Lament over Jerusalem

א Alef

How[a] she sits alone,(A)
the city(B) once crowded with people!
She who was great among the nations
has become like a widow.(C)
The princess among the provinces
has been put to forced labor.

ב Bet

She weeps aloud during the night,(D)
with tears on her cheeks.
There is no one to offer her comfort,
not one from all her lovers.[b](E)
All her friends have betrayed her;
they have become her enemies.

ג Gimel

Judah has gone into exile
following[c] affliction and harsh slavery;
she lives among the nations
but finds no place to rest.(F)
All her pursuers have overtaken her
in narrow places.

ד Dalet

The roads to Zion(G) mourn,
for no one comes to the appointed festivals.(H)
All her gates are deserted;
her priests groan,
her young women grieve,
and she herself is bitter.

ה He

Her adversaries have become her masters;(I)
her enemies are at ease,(J)
for the Lord has made her suffer
because of her many transgressions.
Her children have gone away
as captives before the adversary.

ו Vav

All her splendor(K) has vanished
from Daughter Zion.(L)
Her leaders are like stags
that find no pasture;
they walk away exhausted
before the hunter.(M)

ז Zayin

During the days of her affliction and homelessness(N)
Jerusalem remembers all her precious belongings
that were hers in days of old.
When her people fell into the adversary’s hand,
she had no one to help.
The adversaries looked at her,
laughing over her downfall.

ח Khet

Jerusalem has sinned grievously;
therefore, she has become an object of scorn.[d]
All who honored her now despise her,
for they have seen her nakedness.
She herself groans and turns away.

ט Tet

Her uncleanness stains her skirts.(O)
She never considered her end.
Her downfall was astonishing;(P)
there was no one to comfort her.
Lord, look on my affliction,
for the enemy triumphs!

י Yod

10 The adversary has seized
all her precious belongings.
She has even seen the nations
enter her sanctuary—
those You had forbidden
to enter Your assembly.(Q)

כ Kaf

11 All her people groan
while they search for bread.(R)
They have traded their precious belongings for food
in order to stay alive.(S)
Lord, look and see
how I have become despised.

ל Lamed

12 Is this nothing to you, all you who pass by?(T)
Look and see!
Is there any pain like mine,
which was dealt out to me,
which the Lord made me suffer
on the day of His burning anger?(U)

מ Mem

13 He sent fire from heaven(V) into my bones;
He made it descend.[e](W)
He spread a net for my feet(X)
and turned me back.
He made me desolate,
sick all day long.

נ Nun

14 My transgressions have been formed into a yoke,[f][g](Y)
fastened together by His hand;
they have been placed on my neck,
and the Lord has broken my strength.
He has handed me over
to those I cannot withstand.

ס Samek

15 The Lord has rejected(Z)
all the mighty men within me.
He has summoned an army[h] against me
to crush my young warriors.
The Lord has trampled Virgin Daughter Judah(AA)
like grapes in a winepress.(AB)

ע Ayin

16 I weep because of these things;
my eyes flow[i] with tears.(AC)
For there is no one nearby to comfort me,(AD)
no one to keep me alive.
My children are desolate
because the enemy has prevailed.

פ Pe

17 Zion stretches out her hands;
there is no one to comfort her.
The Lord has issued a decree against Jacob
that his neighbors should be his adversaries.
Jerusalem has become
something impure(AE) among them.

צ Tsade

18 The Lord is just,
for I have rebelled against His command.(AF)
Listen, all you people;
look at my pain.
My young men and women
have gone into captivity.(AG)

ק Qof

19 I called to my lovers,(AH)
but they betrayed me.
My priests and elders
perished in the city
while searching for food
to keep themselves alive.(AI)

ר Resh

20 Lord, see how I am in distress.
I am churning within;(AJ)
my heart is broken,[j]
for I have been very rebellious.
Outside, the sword takes the children;
inside, there is death.(AK)

שׁ Shin

21 People have heard me groaning,(AL)
but there is no one to comfort me.
All my enemies have heard of my misfortune;
they are glad that You have caused it.(AM)
Bring on the day You have announced,
so that they may become like me.(AN)

ת Tav

22 Let all their wickedness come before You,
and deal with them
as You have dealt with me
because of all my transgressions.(AO)
For my groans are many,
and I am sick at heart.


