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The Lord is Angry

How, in his anger,[a]
the Lord has covered the daughter of Zion in a cloud!
He has thrown down from heavens to earth
    the splendor of Israel,
and he has not remembered his footstool
    in the day of his anger.[b]
The Lord has devoured; he has not shown mercy
    to all the dwellings of Jacob;
he has broken down in his wrath
    the fortifications of the daughter of Judah;
he has leveled to the ground, he has dishonored
    the kingdom and its commanders.[c]
He has cut down in fierce anger[d]
    all the might of Israel;
he has withdrawn his right hand
    from the faces of the enemy,
and he has burned in Jacob like a flaming fire,
    it has consumed all around.
He has bent his bow like an enemy;
    he has set his right hand
like a foe, and he has slain
    all the treasures of the eye;[e]
in the tent of the daughter of Zion,
    he has poured out his anger like fire.
The Lord has become like an enemy;
    he has destroyed Israel;
he has destroyed all its citadel fortresses;[f]
    he has ruined all its fortifications
and multiplied lamentation and mourning
    in the daughter of Judah.
He has broken down his dwelling[g] place like the garden;
    he has ruined his appointed feasts;
Yahweh has made them forget in Zion
    festival[h] and Sabbath,
and he has despised in his anger
    king and priest.
The Lord has rejected his altar;
    he has rejected his sanctuary;
he has delivered into the hands of the enemy
    the walls of its citadel fortresses.[i]
They have cried out in the house of Yahweh
    like a day of an appointed feast.
Yahweh has planned to destroy
    the wall of the daughter of Zion.
He measured with a line; he has not restrained
    his hand from destroying;
he caused rampart and wall to mourn;
    together they have languished away.
Her gates have sunk into the earth;
    he has ruined and broken her bars,
her kings and its princes are among the nations;
    there is no more law.[j]
Also, her prophets have not found
    a revelation from Yahweh.
10 They sit on the ground,
    the elders of the daughter of Zion are silent.
They cast dust on their head,
    they have put on sackcloth;
the young women of Jerusalem
    have bowed their head down to the ground.
11 My eyes have spent all their tears;[k]
    my stomach[l] is in torment,
my heart[m] is poured out on the earth
    because of the destruction of the daughter of my people,
because child and babe faint
    in the public squares of a city.
12 To their mothers they say,
    “Where is the bread and wine?”
as they faint like the wounded
    in the public squares of a city,
as their life is being poured out
    onto the bosom of their mothers.
13 What can I say for you? What can I compare to you,
    O daughter of Jerusalem?
To what can I liken you so that I can comfort you,
    O virgin daughter of Zion?
For your destruction is as vast as the sea;
    who can heal you?
14 Your prophets had a vision for you,
    false and worthless;
they have not exposed your sin,
    to restore your fortune;
they have seen oracles for you,
    false and misleading.
15 They clap hands over you,
    all who pass along the way;
they hiss and they shake their head,
    at the daughter of Jerusalem.
Is this the city of which it is said,
    “A perfection of beauty, a joy for all the earth?”
16 They have opened their mouths against you,
    all your enemies.
They hiss and gnash a tooth,
    and they say, “We have destroyed her!
Surely this is the day we have hoped for;
    we have found it, we have seen it!”
17 Yahweh has done what he has planned;
    he has fulfilled his promise
that he ordained from the days of old;
    he has demolished and not shown mercy;
he has made an enemy rejoice over you,
    he has exalted the might[n] of your foes.
18 Their heart cried to the Lord,
    “O wall of the daughter of Zion,
let tears stream down like a river;
    day and night,
do not give yourself relief,
    do not give your eyes rest.
19 “Arise, cry out in the night,
    at the beginning of the night watches;
pour out your heart like water,
    before the face of the Lord.
Lift to him your hands,
    for the life of your children,
who faint in starvation,
    at the head of all streets.”
20 See, Yahweh, and take note!
    With whom have you dealt thus?
Should women eat their young
    children of tender care?
Should priest and prophet be slain
    in the sanctuary of the Lord?
21 They lie in the soil of the streets,
    young and old;
my young women[o] and young men,
    they have fallen by the sword;
you have slain on the day of your anger,[p]
    you have slaughtered and not shown mercy.
22 You have summoned my horror from all around,
    as if for a feast day;
no one on the day of Yahweh’s anger
    is a fugitive and a survivor;
whoever I have cared for and reared,
    my enemy has destroyed.


  1. Lamentations 2:1 Literally “in his nose”
  2. Lamentations 2:1 Literally “his nose”
  3. Lamentations 2:2 Or “her commanders”
  4. Lamentations 2:3 Literally “in a fierce nose”
  5. Lamentations 2:4 NRSV translates “all in whom we took pride”
  6. Lamentations 2:5 Or “her citadel fortresses”
  7. Lamentations 2:6 Literally “his booth”; or “his tabernacle”
  8. Lamentations 2:6 Literally “appointed time”
  9. Lamentations 2:7 Or “her citadel fortress”
  10. Lamentations 2:9 Hebrew torah
  11. Lamentations 2:11 Literally “finished with the weeping”
  12. Lamentations 2:11 Literally “my inward parts”
  13. Lamentations 2:11 Literally “my liver”
  14. Lamentations 2:17 Literally “horn”
  15. Lamentations 2:21 Or “my virgins”
  16. Lamentations 2:21 Literally “your nose”