New International Reader's Version

Lamentations 1:1-22

1The city of Jerusalem is so empty!

She used to be full of people.

But now she’s like a woman whose husband has died.

She used to be great among the nations.

She was like a queen among the kingdoms.

But now she is a slave.

2Jerusalem weeps bitterly at night.

Tears run down her cheeks.

None of her friends comforts her.

All those who were going to help her

have turned against her.

They have become her enemies.

3After Judah’s people had suffered greatly,

they were taken away as prisoners.

Now they live among the nations.

They can’t find any place to rest.

All those who were chasing them have caught up with them.

And they can’t get away.

4The roads to Zion are empty.

No one travels to her appointed feasts.

All the public places near her gates are deserted.

Her priests groan.

Her young women are sad.

And Zion herself weeps bitterly.

5Her enemies have become her masters.

They have an easy life.

The Lord has brought suffering to Jerusalem

because her people have committed so many sins.

Her children have been taken away as prisoners.

Her enemies have forced her people to leave their homes.

6The city of Zion used to be full of glory.

But now her glory has faded away.

Her princes are like deer.

They can’t find anything to eat.

They are almost too weak to get away

from those who hunt them down.

7Jerusalem’s people are suffering and wandering.

They remember all the treasures

they used to have.

But they fell into the hands of their enemies.

And no one was there to help them.

Their enemies looked at them.

They laughed because Jerusalem had been destroyed.

8Her people have committed many sins.

They have become impure.

All those who honored Jerusalem now look down on her.

They all look at her as if she were a naked woman.

The city groans and turns away in shame.

9Her skirts are dirty.

She didn’t think about how things might turn out.

Her fall from power amazed everyone.

And no one was there to comfort her.

She said, “Lord, please pay attention to how much I’m suffering.

My enemies have won the battle over me.”

10Jerusalem’s enemies took away

all her treasures.

Her people saw outsiders

enter her temple.

The Lord had commanded them

not to do that.

11All Jerusalem’s people groan

as they search for bread.

They trade their treasures for food

just to stay alive.

Jerusalem says, “Lord, look at me.

Think about my condition.

Everyone looks down on me.”

12Jerusalem also says, “All you who are passing by,

don’t you care about what has happened to me?

Just look at my condition.

Has anyone suffered the way I have?

The Lord has brought all this on me.

He has made me suffer.

His anger has burned against me.

13“He sent down fire from heaven.

It went deep down into my bones.

He spread a net to catch me by the feet.

He stopped me right where I was.

He made me empty.

I am sick all the time.

14“My sins have been made into a heavy yoke.

They were woven together by his hands.

They have been placed on my neck.

The Lord has taken away my strength.

He has handed me over to my enemies.

I can’t win the battle over them.

15“The Lord has refused to accept

any of my soldiers.

He has sent for an army

to crush my young men.

I am like grapes in the Lord’s winepress.

He has stomped on me,

even though I am his very own.

16“That’s why I am weeping.

Tears are flowing from my eyes.

No one is near to comfort me.

No one can heal my spirit.

My children don’t have anything.

My enemies are much too strong for me.”

17Zion reaches out her hands.

But no one is there to comfort her people.

The Lord has ordered that

the neighbors of Jacob’s people would become their enemies.

Jerusalem has become impure among them.

18Jerusalem says, “The Lord always does what is right.

But I refused to obey his commands.

Listen, all you nations.

Pay attention to how much I’m suffering.

My young men and women

have been taken away as prisoners.

19“I called out to those who were going to help me.

But they turned against me.

My priests and elders

died in the city.

They were searching for food

just to stay alive.

20Lord, see how upset I am!

I am suffering deep down inside.

My heart is troubled.

Again and again I have refused to obey you.

Outside the city, people are being killed by swords.

Inside, there is nothing but death.

21“People have heard me groan.

But no one is here to comfort me.

My enemies have heard about all my troubles.

What you have done makes them happy.

