to forced labor.

ב Beth

She weeps bitterly during the night,d

with tears on her cheeks.

There is no one to offer her comfort,

not one from all her lovers.B,e

All her friends have betrayed her;

they have become her enemies.

ג Gimel

Judah has gone into exile

followingC affliction and harsh slavery;

she lives among the nations

but finds no place to rest.f

All her pursuers have overtaken her

in narrow places.

ד Daleth

The roads to Ziong mourn,

for no one comes to the appointed festivals.h

All her gates are deserted;

her priests groan,

her young women grieve,

and she herself is bitter.

ה He

Her adversaries have become her masters;i

her enemies are at ease,j

for the Lord has made her suffer

because of her many transgressions.

Her children have gone away

as captives before the adversary.

ו Waw

All the splendork has vanished

from Daughter Zion.l

Her leaders are like stags

that find no pasture;

they stumble away exhausted

before the hunter.m

ז Zayin

During the days of her affliction and homelessnessn

Jerusalem remembers all her precious belongings

that were hers in days of old.

When her people fell into the adversary’s hand,

she had no one to help.

The adversaries looked at her,

laughing over her downfall.

ח Cheth

Jerusalem has sinned grievously;

therefore, she has become an object of scorn.D

All who honored her now despise her,

for they have seen her nakedness.

She herself groans and turns away.

ט Teth

Her uncleanness stains her skirts.o

She never considered her end.

Her downfall was astonishing;p

there was no one to comfort her.

Lord, look on my affliction,

for the enemy boasts.

י Yod

10 The adversary has seized

all her precious belongings.

She has even seen the nations

enter her sanctuary—

those you had forbidden

to enter your assembly.q

כ Kaph

11 All her people groan

while they search for bread.r

They have traded their precious belongings for food

in order to stay alive.s

Lord, look and see

how I have become despised.

ל Lamed

12 Is this nothing to you, all you who pass by?a

Look and see!

Is there any pain like mine,

which was dealt out to me,

which the Lord made me suffer

on the day of his burning anger?b

מ Mem

13 He sent fire from on highc into my bones;

he made it descend.A,d

He spread a net for my feete

and turned me back.

He made me desolate,

sick all day long.

נ Nun

14 My transgressions have been formed into a yoke,B,C,f

fastened together by his hand;

they have been placed on my neck,

and the Lord has broken my strength.

He has handed me over

to those I cannot withstand.

ס Samek

15 The Lord has rejectedg

all the mighty men within me.

He has summoned an armyD against me

to crush my young warriors.

The Lord has trampled Virgin Daughter Judahh

like grapes in a winepress.i

ע Ayin

16 I weep because of these things;

my eyes flowE with tears.j

For there is no one nearby to comfort me,k

no one to keep me alive.

My children are desolate

because the enemy has prevailed.

פ Pe

17 Zion stretches out her hands;

there is no one to comfort her.

The Lord has issued a decree against Jacob

that his neighbors should be his adversaries.

Jerusalem has become

something impurel among them.

צ Tsade

18 The Lord is just,

for I have rebelled against his command.m

Listen, all you people;

look at my pain.

My young women and young men

have gone into captivity.n

ק Qoph

19 I called to my lovers,o

but they betrayed me.

My priests and elders

perished in the city

while searching for food

to keep themselves alive.p

ר Resh

20 Lord, see how I am in distress.

I am churning within;q

my heart is broken,F

for I have been very rebellious.

Outside, the sword takes the children;

inside, there is death.r

שׁ Shin

21 People have heard me groaning,s

but there is no one to comfort me.

All my enemies have heard of my misfortune;

they are glad that you have caused it.t

Bring on the day you have announced,

so that they may become like me.u

ת Taw

22 Let all their wickedness come before you,

and deal with them

as you have dealt with me

because of all my transgressions.v

For my groans are many,

and I am sick at heart.


א Aleph

How the Lord has overshadowed

Daughter Zion with his anger!

He has thrown down Israel’s glory

from heaven to earth.

He did not acknowledge his footstoolw

in the day of his anger.x

ב Beth

Without compassiona the Lord has swallowed up

all the dwellings of Jacob.

In his wrath he has demolished

the fortified citiesb of Daughter Judah.

He brought them to the ground

and defiled the kingdom and its leaders.c

ג Gimel

He has cut off every hornd of Israel

in his burning anger

and withdrawn his right hande

in the presence of the enemy.

He has blazed against Jacob like a flaming fire

that consumes everything.f

ד Daleth

He has strung his bow like an enemy;g

his right hand is positioned like an adversary.

He has killed everyone who was the delight to the eye,h

pouring out his wrath like fire

on the tent of Daughter Zion.

ה He

The Lord is like an enemy;

he has swallowed up Israel.

