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Lamentations 1 Good News Translation (GNT)

The Sorrows of Jerusalem

How lonely lies Jerusalem, once so full of people!
    Once honored by the world, she is now like a widow;
    The noblest of cities has fallen into slavery.

All night long she cries; tears run down her cheeks.
    Of all her former friends, not one is left to comfort her.
    Her allies have betrayed her and are all against her now.

Judah's people are helpless slaves, forced away from home.[a]
    They live in other lands, with no place to call their own—
    Surrounded by enemies, with no way to escape.

No one comes to the Temple now to worship on the holy days.
    The young women who sang there suffer, and the priests can only groan.
    The city gates stand empty, and Zion is in agony.

Her enemies succeeded; they hold her in their power.
    The Lord has made her suffer for all her many sins;
    Her children have been captured and taken away.

The splendor of Jerusalem is a thing of the past.
    Her leaders are like deer that are weak from hunger,
    Whose strength is almost gone as they flee from the hunters.

A lonely ruin now, Jerusalem recalls her ancient splendor.
    When she fell to the enemy, there was no one to help her;
    Her conquerors laughed at her downfall.

Her honor is gone; she is naked and held in contempt.
    She groans and hides her face in shame.
    Jerusalem made herself filthy with terrible sin.

Her uncleanness was easily seen, but she showed no concern for her fate.
    Her downfall was terrible; no one can comfort her.
    Her enemies have won, and she cries to the Lord for mercy.

10 The enemies robbed her of all her treasures.
    She saw them enter the Temple itself,
    Where the Lord had forbidden Gentiles to go.

11 Her people groan as they look for something to eat;
    They exchange their treasures for food to keep themselves alive.
    “Look at me, Lord,” the city cries; “see me in my misery.”

12 “Look at me!” she cries to everyone who passes by.[b]
    “No one has ever had pain like mine,
    Pain that the Lord brought on me in the time of his anger.

13 “He sent fire from above, a fire that burned inside me.
    He set a trap for me and brought me to the ground.
    Then he abandoned me and left me in constant pain.

14 “He took note of all my sins and tied them all together;
    He hung them around my neck, and I grew weak beneath the weight.
    The Lord gave me to my foes, and I was helpless against them.

15 “The Lord laughed at all my strongest soldiers;
    He sent an army to destroy my young men.
    He crushed my people like grapes in a wine press.

16 “That is why my eyes are overflowing with tears.
    No one can comfort me; no one can give me courage.
    The enemy has conquered me; my people have nothing left.

17 “I stretch out my hands, but no one will help me.
    The Lord has called enemies against me from every side;
    They treat me like some filthy thing.

18 “But the Lord is just, for I have disobeyed him.
    Listen to me, people everywhere; look at me in my pain.
    My young men and women have been taken away captive.

19 “I called to my allies, but they refused to help me.
    The priests and the leaders died in the city streets,
    Looking for food to keep themselves alive.

20 “Look, O Lord, at my agony, at the anguish of my soul!
    My heart is broken in sorrow for my sins.
    There is murder in the streets; even indoors there is death.

21 “Listen[c] to my groans; there is no one to comfort me.
    My enemies are glad that you brought disaster on me.
    Bring[d] the day you promised; make my enemies suffer as I do.

22 “Condemn them for all their wickedness;
    Punish them as you punished me for my sins.
    I groan in misery, and I am sick at heart.”


  1. Lamentations 1:3 are helpless … home; or fled from home, from the misery of slavery.
  2. Lamentations 1:12 Look … by; or May this not happen to you that pass by; or Does this mean nothing to you that pass by?
  3. Lamentations 1:21 One ancient translation Listen; Hebrew They listened.
  4. Lamentations 1:21 One ancient translation Bring; Hebrew You brought.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Lamentations 1 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Deserted City

How lonely sits the city
    that once was full of people!
How like a widow she has become,
    she that was great among the nations!
She that was a princess among the provinces
    has become a vassal.

She weeps bitterly in the night,
    with tears on her cheeks;
among all her lovers
    she has no one to comfort her;
all her friends have dealt treacherously with her,
    they have become her enemies.

Judah has gone into exile with suffering
    and hard servitude;
she lives now among the nations,
    and finds no resting place;
her pursuers have all overtaken her
    in the midst of her distress.

The roads to Zion mourn,
    for no one comes to the festivals;
all her gates are desolate,
    her priests groan;
her young girls grieve,[a]
    and her lot is bitter.

Her foes have become the masters,
    her enemies prosper,
because the Lord has made her suffer
    for the multitude of her transgressions;
her children have gone away,
    captives before the foe.

From daughter Zion has departed
    all her majesty.
Her princes have become like stags
    that find no pasture;
they fled without strength
    before the pursuer.

Jerusalem remembers,
    in the days of her affliction and wandering,
all the precious things
    that were hers in days of old.
When her people fell into the hand of the foe,
    and there was no one to help her,
the foe looked on mocking
    over her downfall.

Jerusalem sinned grievously,
    so she has become a mockery;
all who honored her despise her,
    for they have seen her nakedness;
she herself groans,
    and turns her face away.

Her uncleanness was in her skirts;
    she took no thought of her future;
her downfall was appalling,
    with none to comfort her.
“O Lord, look at my affliction,
    for the enemy has triumphed!”

10 Enemies have stretched out their hands
    over all her precious things;
she has even seen the nations
    invade her sanctuary,
those whom you forbade
    to enter your congregation.

