Lament over Jerusalem

א Aleph

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

ב Beth

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

ד Daleth

The roads to Zion(G) mourn,
for no one comes to the appointed festivals.(H)
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;(I)
her enemies are at ease,(J)
for the Lord has made her suffer
because of her many transgressions.
Her children have gone away
as captives before the adversary.

ו Waw

All the splendor(K) has vanished
from Daughter Zion.(L)
Her leaders are like stags
that find no pasture;
they stumble away exhausted
before the hunter.(M)

ז Zayin

During the days of her affliction and homelessness(N)
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 Cheth

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 Teth

Her uncleanness stains her skirts.(O)
She never considered her end.
Her downfall was astonishing;(P)
there was no one to comfort her.
Lord, look on my affliction,
for the enemy boasts.

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.(Q)

כ Kaph

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

ל Lamed

12 Is this nothing to you, all you who pass by?(T)
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?(U)

מ Mem

13 He sent fire from on high(V) into my bones;
he made it descend.[e](W)
He spread a net for my feet(X)
and turned me back.
He made me desolate,
sick all day long.

נ Nun

14 My transgressions have been formed into a yoke,[f][g](Y)
fastened together by his hand;
they have been placed on my neck,
and the Lord has broken my strength.
He has handed me over
to those I cannot withstand.

ס Samek

15 The Lord has rejected(Z)
all the mighty men within me.
He has summoned an army[h] against me
to crush my young warriors.
The Lord has trampled Virgin Daughter Judah(AA)
like grapes in a winepress.(AB)

ע Ayin

16 I weep because of these things;
my eyes flow[i] with tears.(AC)
For there is no one nearby to comfort me,(AD)
no one to keep me alive.
My children are desolate
because the enemy has prevailed.

פ Pe

17 Zion stretches out her hands;
there is no one to comfort her.
The Lord has issued a decree against Jacob
that his neighbors should be his adversaries.
Jerusalem has become
something impure(AE) among them.

צ Tsade

18 The Lord is just,
for I have rebelled against his command.(AF)
Listen, all you people;
look at my pain.
My young women and young men
have gone into captivity.(AG)

ק Qoph

19 I called to my lovers,(AH)
but they betrayed me.
My priests and elders
perished in the city
while searching for food
to keep themselves alive.(AI)

ר Resh

20 Lord, see how I am in distress.
I am churning within;(AJ)
my heart is broken,[j]
for I have been very rebellious.
Outside, the sword takes the children;
inside, there is death.(AK)

שׁ Shin

21 People have heard me groaning,(AL)
but there is no one to comfort me.
All my enemies have heard of my misfortune;
they are glad that you have caused it.(AM)
Bring on the day you have announced,
so that they may become like me.(AN)

ת Taw

22 Let all their wickedness come before you,
and deal with them
as you have dealt with me
because of all my transgressions.(AO)
For my groans are many,
and I am sick at heart.


  1. 1:1 The stanzas in Lm 1–4 form an acrostic.
  2. 1:2 = Jerusalem’s political allies
  3. 1:3 Or because of
  4. 1:8 Or become impure
  5. 1:13 DSS, LXX; MT reads bones, and it prevailed against them
  6. 1:14 Some Hb mss, LXX read He kept watch over my transgressions
  7. 1:14 Or The yoke of my transgressions is bound; Hb obscure
  8. 1:15 Or has announced an appointed time
  9. 1:16 Lit my eye, my eye flows
  10. 1:20 Lit is turned within me

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