Lamentations 1-3 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
The Desolation of Jerusalem
1 How solitary sits the city,
once filled with people.
She who was great among the nations
is now like a widow.
Once a princess among the provinces,
now a toiling slave.
2 She weeps incessantly in the night,
her cheeks damp with tears.
She has no one to comfort her
from all her lovers;
Her friends have all betrayed her,
and become her enemies.
3 Judah has gone into exile,
after oppression and harsh labor;
She dwells among the nations,
yet finds no rest:
All her pursuers overtake her
in the narrow straits.
4 The roads to Zion mourn,
empty of pilgrims to her feasts.
All her gateways are desolate,
her priests groan,
Her young women grieve;
her lot is bitter.
5 Her foes have come out on top,
her enemies are secure;
Because the Lord has afflicted her
for her many rebellions.
Her children have gone away,
captive before the foe.
6 From daughter Zion has gone
all her glory:
Her princes have become like rams
that find no pasture.
They have gone off exhausted
before their pursuers.
7 Jerusalem remembers
in days of wretched homelessness,
All the precious things she once had
in days gone by.
But when her people fell into the hands of the foe,
and she had no help,
Her foes looked on and laughed
at her collapse.
8 Jerusalem has sinned grievously,
therefore she has become a mockery;
Those who honored her now demean her,
for they saw her nakedness;
She herself groans out loud,
and turns away.
9 Her uncleanness is on her skirt;
she has no thought of her future.
Her downfall is astonishing,
with no one to comfort her.
“Look, O Lord, at my misery;
how the enemy triumphs!”
10 The foe stretched out his hands
to all her precious things;
She has seen the nations
enter her sanctuary,
Those you forbade to come
into your assembly.
11 All her people groan,
searching for bread;
They give their precious things for food,
to retain the breath of life.
“Look, O Lord, and pay attention
to how I have been demeaned!
12 Come, all who pass by the way,
pay attention and see:
Is there any pain like my pain,
which has been ruthlessly inflicted upon me,
With which the Lord has tormented me
on the day of his blazing wrath?
13 From on high he hurled fire down
into my very bones;
He spread out a net for my feet,
and turned me back.
He has left me desolate,
in misery all day long.
14 The yoke of my rebellions is bound together,
fastened by his hand.
His yoke is upon my neck;
he has made my strength fail.
The Lord has delivered me into the grip
of those I cannot resist.
15 All my valiant warriors
my Lord has cast away;
He proclaimed a feast against me
to crush my young men;
My Lord has trodden in the wine press
virgin daughter Judah.
16 For these things I weep—My eyes! My eyes!
They stream with tears!
How far from me is anyone to comfort,
anyone to restore my life.
My children are desolate;
the enemy has prevailed.”
17 Zion stretches out her hands,
with no one to comfort her;
The Lord has ordered against Jacob
his foes all around;
Jerusalem has become in their midst
a thing unclean.
18 “The Lord is in the right;
I had defied his command.
Listen, all you peoples,
and see my pain:
My young women and young men
have gone into captivity.
19 I cried out to my lovers,
but they failed me.
My priests and my elders
perished in the city;
How desperately they searched for food,
to save their lives!
20 Look, O Lord, at the anguish I suffer!
My stomach churns,
And my heart recoils within me:
How bitter I am!
Outside the sword bereaves—
indoors, there is death.
21 Hear how I am groaning;
there is no one to comfort me.
All my enemies hear of my misery and rejoice
over what you have done.
Bring on the day you proclaimed,
and let them become like me!
22 Let all their evil come before you
and deal with them
As you have so ruthlessly dealt with me
for all my rebellions.
My groans are many,
my heart is sick.”
The Lord’s Wrath and Zion’s Ruin
1 How the Lord in his wrath
has abhorred daughter Zion,
Casting down from heaven to earth
the glory of Israel,
Not remembering his footstool
on the day of his wrath!
