Chapters:  1  2  3  4  5 

Lamentations

א [ʼA′leph]

 1  O how she has come to sit solitary, the city that was abundant with people!

How she has become like a widow, she that was populous among the nations!

How she that was a princess among the jurisdictional districts has come to be for forced labor!

ב [Behth]

 2 Profusely she weeps during the night, and her tears are upon her cheeks.

She has no one to comfort her from among all her lovers.

All her very own companions have dealt treacherously with her. They have become enemies to her.

ג [Gi′mel]

 3 Judah has gone into exile because of the affliction and because of the abundance of servitude.

She herself has had to dwell among the nations. No resting-place has she found.

All those who were persecuting her have overtaken her among distressing circumstances.

ד [Da′leth]

 4 The ways of Zion are mourning, because there are none coming to the festival.

All her gates are laid desolate; her priests are sighing.

Her virgins are grief-stricken, and she herself has bitterness.

ה [Heʼ]

 5 Her adversaries have become the head. Those who are her enemies are unconcerned.

Because Jehovah himself has brought grief to her on account of the abundance of her transgressions,

Her own children have walked captive before the adversary.

ו [Waw]

 6 And from the daughter of Zion there goes out all her splendor.

Her princes have proved to be like stags that have found no pasturage;

And they keep walking without power before the pursuer.

ז [Za′yin]

 7 Jerusalem has remembered [in] the days of her affliction and of her homeless people

All her desirable things that happened to be from days of long ago.

When her people fell into the hand of the adversary and she had no helper,

The adversaries saw her. They laughed over her collapse.

ח [Chehth]

 8 Jerusalem has committed outright sin. That is why she has become a mere abhorrent thing.

All who were honoring her have treated her as something cheap, for they have seen her nakedness.

She herself is also sighing and turns her back.

ט [Tehth]

 9 Her uncleanness is in her skirts. She did not remember the future for her,

And down she goes in a wondrous manner. No comforter does she have.

O Jehovah, see my affliction, for the enemy has put on great airs.

י [Yohdh]

10 The adversary has spread out his own hand against all her desirable things.

For she has seen nations that have come into her sanctuary,

Whom you commanded that they should not come into the congregation belonging to you.

כ [Kaph]

11 All her people are sighing; they are looking for bread.

They have given their desirable things for something to eat, in order to refresh the soul.

See, O Jehovah, and do look, for I have become as a valueless woman.

ל [La′medh]

12 Is it nothing to all YOU who are passing along the way? Look and see.

Does there exist any pain like my pain that has been severely dealt out to me,

With which Jehovah has caused grief in the day of his burning anger?

מ [Mem]

13 From the height he has sent fire into my bones, and he subdues each one.

He has spread out a net for my feet. He has turned me backward.

He has made me a woman laid desolate. All the day I am ill.

נ [Nun]

14 He has kept himself alert against my transgressions. In his hand they intertwine one another.

They have come up upon my neck. My power has stumbled.

Jehovah has given me into the hand of those against whom I am unable to rise up.

ס [Sa′mekh]

15 All my powerful ones Jehovah has tossed aside from the midst of me.

He has called against me a meeting, in order to break my young men to pieces.

Jehovah has trodden the very winepress belonging to the virgin daughter of Judah.

ע [ʽA′yin]

16 Over these things I am weeping as a woman. My eye, my eye is running down with waters.

For a comforter has become far away from me, someone to refresh my soul.

My sons have become those laid desolate, for the enemy has put on great airs.

פ [Peʼ]

17 Zion has spread out her hands. No comforter does she have.

Jehovah has given a command concerning Jacob to all who are around him as his adversaries.

Jerusalem has become an abhorrent thing in among them.

צ [Tsa·dheh′]

18 Jehovah is righteous, for it is against his mouth that I have rebelled.

Listen, now, all YOU peoples, and see my pain.

My own virgins and my own young men have gone into captivity.

ק [Qohph]

19 I have called to those intensely loving me. They themselves have tricked me.

In the city my own priests and my own old men have expired,

While they had to look for something to eat for themselves that they might refresh their soul.

