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Song of Jerusalem’s Groaning

How lonely sits the city,
        once so full of people!
    She who was once great among the nations
        has become like a widow.
    The princess among the provinces
        has become a forced laborer.
Bitterly she weeps in the night,
        her 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!
Judah is gone into exile
        under affliction and great servitude.
    She dwells among the nations.
        She finds no resting place.
    All her pursuers have overtaken her
        in the midst of her distress.

The roads to Zion mourn
        for no one comes to her moadim.
All her gates are desolate.
        Her kohanim groan,
her maidens[a] grieve—
        she is in bitter anguish.
Her foes have become her masters.
        Her enemies are at ease.
    For Adonai has afflicted her,
        because of her many transgressions.
    Her children have gone away
        as captives before the adversary.
All her splendor has departed,
        from the daughter of Zion.
    Her princes are like stags
        that find no pasture.
    They have fled without strength
        before the pursuer.
In the days of her affliction
        and her wandering,
Jerusalem remembers all the treasures
        that were hers from the days of old.
    When her people fell into enemy hands,
        there was no one to help her.
Her enemies saw her
        and mocked at her destruction.
Jerusalem has greatly sinned—
        therefore, she has become niddah.
All who honored her despise her,
        for they have seen her nakedness.
She herself groans,
        and turns away.
Her uncleanness was in her skirts.
        She did not consider her future.
Her demise was astonishing,
        there was no one to comfort her.
    Adonai, see my affliction,
        for the enemy has triumphed!”
10 The enemy has stretched his hand
        over all her treasures.
She even saw nations
        enter her sanctuary—
those You had commanded
        not to enter Your congregation.
11 All her people groan,
        as they seek bread.
They traded their treasures for food
        to keep themselves alive.
“Look, Adonai, and see!
        For I have become despised!”
12 “Is it nothing to you,
        all you who pass by on the road?
        Look and see!
Is any suffering like my suffering
    that was brought on me,
        that Adonai has inflicted
    in the day of His fierce anger?
13 From on high He sent fire into my bones
    and it overcame them.
He spread out a net for my feet;
    He turned me back.
He made me desolate,
    faint all the day long.
14 My transgressions are bound into a yoke,
        woven together by His hand.
    They have come upon my neck
        and He has sapped my strength.
    The Lord delivered me over
    to those I cannot withstand.
15 The Lord has rejected
    all the mighty ones in my midst.
He has summoned an assembly against me
    to crush my young men.
In a winepress the Lord has trampled[b]
    the virgin daughter of Judah.
16 Over these things I weep.
    My eyes overflow with water.
For far from me is a comforter,
    who might refresh my soul.
My children are desolate,
    because the enemy has prevailed.”

17 Zion spreads out her hands—
    there is no one to comfort her.
Adonai has decreed against Jacob.
    Those surrounding him have become his foes;
Jerusalem has become
    niddah in their eyes.
18 Adonai is righteous,
    for I have rebelled against His word.
Hear now, all peoples—
    look at my suffering!
My maidens and my young men
    have gone into captivity.
19 I called to my lovers—
    they deceived me!
My kohanim and my elders
    perished in the city
when they sought food
    to keep themselves alive.
20 Look, Adonai, for I am in distress!
    My stomach churns,
my heart pounds within me,
    for I have been very rebellious.
Outside, the sword bereaves,
    in the house it is like death.
21 They have heard me groaning.
    There is no one to comfort me.
All my enemies heard of my distress,
    They rejoice that You have done it.
May You bring about the day that You proclaimed,
    so they may become like me!
22 Let all their evil come before You.
Deal with them as you dealt with me,
    because of all my transgressions.
For my groans are many
    and my heart is faint!”


  1. Lamentations 1:4 Lit. virgins.
  2. Lamentations 1:15 cf. Rev. 14:19-20.