2 The Lord has devoured without pity
all of Jacob’s dwellings;
In his fury he has razed
daughter Judah’s defenses,
Has brought to the ground in dishonor
a kingdom and its princes.
3 In blazing wrath, he cut down entirely
the horn of Israel;
He withdrew the support of his right hand
when the enemy approached;
He burned against Jacob like a blazing fire
that consumes everything in its path.
4 He bent his bow like an enemy;
the arrow in his right hand
Like a foe, he killed
all those held precious;
On the tent of daughter Zion
he poured out his wrath like fire.
5 The Lord has become the enemy,
he has devoured Israel:
Devoured all its strongholds,
destroyed its defenses,
Multiplied moaning and groaning
throughout daughter Judah.
6 He laid waste his booth like a garden,
destroyed his shrine;
The Lord has blotted out in Zion
feast day and sabbath,
Has scorned in fierce wrath
king and priest.
7 The Lord has rejected his altar,
spurned his sanctuary;
He has handed over to the enemy
the walls of its strongholds.
They shout in the house of the Lord
as on a feast day.
8 The Lord was bent on destroying
the wall of daughter Zion:
He stretched out the measuring line;
did not hesitate to devour,
Brought grief on rampart and wall
till both succumbed.
9 Her gates sank into the ground;
he smashed her bars to bits.
Her king and her princes are among the nations;
instruction is wanting,
Even her prophets do not obtain
any vision from the Lord.
10 The elders of daughter Zion
sit silently on the ground;
They cast dust on their heads
and dress in sackcloth;
The young women of Jerusalem
bow their heads to the ground.
11 My eyes are spent with tears,
my stomach churns;
My bile is poured out on the ground
at the brokenness of the daughter of my people,
As children and infants collapse
in the streets of the town.
12 They cry out to their mothers,
“Where is bread and wine?”
As they faint away like the wounded
in the streets of the city,
As their life is poured out
in their mothers’ arms.
13 To what can I compare you—to what can I liken you—
O daughter Jerusalem?
What example can I give in order to comfort you,
virgin daughter Zion?
For your breach is vast as the sea;
who could heal you?
14 Your prophets provided you visions
of whitewashed illusion;
They did not lay bare your guilt,
in order to restore your fortunes;
They saw for you only oracles
of empty deceit.
15 All who pass by on the road,
clap their hands at you;
They hiss and wag their heads
over daughter Jerusalem:
“Is this the city they used to call
perfect in beauty and joy of all the earth?”
16 They open their mouths against you,
all your enemies;
They hiss and gnash their teeth,
saying, “We have devoured her!
How we have waited for this day—
we have lived to see it!”
17 The Lord has done what he planned.
He has fulfilled the threat
Decreed from days of old,
destroying without pity!
He let the enemy gloat over you
and exalted the horn of your foes.
18 Cry out to the Lord from your heart,
wall of daughter Zion!
Let your tears flow like a torrent
day and night;
Give yourself no rest,
no relief for your eyes.
19 Rise up! Wail in the night,
at the start of every watch;
Pour out your heart like water
before the Lord;
Lift up your hands to him
for the lives of your children,
Who collapse from hunger
at the corner of every street.
20 “Look, O Lord, and pay attention:
to whom have you been so ruthless?
Must women eat their own offspring,
the very children they have borne?
Are priest and prophet to be slain
in the sanctuary of the Lord?
21 They lie on the ground in the streets,
young and old alike;
Both my young women and young men
are cut down by the sword;
You killed them on the day of your wrath,
slaughtered without pity.
22 You summoned as to a feast day
terrors on every side;
On the day of the Lord’s wrath,
none survived or escaped.
Those I have borne and nurtured,
my enemy has utterly destroyed.”
The Voice of a Suffering Individual
1 I am one who has known affliction
under the rod of God’s anger,
2 One whom he has driven and forced to walk
in darkness, not in light;
3 Against me alone he turns his hand—
again and again all day long.