ר [Rehsh]

20 See, O Jehovah, for I am in sore straits. My very intestines are in a ferment.

My heart has been overturned in the midst of me, for I have been absolutely rebellious.

Outside the sword caused bereavement of children. Within the house it is the same as death.

ש [Shin]

21 People have heard how I myself am sighing as a woman. There is no comforter for me.

All my enemies themselves have heard of my calamity. They have exulted, because you yourself have done [it].

You will certainly bring the day that you have proclaimed, that they may become like me.

ת [Taw]

22 May all their badness come before you, and deal severely with them,

Just as you have dealt severely with me on account of all my transgressions.

For my sighs are many, and my heart is ill.

א [ʼA′leph]

   2  O how Jehovah in his anger beclouds the daughter of Zion!

He has thrown down from heaven to earth the beauty of Israel.

And he has not remembered his footstool in the day of his anger.

ב [Behth]

 2 Jehovah has swallowed up, he has shown no compassion upon any abiding places of Jacob.

In his fury he has torn down the fortified places of the daughter of Judah.

He has brought into contact with the earth, he has profaned the kingdom and her princes.

ג [Gi′mel]

 3 In the heat of anger he has cut down every horn of Israel.

He has turned his right hand back from before the enemy;

And in Jacob he keeps burning like a flaming fire that has devoured all around.

ד [Da′leth]

 4 He has trodden his bow like an enemy. His right hand has taken its position

Like an adversary, and he kept killing all those desirable to the eyes.

Into the tent of the daughter of Zion he has poured out his rage, just like fire.

ה [Heʼ]

 5 Jehovah has become like an enemy. He has swallowed down Israel.

He has swallowed down all her dwelling towers; he has brought his fortified places to ruin.

And in the daughter of Judah he makes mourning and lamentation abound.

ו [Waw]

 6 And he treats his booth violently like that in a garden. He has brought his festival to ruin.

Jehovah has caused to be forgotten in Zion festival and sabbath,

And in his angry denunciation he shows no respect for king and priest.

ז [Za′yin]

 7 Jehovah has cast off his altar. He has spurned his sanctuary.

Into the hand of the enemy he has surrendered the walls of her dwelling towers.

In the house of Jehovah they have let out [their] own voice, as in the day of a festival.

ח [Chehth]

 8 Jehovah has thought of bringing the wall of the daughter of Zion to ruin.

He has stretched out the measuring line. He has not turned back his hand from swallowing up.

And he causes rampart and wall to go mourning. Together they have faded away.

ט [Tehth]

 9 Her gates have sunk down into the very earth. He has destroyed and broken her bars in pieces.

Her king and her princes are among the nations. There is no law.

Her own prophets also have found no vision from Jehovah.

י [Yohdh]

10 The older men of the daughter of Zion sit down on the earth, [where] they keep silence.

They have brought up dust upon their head. They have girded on sackcloth.

The virgins of Jerusalem have brought their head down to the very earth.

כ [Kaph]

11 My eyes have come to their end in sheer tears. My intestines are in a ferment.

My liver has been poured out to the very earth, on account of the crash of the daughter of my people,

Because of the fainting away of child and suckling in the public squares of the town.

ל [La′medh]

12 To their mothers they kept saying: “Where are grain and wine?”

Because of their fainting away like someone slain in the public squares of the city,

Because of their soul being poured out into the bosom of their mothers.

מ [Mem]

13 Of what shall I use you as a witness? What shall I liken to you, O daughter of Jerusalem?

What shall I make equal to you, that I may comfort you, O virgin daughter of Zion?

For your breakdown is just as great as the sea. Who can bring healing to you?

נ [Nun]

14 Your own prophets have visioned for you worthless and unsatisfying things,

And they have not uncovered your error in order to turn back your captivity,

But they kept visioning for you worthless and misleading pronouncements.

ס [Sa′mekh]

15 At you all those passing along on the road have clapped their hands.

They have whistled and kept wagging their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, [saying:]

“Is this the city of which they used to say, ‘It is the perfection of prettiness, an exultation for all the earth’?”

פ [Peʼ]

16 At you all your enemies have opened their mouth.

They have whistled and kept grinding the teeth. They have said: “We will swallow [her] down.