So please judge them, just as you said you would.

Let them become like me.

22“Please pay attention to all their sinful ways.

Punish them as you have punished me.

You judged me because I had committed so many sins.

I groan all the time.

And my heart is weak.”

King James Version

Lamentations 1:1-22

1How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! how is she become as a widow! she that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary! 2She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks: among all her lovers she hath none to comfort her: all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her enemies. 3Judah is gone into captivity because of affliction, and because of great servitude: she dwelleth among the heathen, she findeth no rest: all her persecutors overtook her between the straits.1.3 because of great…: Heb. for the greatness of servitude 4The ways of Zion do mourn, because none come to the solemn feasts: all her gates are desolate: her priests sigh, her virgins are afflicted, and she is in bitterness. 5Her adversaries are the chief, her enemies prosper; for the LORD hath afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions: her children are gone into captivity before the enemy. 6And from the daughter of Zion all her beauty is departed: her princes are become like harts that find no pasture, and they are gone without strength before the pursuer. 7Jerusalem remembered in the days of her affliction and of her miseries all her pleasant things that she had in the days of old, when her people fell into the hand of the enemy, and none did help her: the adversaries saw her, and did mock at her sabbaths.1.7 pleasant: or, desirable 8Jerusalem hath grievously sinned; therefore she is removed: all that honoured her despise her, because they have seen her nakedness: yea, she sigheth, and turneth backward.1.8 is…: Heb. is become a removing, or, wandering 9Her filthiness is in her skirts; she remembereth not her last end; therefore she came down wonderfully: she had no comforter. O LORD, behold my affliction: for the enemy hath magnified himself. 10The adversary hath spread out his hand upon all her pleasant things: for she hath seen that the heathen entered into her sanctuary, whom thou didst command that they should not enter into thy congregation.1.10 pleasant: or, desirable 11All her people sigh, they seek bread; they have given their pleasant things for meat to relieve the soul: see, O LORD, and consider; for I am become vile.1.11 to…: or, to make the soul to come again

12Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger.1.12 Is it…: or, It is nothing1.12 pass by: Heb. pass by the way? 13From above hath he sent fire into my bones, and it prevaileth against them: he hath spread a net for my feet, he hath turned me back: he hath made me desolate and faint all the day. 14The yoke of my transgressions is bound by his hand: they are wreathed, and come up upon my neck: he hath made my strength to fall, the Lord hath delivered me into their hands, from whom I am not able to rise up. 15The Lord hath trodden under foot all my mighty men in the midst of me: he hath called an assembly against me to crush my young men: the Lord hath trodden the virgin, the daughter of Judah, as in a winepress.1.15 the virgin…: or, the winepress of the virgin, etc 16For these things I weep; mine eye, mine eye runneth down with water, because the comforter that should relieve my soul is far from me: my children are desolate, because the enemy prevailed.1.16 relieve: Heb. bring back 17Zion spreadeth forth her hands, and there is none to comfort her: the LORD hath commanded concerning Jacob, that his adversaries should be round about him: Jerusalem is as a menstruous woman among them.

18¶ The LORD is righteous; for I have rebelled against his commandment: hear, I pray you, all people, and behold my sorrow: my virgins and my young men are gone into captivity.1.18 commandment: Heb. mouth 19I called for my lovers, but they deceived me: my priests and mine elders gave up the ghost in the city, while they sought their meat to relieve their souls. 20Behold, O LORD; for I am in distress: my bowels are troubled; mine heart is turned within me; for I have grievously rebelled: abroad the sword bereaveth, at home there is as death. 21They have heard that I sigh: there is none to comfort me: all mine enemies have heard of my trouble; they are glad that thou hast done it: thou wilt bring the day that thou hast called, and they shall be like unto me.1.21 called: or, proclaimed 22Let all their wickedness come before thee; and do unto them, as thou hast done unto me for all my transgressions: for my sighs are many, and my heart is faint.