  1. Lamentations 1:1 The stanzas in Lm 1–4 form an acrostic.
  2. Lamentations 1:2 = Jerusalem’s political allies
  3. Lamentations 1:3 Or because of
  4. Lamentations 1:8 Or become impure
  5. Lamentations 1:13 DSS, LXX; MT reads bones, and it prevailed against them
  6. Lamentations 1:14 Some Hb mss, LXX read He kept watch over my transgressions
  7. Lamentations 1:14 Or The yoke of my transgressions is bound; Hb obscure
  8. Lamentations 1:15 Or has announced an appointed time
  9. Lamentations 1:16 Lit my eye, my eye flows
  10. Lamentations 1:20 Lit is turned within me

[a]How deserted(A) lies the city,
    once so full of people!(B)
How like a widow(C) is she,
    who once was great(D) among the nations!
She who was queen among the provinces
    has now become a slave.(E)

Bitterly she weeps(F) at night,
    tears are on her cheeks.
Among all her lovers(G)
    there is no one to comfort her.
All her friends have betrayed(H) her;
    they have become her enemies.(I)

After affliction and harsh labor,
    Judah has gone into exile.(J)
She dwells among the nations;
    she finds no resting place.(K)
All who pursue her have overtaken her(L)
    in the midst of her distress.

The roads to Zion mourn,(M)
    for no one comes to her appointed festivals.
All her gateways are desolate,(N)
    her priests groan,
her young women grieve,
    and she is in bitter anguish.(O)

Her foes have become her masters;
    her enemies are at ease.
The Lord has brought her grief(P)
    because of her many sins.(Q)
Her children have gone into exile,(R)
    captive before the foe.(S)

All the splendor has departed
    from Daughter Zion.(T)
Her princes are like deer
    that find no pasture;
in weakness they have fled(U)
    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.(V)
Her enemies looked at her
    and laughed(W) at her destruction.

Jerusalem has sinned(X) greatly
    and so has become unclean.(Y)
All who honored her despise her,
    for they have all seen her naked;(Z)
she herself groans(AA)
    and turns away.

Her filthiness clung to her skirts;
    she did not consider her future.(AB)
Her fall(AC) was astounding;
    there was none to comfort(AD) her.
“Look, Lord, on my affliction,(AE)
    for the enemy has triumphed.”

10 The enemy laid hands
    on all her treasures;(AF)
she saw pagan nations
    enter her sanctuary(AG)
those you had forbidden(AH)
    to enter your assembly.

11 All her people groan(AI)
    as they search for bread;(AJ)
they barter their treasures for food
    to keep themselves alive.
“Look, Lord, and consider,
    for I am despised.”

12 “Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?(AK)
    Look around and see.
Is any suffering like my suffering(AL)
    that was inflicted on me,
that the Lord brought on me
    in the day of his fierce anger?(AM)

13 “From on high he sent fire,
    sent it down into my bones.(AN)
He spread a net(AO) for my feet
    and turned me back.
He made me desolate,(AP)
    faint(AQ) all the day long.

14 “My sins have been bound into a yoke[b];(AR)
    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(AS)
    of those I cannot withstand.

15 “The Lord has rejected
    all the warriors in my midst;(AT)
he has summoned an army(AU) against me
    to[c] crush my young men.(AV)
In his winepress(AW) the Lord has trampled(AX)
    Virgin Daughter(AY) Judah.

16 “This is why I weep
    and my eyes overflow with tears.(AZ)
No one is near to comfort(BA) me,
    no one to restore my spirit.
My children are destitute
    because the enemy has prevailed.”(BB)

17 Zion stretches out her hands,(BC)
    but there is no one to comfort her.
The Lord has decreed for Jacob
    that his neighbors become his foes;(BD)
Jerusalem has become
    an unclean(BE) thing(BF) among them.

18 “The Lord is righteous,(BG)
    yet I rebelled(BH) against his command.
Listen, all you peoples;
    look on my suffering.(BI)
My young men and young women
    have gone into exile.(BJ)

19 “I called to my allies(BK)
    but they betrayed me.
My priests and my elders
    perished(BL) in the city
while they searched for food
    to keep themselves alive.

20 “See, Lord, how distressed(BM) I am!
    I am in torment(BN) within,
and in my heart I am disturbed,(BO)
    for I have been most rebellious.(BP)
Outside, the sword bereaves;
    inside, there is only death.(BQ)

21 “People have heard my groaning,(BR)
    but there is no one to comfort me.(BS)
All my enemies have heard of my distress;
    they rejoice(BT) at what you have done.
May you bring the day(BU) you have announced
    so they may become like me.

22 “Let all their wickedness come before you;
    deal with them
as you have dealt with me
    because of all my sins.(BV)
My groans(BW) are many
    and my heart is faint.”


  1. Lamentations 1:1 This chapter is an acrostic poem, the verses of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
  2. Lamentations 1:14 Most Hebrew manuscripts; many Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint He kept watch over my sins
  3. Lamentations 1:15 Or has set a time for me / when he will