New Living Translation

Lamentations 1

Sorrow in Jerusalem

1Jerusalem, once so full of people,
    is now deserted.
She who was once great among the nations
    now sits alone like a widow.
Once the queen of all the earth,
    she is now a slave.

She sobs through the night;
    tears stream down her cheeks.
Among all her lovers,
    there is no one left to comfort her.
All her friends have betrayed her
    and become her enemies.

Judah has been led away into captivity,
    oppressed with cruel slavery.
She lives among foreign nations
    and has no place of rest.
Her enemies have chased her down,
    and she has nowhere to turn.

The roads to Jerusalem[a] are in mourning,
    for crowds no longer come to celebrate the festivals.
The city gates are silent,
    her priests groan,
her young women are crying—
    how bitter is her fate!

Her oppressors have become her masters,
    and her enemies prosper,
for the Lord has punished Jerusalem
    for her many sins.
Her children have been captured
    and taken away to distant lands.

All the majesty of beautiful Jerusalem[b]
    has been stripped away.
Her princes are like starving deer
    searching for pasture.
They are too weak to run
    from the pursuing enemy.

In the midst of her sadness and wandering,
    Jerusalem remembers her ancient splendor.
But now she has fallen to her enemy,
    and there is no one to help her.
Her enemy struck her down
    and laughed as she fell.

Jerusalem has sinned greatly,
    so she has been tossed away like a filthy rag.
All who once honored her now despise her,
    for they have seen her stripped naked and humiliated.
All she can do is groan
    and hide her face.

She defiled herself with immorality
    and gave no thought to her future.
Now she lies in the gutter
    with no one to lift her out.
Lord, see my misery,” she cries.
    “The enemy has triumphed.”

10 The enemy has plundered her completely,
    taking every precious thing she owns.
She has seen foreigners violate her sacred Temple,
    the place the Lord had forbidden them to enter.

11 Her people groan as they search for bread.
    They have sold their treasures for food to stay alive.
“O Lord, look,” she mourns,
    “and see how I am despised.

12 “Does it mean nothing to you, all you who pass by?
    Look around and see if there is any suffering like mine,
which the Lord brought on me
    when he erupted in fierce anger.

13 “He has sent fire from heaven that burns in my bones.
    He has placed a trap in my path and turned me back.
He has left me devastated,
    racked with sickness all day long.

14 “He wove my sins into ropes
    to hitch me to a yoke of captivity.
The Lord sapped my strength and turned me over to my enemies;
    I am helpless in their hands.

15 “The Lord has treated my mighty men
    with contempt.
At his command a great army has come
    to crush my young warriors.
The Lord has trampled his beloved city[c]
    like grapes are trampled in a winepress.

16 “For all these things I weep;
    tears flow down my cheeks.
No one is here to comfort me;
    any who might encourage me are far away.
My children have no future,
    for the enemy has conquered us.”

17 Jerusalem reaches out for help,
    but no one comforts her.
Regarding his people Israel,[d]
    the Lord has said,
“Let their neighbors be their enemies!
    Let them be thrown away like a filthy rag!”

18 “The Lord is right,” Jerusalem says,
    “for I rebelled against him.
Listen, people everywhere;
    look upon my anguish and despair,
for my sons and daughters
    have been taken captive to distant lands.

19 “I begged my allies for help,
    but they betrayed me.
My priests and leaders
    starved to death in the city,
even as they searched for food
    to save their lives.

20 Lord, see my anguish!
    My heart is broken
and my soul despairs,
    for I have rebelled against you.
In the streets the sword kills,
    and at home there is only death.

21 “Others heard my groans,
    but no one turned to comfort me.
When my enemies heard about my troubles,
    they were happy to see what you had done.
Oh, bring the day you promised,
    when they will suffer as I have suffered.

22 “Look at all their evil deeds, Lord.
    Punish them,
as you have punished me
    for all my sins.
My groans are many,
    and I am sick at heart.”