This indeed is the day that we have hoped for. We have found! We have seen!”

ע [ʽA′yin]

17 Jehovah has done what he had in mind. He has accomplished his saying,

What he had commanded from the days of long ago. He has torn down and shown no compassion.

And over you he causes the enemy to rejoice. He has made the horn of your adversaries high.

צ [Tsa·dheh′]

18 Their heart has cried out to Jehovah, O wall of the daughter of Zion.

Cause tears to descend just like a torrent day and night.

Give no numbness to yourself. May the pupil of your eye not keep quiet.

ק [Qohph]

19 Rise up! Whine during the night at the start of the morning watches.

Pour out your heart before the face of Jehovah just like water.

Raise to him your palms on account of the soul of your children,

Who are fainting away because of famine at the head of all the streets.

ר [Rehsh]

20 See, O Jehovah, and do look to the one to whom you have dealt severely in this manner.

Should the women keep eating their own fruitage, the children born fully formed,

Or in the sanctuary of Jehovah should priest and prophet be killed?

ש [Shin]

21 Boy and old man have lain down on the earth of the streets.

My virgins and my young men themselves have fallen by the sword.

You have killed in the day of your anger. You have slaughtered; you have had no compassion.

ת [Taw]

22 As in the day of a festival you proceeded to call out my places of alien residence all around.

And in the day of the wrath of Jehovah there proved to be no escapee or survivor;

Those whom I brought forth fully formed and reared, my enemy himself exterminated them.

א [ʼA′leph]

   3  I am the able-bodied man that has seen affliction because of the staff of his fury.

 2 It is I whom he has led and makes to walk in darkness and not in light.

 3 Indeed, it is against me that he repeatedly turns his hand all day long.

ב [Behth]

 4 He has caused my flesh and my skin to wear away. He has broken my bones.

 5 He has built against me, that he may encircle [me] with poisonous plant and hardship.

 6 In dark places he has made me sit like men dead for a long time.

ג [Gi′mel]

 7 He has blocked me up as with a stone wall, that I may not go forth. He has made my copper fetters heavy.

 8 Also, when I call for aid and cry for help, he actually hampers my prayer.

 9 He has blocked up my ways with hewn stone. My roadways he has twisted.

ד [Da′leth]

10 As a bear lying in wait he is to me, as a lion in places of concealment.

11 My ways he has disarranged, and he makes me lie fallow. He has made me one laid desolate.

12 He has trodden his bow, and he sets me up as the target for the arrow.

ה [Heʼ]

13 He has brought into my kidneys the sons of his quiver.

14 I have become an object of laughter to all people against me, the theme of their song all day long.

15 He has given me a sufficiency of bitter things. He has saturated me with wormwood.

ו [Waw]

16 And with gravel he makes my teeth get broken. He has made me cower in the ashes.

17 You also do a casting off so that there is no peace for my soul. I have lost memory of what good is.

18 And I keep saying: “My excellency has perished, and my expectation from Jehovah.”

ז [Za′yin]

19 Remember my affliction and my homeless state, the wormwood and the poisonous plant.

20 Without fail your soul will remember and bow low over me.

21 This is what I shall bring back to my heart. That is why I shall show a waiting attitude.

ח [Chehth]

22 It is the acts of loving-kindness of Jehovah that we have not come to our finish, because his mercies will certainly not come to an end.

23 They are new each morning. Your faithfulness is abundant.

24 “Jehovah is my share,” my soul has said, “that is why I shall show a waiting attitude for him.”

ט [Tehth]

25 Good is Jehovah to the one hoping in him, to the soul that keeps seeking for him.

26 Good it is that one should wait, even silently, for the salvation of Jehovah.

27 Good it is for an able-bodied man that he should carry the yoke during his youth.

י [Yohdh]

28 Let him sit solitary and keep silent, because he has laid [something] upon him.

29 Let him put his mouth in the very dust. Perhaps there exists a hope.

30 Let him give [his] cheek to the very one striking him. Let him have his sufficiency of reproach.

כ [Kaph]

31 For not to time indefinite will Jehovah keep on casting off.

32 For although he has caused grief, he will also certainly show mercy according to the abundance of his loving-kindness.

