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The Prophet Speaks:

א (Alef)

2:1 Alas!1 The Lord2 has covered

Daughter Zion3 with his anger.4

He has thrown down the splendor of Israel

from heaven to earth;

he did not protect5 his temple6

when he displayed his anger.7

ב (Bet)

2:2 The Lord8 destroyed9 mercilessly10

all the homes of Jacob’s descendants.11

In his anger he tore down

the fortified cities12 of Daughter Judah.

He knocked to the ground and humiliated

the kingdom and its rulers.13

ג (Gimel)

2:3 In fierce anger14 he destroyed15

the whole army16 of Israel.

He withdrew his right hand17

as the enemy attacked.18

He was like a raging fire in the land of Jacob;19

it consumed everything around it.20

ד (Dalet)

2:4 He prepared his bow21 like an enemy;

his right hand was ready to shoot.22

Like a foe he killed everyone,

even our strong young men;23

he has poured out his anger like fire

on the tent24 of Daughter Zion.

ה (He)

2:5 The Lord,25 like an enemy,

destroyed26 Israel.

He destroyed27 all her palaces;

he ruined her28 fortified cities.

He made everyone in Daughter Judah

mourn and lament.29

ו (Vav)

2:6 He destroyed his temple30 as if it were a vineyard;31

he destroyed his appointed meeting place.

The Lord has made those in Zion forget

both the festivals and the Sabbaths.32

In his fierce anger33 he has spurned34

both king and priest.

ז (Zayin)

2:7 The Lord35 rejected36 his altar

and abhorred his temple.37

He handed over to the enemy38

her palace walls;

the enemy39 shouted40 in the Lord’s temple

as if it were a feast day.41

ח (Khet)

2:8 The Lord was determined to tear down

Daughter Zion’s wall.

He prepared to knock it down;42

he did not withdraw his hand from destroying.43

He made the ramparts and fortified walls lament;

together they mourned their ruin.44

ט (Tet)

2:9 Her city gates have fallen45 to the ground;

he smashed to bits46 the bars that lock her gates.47

Her king and princes were taken into exile;48

there is no more guidance available.49

As for her prophets,

they no longer receive50 a vision from the Lord.

י (Yod)

2:10 The elders of Daughter Zion

sit51 on the ground in silence.52

They have thrown dirt on their heads;

They have dressed in sackcloth.53

Jerusalem’s young women54 stare down at the ground.55

כ (Kaf)

2:11 My eyes are worn out56 from weeping;57

my stomach is in knots.58

My heart59 is poured out on the ground

due to the destruction60 of my helpless people;61

children and infants faint

in the town squares.

ל (Lamed)

2:12 Children62 say to their mothers,63

“Where are food and drink?”64

They faint65 like a wounded warrior

in the city squares.

They die slowly66

in their mothers’ arms.67

מ (Mem)

2:13 With what can I equate68 you?

To what can I compare you, O Daughter Jerusalem?

To what can I liken you69

so that70 I might comfort you, O Virgin Daughter Zion?

Your wound is as deep71 as the sea.72

Who can heal you?73

נ (Nun)

2:14 Your prophets saw visions for you

that were worthless lies.74

They failed to expose your sin

so as to restore your fortunes.75

They saw oracles for you

that were worthless76 lies.

ס (Samek)

2:15 All who passed by on the road

clapped their hands to mock you.77

They sneered and shook their heads

at Daughter Jerusalem.

“Ha! Is this the city they called78

‘The perfection of beauty,79

the source of joy of the whole earth!’?”80

פ (Pe)

2:16 All your enemies

gloated over you.81

They sneered and gnashed their teeth;

they said, “We have destroyed82 her!

Ha! We have waited a long time for this day.

We have lived to see it!”83

ע (Ayin)

2:17 The Lord has done what he planned;

he has fulfilled84 his promise85

that he threatened86 long ago:87

He has overthrown you without mercy88

and has enabled the enemy to gloat over you;

he has exalted your adversaries’ power.89

ץ (Tsade)

2:18 Cry out90 from your heart91 to the Lord,92

O wall of Daughter Zion!93

Make your tears flow like a river

all day and all night long!94

Do not rest;

do not let your tears95 stop!

ק (Qof)

2:19 Get up! Cry out in the night96

when the night watches start!97

Pour out your heart98 like water

before the face of the Lord!99

Lift up your hands100 to him

for your children’s lives;101

they are fainting102

at every street corner.103


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