Footnotes

  1. 1:4 Hebrew Zion; also in 1:17.
  2. 1:6 Hebrew of the daughter of Zion.
  3. 1:15 Hebrew the virgin daughter of Judah.
  4. 1:17 Hebrew Jacob. The names “Jacob” and “Israel” are often interchanged throughout the Old Testament, referring sometimes to the individual patriarch and sometimes to the nation.

The Message

Lamentations 1

Worthless, Cheap, Abject!

1Oh, oh, oh . . .
How empty the city, once teeming with people.
    A widow, this city, once in the front rank of nations,
    once queen of the ball, she’s now a drudge in the kitchen.

She cries herself to sleep each night, tears soaking her pillow.
    No one’s left among her lovers to sit and hold her hand.
    Her friends have all dumped her.

After years of pain and hard labor, Judah has gone into exile.
    She camps out among the nations, never feels at home.
    Hunted by all, she’s stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Zion’s roads weep, empty of pilgrims headed to the feasts.
    All her city gates are deserted, her priests in despair.
    Her virgins are sad. How bitter her fate.

Her enemies have become her masters. Her foes are living it up
    because God laid her low, punishing her repeated rebellions.
    Her children, prisoners of the enemy, trudge into exile.

All beauty has drained from Daughter Zion’s face.
    Her princes are like deer famished for food,
    chased to exhaustion by hunters.

Jerusalem remembers the day she lost everything,
    when her people fell into enemy hands, and not a soul there to help.
    Enemies looked on and laughed, laughed at her helpless silence.

Jerusalem, who outsinned the whole world, is an outcast.
    All who admired her despise her now that they see beneath the surface.
    Miserable, she groans and turns away in shame.

She played fast and loose with life, she never considered tomorrow,
    and now she’s crashed royally, with no one to hold her hand:
    “Look at my pain, O God! And how the enemy cruelly struts.”

10 The enemy reached out to take all her favorite things. She watched
    as pagans barged into her Sanctuary, those very people for whom
    you posted orders: keep out: this assembly off-limits.

11 All the people groaned, so desperate for food, so desperate to stay alive
    that they bartered their favorite things for a bit of breakfast:
    “O God, look at me! Worthless, cheap, abject!

12 “And you passersby, look at me! Have you ever seen anything like this?
    Ever seen pain like my pain, seen what he did to me,
    what God did to me in his rage?

13 “He struck me with lightning, skewered me from head to foot,
    then he set traps all around so I could hardly move.
    He left me with nothing—left me sick, and sick of living.

14 “He wove my sins into a rope
    and harnessed me to captivity’s yoke.
    I’m goaded by cruel taskmasters.

15 “The Master piled up my best soldiers in a heap,
    then called in thugs to break their fine young necks.
    The Master crushed the life out of fair virgin Judah.

16 “For all this I weep, weep buckets of tears,
    and not a soul within miles around cares for my soul.
    My children are wasted, my enemy got his way.”

17 Zion reached out for help, but no one helped.
    God ordered Jacob’s enemies to surround him,
    and now no one wants anything to do with Jerusalem.

18 God has right on his side. I’m the one who did wrong.
    Listen everybody! Look at what I’m going through!
    My fair young women, my fine young men, all herded into exile!

19 “I called to my friends; they betrayed me.
    My priests and my leaders only looked after themselves,
    trying but failing to save their own skins.

20 “O God, look at the trouble I’m in! My stomach in knots,
    my heart wrecked by a life of rebellion.
    Massacres in the streets, starvation in the houses.

21 “Oh, listen to my groans. No one listens, no one cares.
    When my enemies heard of the trouble you gave me, they cheered.
    Bring on Judgment Day! Let them get what I got!

22 “Take a good look at their evil ways and give it to them!
    Give them what you gave me for my sins.
    Groaning in pain, body and soul, I’ve had all I can take.”