33 For not out of his own heart has he afflicted or does he grieve the sons of men.

ל [La′medh]

34 For crushing beneath one’s feet all the prisoners of the earth,

35 For turning aside the judgment of an able-bodied man before the face of the Most High,

36 For making a man crooked in his legal case, Jehovah himself has had no countenance.

מ [Mem]

37 Who, now, has said that something should occur [when] Jehovah himself has not commanded?

38 From the mouth of the Most High bad things and what is good do not go forth.

39 How can a living man indulge in complaints, an able-bodied man on account of his sin?

נ [Nun]

40 Do let us search out our ways and explore them, and do let us return clear to Jehovah.

41 Let us raise our heart along with [our] palms to God in the heavens:

42 “We ourselves have transgressed, and we have behaved rebelliously. You yourself have not forgiven.

ס [Sa′mekh]

43 You have blocked approach with anger, and you keep pursuing us. You have killed; you have shown no compassion.

44 You have blocked approach to yourself with a cloud mass, that prayer may not pass through.

45 You make us mere offscouring and refuse in the midst of the peoples.”

פ [Peʼ]

46 Against us all our enemies have opened their mouth.

47 Dread and the hollow themselves have become ours, desolateness and breakdown.

48 With streams of water my eye keeps running down on account of the breakdown of the daughter of my people.

ע [ʽA′yin]

49 My very eye has been poured forth and will not keep still, so that there are no pauses,

50 Until Jehovah looks down and sees from heaven.

51 My own eye has dealt severely with my soul, because of all the daughters of my city.

צ [Tsa·dheh′]

52 My enemies have positively hunted for me just as for a bird, for no cause.

53 They have silenced my life in the pit itself, and they kept hurling stones at me.

54 Waters have flowed over my head. I have said: “I shall certainly be cut off!”

ק [Qohph]

55 I have called out your name, O Jehovah, from a pit of the lowest sort.

56 My voice you must hear. Do not hide your ear to my relief, to my cry for help.

57 You have drawn near in the day that I kept calling you. You said: “Do not be afraid.”

ר [Rehsh]

58 You have taken up, O Jehovah, the contests of my soul. You have repurchased my life.

59 You have seen, O Jehovah, the wrong done to me. O do conduct the judgment for me.

60 You have seen all their vengeance, all their thoughts against me.

ש [Sin] or [Shin]

61 You have heard their reproach, O Jehovah, all their thoughts against me,

62 The lips of those rising up against me and their whispering against me all day long.

63 Do look at their very sitting down and their rising up. I am the subject of their song.

ת [Taw]

64 You will give back to them a treatment, O Jehovah, according to the work of their hands.

65 You will give to them the insolence of heart, your curse to them.

66 You will pursue in anger and annihilate them from under the heavens of Jehovah.

א [ʼA′leph]

   4  O how the gold that shines becomes dim, the good gold!

O how the holy stones are poured out at the head of all the streets!

ב [Behth]

 2 As for the precious sons of Zion, those who were weighed against refined gold,

O how they have been reckoned as large jars of earthenware, the work of the hands of a potter!

ג [Gi′mel]

 3 Even jackals themselves have presented the udder. They have suckled their cubs.

The daughter of my people becomes cruel, like ostriches in the wilderness.

ד [Da′leth]

 4 The tongue of the suckling has cleaved to its palate because of thirst.

Children themselves have asked for bread. There is no one dealing [it] out to them.

ה [Heʼ]

 5 The very ones that were eating pleasant things have been struck with astonishment in the streets.

The very ones that were being reared in scarlet have had to embrace ash heaps.

ו [Waw]

 6 The [punishment for the] error of the daughter of my people also becomes greater than the [punishment for the] sin of Sod′om,

Which was overthrown as in a moment, and to which no hands turned [helpfully].

ז [Za′yin]

 7 Her Naz′i·rites were purer than snow; they were whiter than milk.

They were in fact more ruddy than corals; their polish was as the sapphire.

ח [Chehth]

 8 Their aspect has become darker than blackness itself. They have not been recognized in the streets.

Their skin has shriveled upon their bones. It has become just as dry as a tree.