He swallowed up all its palaces

and destroyed its fortified cities.

He has multiplied mourning and lamentation

within Daughter Judah.i

ו Waw

He has wrecked his templeA

as if it were merely a shack in a field,B

destroying his place of meeting.j

The Lord has abolished

appointed festivals and Sabbaths in Zion.

He has despised king and priest

in his fierce anger.

ז Zayin

The Lord has rejected his altar,

repudiated his sanctuary;k

he has handed the walls of her palaces

over to the enemy.

They have raised a shout in the house of the Lord

as on the day of an appointed festival.

ח Cheth

The Lord determined to destroy

the wall of Daughter Zion.

He stretched out a measuring linel

and did not restrain himself from destroying.

He made the ramparts and walls grieve;

together they waste away.

ט Teth

Zion’s gates have fallen to the ground;m

he has destroyed and shattered the bars on her gates.

Her king and her leaders live among the nations,

instructionC is no more,

and even her prophets receive

no vision from the Lord.n

י Yod

10 The elders of Daughter Zion

sit on the ground in silence.

They have thrown dust on their headso

and put on sackcloth.

The young women of Jerusalem

have bowed their heads to the ground.p

כ Kaph

11 My eyes are worn out from weeping;q

I am churning within.

My heart is poured out in griefD,r

because of the destruction of my dear people,s

because infants and nursing babies faint

in the streets of the city.t

ל Lamed

12 They cry out to their mothers,

“Where is the grain and wine?”u

as they faint like the wounded

in the streets of the city,

as their life pours out

in the arms of their mothers.

מ Mem

13 What can I say on your behalf?

What can I compare you to, Daughter Jerusalem?

What can I liken you to,

so that I may console you, Virgin Daughter Zion?

For your ruin is as vast as the sea.

Who can heal you?a

נ Nun

14 Your prophets saw visions for you

that were empty and deceptive;A,b

they did not reveal your iniquity

and so restore your fortunes.c

They saw pronouncements for you

that were empty and misleading.

ס Samek

15 All who pass by

scornfully clap their handsd at you.

They hisse and shake their headsf

at Daughter Jerusalem:

Is this the city that was called

the perfection of beauty,g

the joy of the whole earth?h

פ Pe

16 All your enemies

open their mouths against you.i

They hiss and gnash their teeth,j

saying, “We have swallowed her up.k

This is the day we have waited for!

We have lived to see it.”

ע Ayin

17 The Lord has done what he planned;

he has accomplished his decree,

which he ordained in days of old.

He has demolished without compassion,l

letting the enemy gloat over you

and exalting the horn of your adversaries.

צ Tsade

18 The hearts of the people cry out to the Lord.

Wall of Daughter Zion,m

let your tears run down like a river

day and night.n

Give yourself no relief

and yourB eyes no rest.

ק Qoph

19 Arise, cry out in the night

from the first watch of the night.

Pour out your heart like water

before the Lord’s presence.o

Lift up your hands to him

for the lives of your children

who are fainting from hunger

at the head of every street.p

ר Resh

20 Lord, look and consider

to whom you have done this.

Should women eat their own children,q

the infants they have nurtured?C

Should priests and prophets

be killed in the Lord’s sanctuary?

שׁ Shin

21 Both young and old

are lying on the ground in the streets.

My young women and young men

have fallen by the sword.

You have killed them in the day of your anger,

slaughtering without compassion.r

ת Taw

22 You summon those who terrorizeD me on every side,s

as if for an appointed festival day;

on the day of the Lord’s anger

no one escaped or survived.

My enemy has destroyed

those I nurturedE and reared.


א Aleph

I am the man who has seen affliction

under the rod of God’s wrath.

He has driven me away and forced me to walk

in darkness instead of light.t

Yes, he repeatedly turns his hand

against me all day long.

ב Beth

He has worn away my flesh and skin;u

he has broken my bones.v

He has laid siege against me,w

encircling me with bitterness and hardship.x

He has made me dwell in darkness

like those who have been dead for ages.y

ג Gimel

He has walled me in so I cannot get out;a

he has weighed me down with chains.

Even when I cry out and plead for help,

he blocks out my prayer.b

He has walled in my ways with blocks of stone;c

he has made my paths crooked.d

ד Daleth

10 He isA a bear waiting in ambush,

a lion in hiding.e

11 He forced me off my way and tore me to pieces;

he left me desolate.

12 He strung his bowf

and set me as the target for his arrow.

ה He

13 He pierced my kidneys

with shafts from his quiver.g

14 I am a laughingstockh to all my people,B

mocked by their songsi all day long.

15 He filled me with bitterness,

satiated me with wormwood.j

ו Waw

16 He ground my teeth with gravelk

and made me cowerC

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