The Desolate City
that was full of people!
She has become like a widow,
once great among the nations!
Like a woman of nobility in the provinces,
she has become a forced laborer.
2 She weeps bitterly in the night,
her tears are on her cheeks;
she has no comforter
among all her lovers.
All her friends have been unfaithful to her;
they have become her enemies.
3 Judah has gone into exile with misery
and under hard servitude;
she lives among the nations,
she has not found a resting place;
all her pursuers have overtaken her
amidst her distress.
4 The roads of Zion are mourning
because no one comes to the festival.
All her gates are desolate,
her priests groan;
her young women are worried,
and she herself suffers bitterly.
5 Her foes have become her master,[a]
her enemies are at ease;
Yahweh has made her suffer
because of the greatness of her transgressions.
Her children have gone away,
captive before the foe.
6 All her majesty has gone away
from the daughter of Zion;
her princes have become like young stags
that have not found pasture;
they have gone away without strength,
before the pursuer.
7 Jerusalem remembers
the days of her misery and wanderings,
all her treasures
that were from the days of long ago.
When her people fell into the hand of the enemy,
there was no one helping her;
the enemies saw her, they mocked
at her destruction.
8 Jerusalem sinned grievously,
thus she became an objection of derision;
all those who honored her despise her
because they have seen her nakedness.
She herself groans
and turns away.
9 Her uncleanness was in her skirts;
she did not remember her future,
she has descended beyond understanding,
there is no comforter for her.
See, O Yahweh, my persecution!
My enemy has been made great!
10 The enemy has stretched out his hand
over all her treasures;
for she has seen the nations,
they entered her sanctuary,
those whom you commanded not to enter
in your assembly.
11 All her people groan,
they are searching for bread.
They give their treasures for food,
to bring back life.
See, O Yahweh, and look,
how I am despised.
12 Is it nothing to you, all who pass by?[b]
Look and see
if there is sorrow like my sorrow,[c]
which was dealt to me,
which Yahweh inflicted
on the day of his wrath.[d]
13 From heaven he sent fire,
into my bones he let it descend.
He spread out a net for my feet;
he turned me back,
he gave me devastation,
fainting all day.
14 My rebellion was bound as a yoke,
with his hand it was fastened together;
it was put on my neck
and caused my strength to fail.
The Lord gave me into the hands
of those whom I cannot withstand.
15 The Lord has rejected
all my mighty ones in my midst.
He called an assembly against me,
to crush my young men;
like in a wine press,
the Lord has trodden on
the virgin daughter of Judah.
16 For these things, I am weeping,
my eyes flow with tears;[e]
because a comforter is far from me,
one to restore my life.
My sons are desolate
because the enemy has prevailed.
17 Zion stretches out her hands;
there is no one to comfort her.
Yahweh has commanded against Jacob,
that those surrounding him[f] should be his enemies;
Jerusalem has become
a defilement among them.
18 Yahweh is righteous;
I have rebelled against his word.[g]
Please hear, all the nations,
And see my pain;
My young women[h] and young men
went into captivity.
19 I have called to my lovers,
they themselves deceived me;
my priests and elders perished in the city
when they sought food for themselves
to revive their life.[i]
20 See, O Yahweh, that I am in distress;[j]
my stomach[k] is in torment,
my heart has turned inside me
because I have certainly rebelled.
From outside a sword brings bereavement,
inside the house it is like death.
21 They hear that I was groaning;
there is no comforter for me.
All my enemies have heard my misery,
they are pleased that you have done it.
Bring that day that you have proclaimed,[l]
And let them be like me.
22 Let all their evil come before you;
and deal with them
just as you have dealt with me
because of all my crimes;
for my groaning is much and my heart is faint.
- Lamentations 1:5 Literally “head”
- Lamentations 1:12 Literally “all who cross a road”
- Lamentations 1:12 Or “pain like my pain”
- Lamentations 1:12 Literally “on the day of the blaze of his nose”
- Lamentations 1:16 Literally “my eye my eye is going down with water”
- Lamentations 1:17 NRSV translates “his neighbors”
- Lamentations 1:18 Literally “his mouth”
- Lamentations 1:18 Or “virgins”
- Lamentations 1:19 Or “their soul”
- Lamentations 1:20 Literally “there is distress for me”
- Lamentations 1:20 Literally “inner parts”
- Lamentations 1:21 Or “you have called”