ט [Tehth]

 9 Better have those slain with the sword proved to be than those slain by famine,

Because these pine away, pierced through for lack of the produce of the open field.

י [Yohdh]

10 The very hands of compassionate women have boiled their own children.

They have become as bread of consolation to one during the breakdown of the daughter of my people.

כ [Kaph]

11 Jehovah has accomplished his rage. He has poured out his burning anger.

And he sets a fire ablaze in Zion, which eats up her foundations.

ל [La′medh]

12 The kings of the earth and all the inhabitants of the productive land had not believed

That the adversary and the enemy would come into the gates of Jerusalem.

מ [Mem]

13 Because of the sins of her prophets, the errors of her priests,

There were in the midst of her those pouring out the blood of righteous ones.

נ [Nun]

14 They have wandered about as blind in the streets. They have become polluted with blood,

So that none are able to touch their garments.

ס [Sa′mekh]

15 “Get out of the way! Unclean!” they have called out to them. “Get out of the way! Get out of the way! Do not touch!”

For they have gone homeless. They have also wandered about. People have said among the nations: “They will not reside again as aliens.

פ [Peʼ]

16 The face of Jehovah has divided them up. He will not look upon them again.

Men will certainly show no consideration even for the priests. They will certainly show no favor even to the old men.”

ע [ʽA′yin]

17 While we yet are, our eyes keep pining away in vain for assistance to us.

During our looking about we have looked out to a nation that can bring no salvation.

צ [Tsa·dheh′]

18 They have hunted our steps so that there is no walking in our public squares.

Our end has drawn near. Our days have come to their full, for our end has come.

ק [Qohph]

19 Swifter than the eagles of the heavens our pursuers have proved to be.

Upon the mountains they have hotly pursued us. In the wilderness they have lain in wait for us.

ר [Rehsh]

20 The very breath of our nostrils, the anointed one of Jehovah, has been captured in their large pit,

The one of whom we have said: “In his shade we shall live among the nations.”

ש [Sin]

21 Exult and rejoice, O daughter of E′dom, dwelling as you do in the land of Uz.

To you also the cup will pass along. You will become drunk and show yourself in nakedness.

ת [Taw]

22 Your error, O daughter of Zion, has come to its finish. He will not carry you off into exile again.

He has turned his attention to your error, O daughter of E′dom. He has uncovered your sins. 

    5  Remember, O Jehovah, what has happened to us. Do look and see our reproach.

 2 Our own hereditary possession has been turned over to strangers, our houses to foreigners.

 3 We have become mere orphans without a father. Our mothers are like widows.

 4 For money we have had to drink our own water. For a price our own wood comes in.

 5 Close onto our neck we have been pursued. We have grown weary. No rest has been left for us.

 6 To Egypt we have given the hand; to As·syr′i·a, in order to get satisfaction with bread.

 7 Our forefathers are the ones that have sinned. They are no more. As for us, it is their errors that we have had to bear.

 8 Mere servants have ruled over us. There is no one tearing us away from their hand.

 9 At the risk of our soul we bring in our bread, because of the sword of the wilderness.

10 Our very skin has grown hot just like a furnace, because of the pangs of hunger.

11 The wives in Zion they have humbled, the virgins in the cities of Judah.

12 Princes themselves have been hanged by just their hand. The faces of even old men have not been honored.

13 Even young men have lifted up a hand mill itself, and under the wood mere boys have stumbled.

14 Old men themselves have ceased even out of the gate, young men from their instrumental music.

15 The exultation of our heart has ceased. Our dancing has been changed into mere mourning.

16 The crown of our head has fallen. Woe, now, to us, because we have sinned!

17 On this account our heart has become ill. On account of these things our eyes have grown dim,

18 On account of Zion’s mountain that is desolated; foxes themselves have walked on it.

19 As for you, O Jehovah, to time indefinite you will sit. Your throne is for generation after generation.

20 Why is it that forever you forget us, that you leave us for the length of days?

21 Bring us back, O Jehovah, to yourself, and we shall readily come back. Bring new days for us as in the long ago.

22 However, you have positively rejected us. You have been indignant toward us very much.