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Lament for Zion

How my Lord has clouded over
the daughter of Zion in His anger!
He hurled down the splendor of Israel
    from heaven to earth.
He has not remembered His footstool
    in the day of His anger.
My Lord has mercilessly swallowed up
    all the dwellings of Jacob.
He threw down the strongholds
    of the daughter of Judah in His fury.
He knocked to the ground and humiliated
    the kingdom and its princes.
In fierce anger He has cut off
    every horn of Israel.
He has withdrawn His right hand
    from before the enemy.
He blazed against Jacob like raging fire,
    devouring everything around.
He bent His bow like an enemy,
    set His right hand like a foe,
and killed all those pleasant to the eye.
In the tent of the daughter of Zion
    He has poured out His wrath like fire.
My Lord is like an enemy.
        He has swallowed up Israel.
    He swallowed up all her citadels,
        destroyed her fortifications
    and multiplied mourning and moaning
        for the daughter of Judah.
Like the garden He laid waste His dwelling,
    destroyed His appointed meeting place.
Adonai has caused moed and Shabbat
    to be forgotten in Zion.
In the indignation of His anger
    He spurned king and kohen.
The Lord rejected His altar,
    despised His Sanctuary.
He has delivered the walls of her citadels
        into the hand of the enemy.
They raised a shout in the house of Adonai
    as if it were the day of a moed.
Adonai resolved to destroy
    the wall of the daughter of Zion.
He stretched out a measuring line.
    He did not withdraw His hand from destroying.
He caused rampart and wall to lament—
    together they languished away.
Her gates sank into the ground.
    Her bars He destroyed and shattered.
Her king and princes are among nations.
    There is no more Torah.
Also her prophets find
    no vision from Adonai.
10 The elders of the daughter of Zion
    sit upon the ground in silence.
They threw dust on their heads
    and girded themselves with sackcloth.
The maidens of Jerusalem
    have bowed their heads to the ground.
11 My eyes are filled with tears.
    My stomach is in torment.
My heart[a] is poured out on the ground
    over the destruction of the daughter of my people—
as young children and infants
    languish in the city squares.
12 They say to their mothers,
    “Where is grain and wine?”
as they faint like a wounded soldier
    in the city squares,
as their lives ebb away
    in their mothers’ bosom.
13 How can I admonish you?
To what can I compare you,
    O daughter of Jerusalem?
To what can I liken you, so that I might console you,
    O virgin daughter of Zion?
For your wound is as deep as the sea!
    Who can heal you?
14 Your prophets have seen for you
    false and worthless visions.
They did not expose your iniquity,
    so as to restore your captivity.
Rather, they have seen for you
    false and worthless oracles.
15 All who pass your way
    clap their hands at you.
They hiss and shake their heads
    at the daughter of Jerusalem.
“Is this the city of which they said,
    ‘The perfection of beauty,’
    ‘the joy of the whole earth’?”
16 All your enemies
    opened their mouth wide against you;
    they hissed and gnashed their teeth,
    and say, “We have swallowed her up!
Surely this is the day we have waited for;
    we have lived to see it!”
17 Adonai has done what He planned;
He has fulfilled His word
    that He commanded from days of old.
He has overthrown you without pity,
He enabled the enemy to gloat over you.
He has exalted the horn of your foes.
18 Their heart cried out to the Lord:
    O wall of the daughter of Zion,
let tears run down
    like a river day and night.
Give yourself no relief,
    your eyes no rest.
19 Arise! Cry out in the night
    at the beginning of the watches!
Pour out your heart like water
    before the presence of the Lord.
Lift up your hands to Him
    for the life of your children
who faint from hunger
    at the head of every street.
20 Look, Adonai, and consider
    with whom You have dealt so severely!
Should women eat their offspring,
    their healthy newborn infants?
Should kohen and prophet be slain
    in the Sanctuary of the Lord?
21 On the ground in the streets
    lie both young and old.
My maidens and my young men
    have fallen by the sword.
You slew them in the day of Your anger.
    You slaughtered them without pity.
22 As on a moed day, You summon
    against me terrors on every side.
On the day of the wrath of Adonai
    no one escaped or survived.
Those whom I bore and raised
    my enemy has destroyed.


  1. Lamentations 2:11 Lit. liver (seat of emotions).