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Lamentations 1:1-12Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Lament over Jerusalem

א Alef

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

ב Bet

She weeps aloud during the night,
with tears on her cheeks.
There is no one to offer her comfort,
not one from all her lovers.[b]
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.
All her pursuers have overtaken her
in narrow places.

ד Dalet

The roads to Zion mourn,
for no one comes to the appointed festivals.
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;
her enemies are at ease,
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 has vanished
from Daughter Zion.
Her leaders are like stags
that find no pasture;
they walk away exhausted
before the hunter.

ז Zayin

During the days of her affliction and homelessness
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.
She never considered her end.
Her downfall was astonishing;
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.

כ Kaf

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

ל Lamed

12 Is this nothing to you, all you who pass by?
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?


  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

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