4 He has worn away my flesh and my skin,
he has broken my bones;
5 He has besieged me all around
with poverty and hardship;
6 He has left me to dwell in dark places
like those long dead.
7 He has hemmed me in with no escape,
weighed me down with chains;
8 Even when I cry for help,
he stops my prayer;
9 He has hemmed in my ways with fitted stones,
and made my paths crooked.
10 He has been a bear lying in wait for me,
a lion in hiding!
11 He turned me aside and tore me apart,
leaving me ravaged.
12 He bent his bow, and set me up
as a target for his arrow.
13 He pierced my kidneys
with shafts from his quiver.
14 I have become a laughingstock to all my people,
their taunt all day long;
15 He has sated me with bitterness,
filled me with wormwood.
16 He has made me eat gravel,
trampled me into the dust;
17 My life is deprived of peace,
I have forgotten what happiness is;
18 My enduring hope, I said,
has perished before the Lord.
19 The thought of my wretched homelessness
is wormwood and poison;
20 Remembering it over and over,
my soul is downcast.
21 But this I will call to mind;
therefore I will hope:
22 The Lord’s acts of mercy are not exhausted,
his compassion is not spent;
23 They are renewed each morning—
great is your faithfulness!
24 The Lord is my portion, I tell myself,
therefore I will hope in him.
25 The Lord is good to those who trust in him,
to the one that seeks him;
26 It is good to hope in silence
for the Lord’s deliverance.
27 It is good for a person, when young,
to bear the yoke,
28 To sit alone and in silence,
when its weight lies heavy,
29 To put one’s mouth in the dust—
there may yet be hope—
30 To offer one’s cheek to be struck,
to be filled with disgrace.
31 For the Lord does not
32 Though he brings grief, he takes pity,
according to the abundance of his mercy;
33 He does not willingly afflict
or bring grief to human beings.
34 That someone tramples underfoot
all the prisoners in the land,
35 Or denies justice to anyone
in the very sight of the Most High,
36 Or subverts a person’s lawsuit—
does the Lord not see?
37 Who speaks so that it comes to pass,
unless the Lord commands it?
38 Is it not at the word of the Most High
that both good and bad take place?
39 What should the living complain about?
about their sins!
40 Let us search and examine our ways,
and return to the Lord!
41 Let us lift up our hearts as well as our hands
toward God in heaven!
42 We have rebelled and been obstinate;
you have not forgiven us.
43 You wrapped yourself in wrath and pursued us,
killing without pity;
44 You wrapped yourself in a cloud,
which no prayer could pierce.
45 You have made us filth and rubbish
among the peoples.
46 They have opened their mouths against us,
all our enemies;
47 Panic and the pit have been our lot,
desolation and destruction;
48 My eyes stream with tears over the destruction
of the daughter of my people.
49 My eyes will flow without ceasing,
50 Until the Lord from heaven
looks down and sees.
51 I am tormented by the sight
of all the daughters of my city.
52 Without cause, my enemies snared me
as though I were a bird;
53 They tried to end my life in the pit,
pelting me with stones.
54 The waters flowed over my head:
and I said, “I am lost!”
55 I have called upon your name, O Lord,
from the bottom of the pit;
56 You heard me call, “Do not let your ear be deaf
to my cry for help.”
57 You drew near on the day I called you;
you said, “Do not fear!”
58 You pleaded my case, Lord,
you redeemed my life.
59 You see, Lord, how I am wronged;
do me justice!
60 You see all their vindictiveness,
all their plots against me.
61 You hear their reproach, Lord,
all their plots against me,
62 The whispered murmurings of my adversaries,
against me all day long;
63 Look! Whether they sit or stand,
I am the butt of their taunt.
64 Give them what they deserve, Lord,
according to their deeds;
65 Give them hardness of heart;
your curse be upon them;
66 Pursue them in wrath and destroy them
from under the Lord’s heaven!