New International Version
39 Why should the living complain
when punished for their sins?(A)
40 Let us examine our ways and test them,(B)
and let us return to the Lord.(C)
41 Let us lift up our hearts and our hands
to God in heaven,(D) and say:
42 “We have sinned and rebelled(E)
and you have not forgiven.(F)
43 “You have covered yourself with anger and pursued(G) us;
you have slain without pity.(H)
44 You have covered yourself with a cloud(I)
so that no prayer(J) can get through.(K)
45 You have made us scum(L) and refuse
among the nations.
46 “All our enemies have opened their mouths
wide(M) against us.(N)
47 We have suffered terror and pitfalls,(O)
ruin and destruction.(P)”
48 Streams of tears(Q) flow from my eyes(R)
because my people are destroyed.(S)
52 Those who were my enemies without cause
hunted me like a bird.(V)
53 They tried to end my life in a pit(W)
and threw stones at me;
54 the waters closed over my head,(X)
and I thought I was about to perish.(Y)
55 I called on your name, Lord,
from the depths(Z) of the pit.(AA)
56 You heard my plea:(AB) “Do not close your ears
to my cry for relief.”
57 You came near(AC) when I called you,
and you said, “Do not fear.”(AD)
58 You, Lord, took up my case;(AE)
you redeemed my life.(AF)
59 Lord, you have seen the wrong done to me.(AG)
Uphold my cause!(AH)
60 You have seen the depth of their vengeance,
all their plots against me.(AI)
61 Lord, you have heard their insults,(AJ)
all their plots against me—
62 what my enemies whisper and mutter
against me all day long.(AK)
63 Look at them! Sitting or standing,
they mock me in their songs.(AL)
64 Pay them back what they deserve, Lord,
for what their hands have done.(AM)
65 Put a veil over their hearts,(AN)
and may your curse be on them!
66 Pursue(AO) them in anger and destroy them
from under the heavens of the Lord.
2 How the precious children of Zion,(AQ)
once worth their weight in gold,
are now considered as pots of clay,
the work of a potter’s hands!
3 Even jackals offer their breasts
to nurse their young,
but my people have become heartless
like ostriches in the desert.(AR)
6 The punishment of my people
is greater than that of Sodom,(AX)
which was overthrown in a moment
without a hand turned to help her.
7 Their princes were brighter than snow
and whiter than milk,
their bodies more ruddy than rubies,
their appearance like lapis lazuli.
10 With their own hands compassionate women
have cooked their own children,(BC)
who became their food
when my people were destroyed.
12 The kings of the earth did not believe,
nor did any of the peoples of the world,
that enemies and foes could enter
the gates of Jerusalem.(BI)
18 People stalked us at every step,
so we could not walk in our streets.
Our end was near, our days were numbered,
for our end had come.(BV)
5 Remember, Lord, what has happened to us;
look, and see our disgrace.(CH)
2 Our inheritance(CI) has been turned over to strangers,(CJ)
our homes(CK) to foreigners.(CL)
3 We have become fatherless,
our mothers are widows.(CM)
4 We must buy the water we drink;(CN)
our wood can be had only at a price.(CO)
5 Those who pursue us are at our heels;
we are weary(CP) and find no rest.(CQ)
6 We submitted to Egypt and Assyria(CR)
to get enough bread.
7 Our ancestors(CS) sinned and are no more,
and we bear their punishment.(CT)
8 Slaves(CU) rule over us,
and there is no one to free us from their hands.(CV)
9 We get our bread at the risk of our lives
because of the sword in the desert.
10 Our skin is hot as an oven,
feverish from hunger.(CW)
11 Women have been violated(CX) in Zion,
and virgins in the towns of Judah.
12 Princes have been hung up by their hands;
elders(CY) are shown no respect.(CZ)
13 Young men toil at the millstones;
boys stagger under loads of wood.
14 The elders are gone from the city gate;
the young men have stopped their music.(DA)
15 Joy is gone from our hearts;
our dancing has turned to mourning.(DB)
16 The crown(DC) has fallen from our head.(DD)
Woe to us, for we have sinned!(DE)
17 Because of this our hearts(DF) are faint,(DG)
because of these things our eyes(DH) grow dim(DI)
18 for Mount Zion,(DJ) which lies desolate,(DK)
with jackals prowling over it.
19 You, Lord, reign forever;(DL)
your throne endures(DM) from generation to generation.
20 Why do you always forget us?(DN)
Why do you forsake(DO) us so long?
21 Restore(DP) us to yourself, Lord, that we may return;
renew our days as of old
22 unless you have utterly rejected us(DQ)
and are angry with us beyond measure.(DR)
- Lamentations 4:1 This chapter is an acrostic poem, the verses of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.