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The people’s complaint

Lord, consider what has become of us; take notice of our disgrace. Look at it!
Our property has been turned over to strangers;
        our houses belong to foreigners.
We have become orphans, having no father;
        our mothers are like widows.
We drink our own water—but for a price;
        we gather our own wood—but pay for it.
Our hunters have been at our necks;[a]
        we are worn out, but have no rest.
We held out a hand to Egypt
        and to Assyria, to get sufficient food.
        Our fathers have sinned and are gone,
        but we are burdened with their iniquities.
Slaves rule over us;
        there is no one to rescue us from their power.
We get our bread at the risk of our lives
        because of the desert heat.[b]
10 Our skin is as hot as an oven
        because of the burning heat of famine.
11 Women have been raped in Zion,
        young women in Judah’s cities.
12 Officials have been hung up by their hands;
        elders have been shown no respect.
13 Young men have carried grinding stones;
        boys have stumbled under loads of wood.
14 Elders have left the city gate;
        young people stop their music.
15 Joy has left our heart;
        our dancing has changed into lamentation.
16 The crown has fallen off our head.
        We are doomed because we have sinned.
17 Because of all this our heart is sick;
        because of these things our glance is dark.
18 Mount Zion, now deserted—
        only jackals walk on it now!
19 But you, Lord, will rule forever;
        your throne lasts from one generation to the next.
20 Why do you forget us continually;
        why do you abandon us for such a long time?
21 Return us, Lord, to yourself. Please let us return![c]
        Give us new days, like those long ago—
22 unless you have completely rejected us,
        or have become too angry with us.[d]


  1. Lamentations 5:5 Heb uncertain
  2. Lamentations 5:9 Or sword; Heb uncertain
  3. Lamentations 5:21 Or and we will return or so that we can return
  4. Lamentations 5:22 Or But instead you have completely rejected us, become too angry with us, or Because if you have completely rejected us, have become too angry with us.

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