Lamentations 1:1-22

This chapter is an acrostic poem, the verses of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. How deserted lies the city,

once so full of people!

How like a widow is she,

who once was great among the nations!

She who was queen among the provinces

has now become a slave.

Bitterly she weeps at night,

tears are on her cheeks.

Among all her lovers

there is no one to comfort her.

All her friends have betrayed her;

they have become her enemies.

After affliction and harsh labor,

Judah has gone into exile.

She dwells among the nations;

she finds no resting place.

All who pursue her have overtaken her

in the midst of her distress.

The roads to Zion mourn,

for no one comes to her appointed festivals.

All her gateways are desolate,

her priests groan,

her young women grieve,

and she is in bitter anguish.

Her foes have become her masters;

her enemies are at ease.

The Lord has brought her grief

because of her many sins.

Her children have gone into exile,

captive before the foe.

All the splendor has departed

from Daughter Zion.

Her princes are like deer

that find no pasture;

in weakness they have fled

before the pursuer.

In the days of her affliction and wandering

Jerusalem remembers all the treasures

that were hers in days of old.

When her people fell into enemy hands,

there was no one to help her.

Her enemies looked at her

and laughed at her destruction.

Jerusalem has sinned greatly

and so has become unclean.

All who honored her despise her,

for they have all seen her naked;

she herself groans

and turns away.

Her filthiness clung to her skirts;

she did not consider her future.

Her fall was astounding;

there was none to comfort her.

“Look, Lord, on my affliction,

for the enemy has triumphed.”

The enemy laid hands

on all her treasures;

she saw pagan nations

enter her sanctuary—

those you had forbidden

to enter your assembly.

All her people groan

as they search for bread;

they barter their treasures for food

to keep themselves alive.

“Look, Lord, and consider,

for I am despised.”

“Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?

Look around and see.

Is any suffering like my suffering

that was inflicted on me,

that the Lord brought on me

in the day of his fierce anger?

“From on high he sent fire,

sent it down into my bones.

He spread a net for my feet

and turned me back.

He made me desolate,

faint all the day long.

“My sins have been bound into a yoke1:14 Most Hebrew manuscripts; many Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint He kept watch over my sins;

by his hands they were woven together.

They have been hung on my neck,

and the Lord has sapped my strength.

He has given me into the hands

of those I cannot withstand.

“The Lord has rejected

all the warriors in my midst;

he has summoned an army against me

to1:15 Or has set a time for me / when he will crush my young men.

In his winepress the Lord has trampled

Virgin Daughter Judah.

“This is why I weep

and my eyes overflow with tears.

No one is near to comfort me,

no one to restore my spirit.

My children are destitute

because the enemy has prevailed.”

Zion stretches out her hands,

but there is no one to comfort her.

The Lord has decreed for Jacob

that his neighbors become his foes;

Jerusalem has become

an unclean thing among them.

“The Lord is righteous,

yet I rebelled against his command.

Listen, all you peoples;

look on my suffering.

My young men and young women

have gone into exile.

“I called to my allies

but they betrayed me.

My priests and my elders

perished in the city

while they searched for food

to keep themselves alive.

“See, Lord, how distressed I am!

I am in torment within,

and in my heart I am disturbed,

for I have been most rebellious.

Outside, the sword bereaves;

inside, there is only death.

“People have heard my groaning,

but there is no one to comfort me.

All my enemies have heard of my distress;

they rejoice at what you have done.

May you bring the day you have announced

so they may become like me.

“Let all their wickedness come before you;

deal with them

as you have dealt with me

because of all my sins.

My groans are many

and my heart is faint.”

Read More of Lamentations 1

Lamentations 2:1-6

This chapter is an acrostic poem, the verses of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. How the Lord has covered Daughter Zion

with the cloud of his anger2:1 Or How the Lord in his anger / has treated Daughter Zion with contempt!

He has hurled down the splendor of Israel

from heaven to earth;

he has not remembered his footstool

in the day of his anger.

Without pity the Lord has swallowed up

all the dwellings of Jacob;

in his wrath he has torn down

the strongholds of Daughter Judah.

He has brought her kingdom and its princes

down to the ground in dishonor.

In fierce anger he has cut off

every horn2:3 Or off / all the strength; or every king2:3 Horn here symbolizes strength. of Israel.

He has withdrawn his right hand

at the approach of the enemy.

He has burned in Jacob like a flaming fire

that consumes everything around it.

Like an enemy he has strung his bow;

his right hand is ready.

Like a foe he has slain

all who were pleasing to the eye;

he has poured out his wrath like fire

on the tent of Daughter Zion.

The Lord is like an enemy;

he has swallowed up Israel.

He has swallowed up all her palaces

and destroyed her strongholds.

He has multiplied mourning and lamentation

for Daughter Judah.

He has laid waste his dwelling like a garden;

he has destroyed his place of meeting.

The Lord has made Zion forget

her appointed festivals and her Sabbaths;

in his fierce anger he has spurned

both king and priest.

Read More of Lamentations 2