11 All her people groan
    as they search for bread;
they trade their treasures for food
    to revive their strength.
Look, O Lord, and see
    how worthless I have become.

12 Is it nothing to you,[b] all you who pass by?
    Look and see
if there is any sorrow like my sorrow,
    which was brought upon me,
which the Lord inflicted
    on the day of his fierce anger.

13 From on high he sent fire;
    it went deep into my bones;
he spread a net for my feet;
    he turned me back;
he has left me stunned,
    faint all day long.

14 My transgressions were bound[c] into a yoke;
    by his hand they were fastened together;
they weigh on my neck,
    sapping my strength;
the Lord handed me over
    to those whom I cannot withstand.

15 The Lord has rejected
    all my warriors in the midst of me;
he proclaimed a time against me
    to crush my young men;
the Lord has trodden as in a wine press
    the virgin daughter Judah.

16 For these things I weep;
    my eyes flow with tears;
for a comforter is far from me,
    one to revive my courage;
my children are desolate,
    for the enemy has prevailed.

17 Zion stretches out her hands,
    but there is no one to comfort her;
the Lord has commanded against Jacob
    that his neighbors should become his foes;
Jerusalem has become
    a filthy thing among them.

18 The Lord is in the right,
    for I have rebelled against his word;
but hear, all you peoples,
    and behold my suffering;
my young women and young men
    have gone into captivity.

19 I called to my lovers
    but they deceived me;
my priests and elders
    perished in the city
while seeking food
    to revive their strength.

20 See, O Lord, how distressed I am;
    my stomach churns,
my heart is wrung within me,
    because I have been very rebellious.
In the street the sword bereaves;
    in the house it is like death.

21 They heard how I was groaning,
    with no one to comfort me.
All my enemies heard of my trouble;
    they are glad that you have done it.
Bring on the day you have announced,
    and let them be as I am.

22 Let all their evil doing come before you;
    and deal with them
as you have dealt with me
    because of all my transgressions;
for my groans are many
    and my heart is faint.


  1. Lamentations 1:4 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  2. Lamentations 1:12 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  3. Lamentations 1:14 Meaning of Heb uncertain
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Lamentations 1 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

How lonely lies the city
that once thronged with people!
Once great among the nations,
now she is like a widow!
Once princess among provinces,
she has become a vassal.

Bitterly she weeps at night,
tears running down her cheeks.
Not one of all her lovers
is there to comfort her.
Her friends have all betrayed her;
they have become her enemies.

Y’hudah has fled into exile
from oppression and endless slavery.
She lives among the nations,
but there she finds no rest.
Her pursuers have all overtaken her
in the midst of her distress.

The roads to Tziyon are mourning
because no one comes to the festivals.
Her gateways are all deserted,
her cohanim are groaning,
her unmarried girls are grieving —
how bitter it is for her!

Her foes have become the head,
her enemies relax,
for Adonai has made her suffer
because of her many sins.
Her young children have gone away
captive before the foe.
All splendor has departed
from the daughter of Tziyon.
Her princes have become like deer
unable to find pasture,
running on, exhausted,
fleeing from the hunter.

In the days of her affliction and anguish,
Yerushalayim remembers
all the treasures that were hers,
ever since ancient times.
Now her people fall into the power of the foe,
and she has no one to help her;
her enemies are gloating over her,
mocking her desolation.

Yerushalayim sinned grievously;
therefore she has become unclean.
All who honored her now despise her,
because they have seen her naked.
She herself also moans
and turns her face away.

Her filthiness was in her skirts;
she gave no thought to how it would end.
Hence her astounding downfall,
with no one to console her.
“Look, Adonai, how I suffer;
for the foe has triumphed!”

10 Enemies have reached out their hands
to seize all her treasures.
She has seen Goyim approach
and go inside her sanctuary,
those whom you forbade even
to enter your assembly.

11 All her people are groaning,
as they search for something to eat.
They barter their treasures for food
to keep themselves alive.
“Look, Adonai! See
how despised I am.

12 “May it not happen to you,
all you passers-by!
Just look, and see if there is any pain
like the pain inflicted on me,
which Adonai made me suffer
on the day of his blazing anger.

13 “From on high, he sent down fire
deep into my bones;
he spread a net to catch my feet;
he turned me back;
he left me desolate,
in misery all day long.

14 “My sins have been bound into a yoke,
knit together by his hand.
It weighs down on my neck,
and it saps my strength.
Adonai has put me into the power
of those I cannot withstand.

15 “All the strong men within my walls
Adonai has rejected.
He has set a specific time
for crushing my young men.
Adonai has trodden, like grapes in a winepress,
the virgin daughter of Y’hudah.

16 “Because of these things, I weep;
my eyes, my eyes stream with tears;
for anyone who could comfort me
and revive my courage is far away.
My children are in a state of shock,
because the enemy has prevailed.”

17 Tziyon spreads out her hands,
but no one is there to console her.
Concerning Ya‘akov, Adonai has ordered
those around him to be his foes;
Yerushalayim has become for them
an unclean, filthy thing.

18 Adonai is in the right,
for I rebelled against his word.
Listen, please, all you peoples;
and see how I am in pain!
My young women and my young men
have gone into captivity.
19 “I called out to my lovers,
but they let me down.
My cohanim and leaders
perished in the city,
as they were seeking food
to keep themselves alive.

20 “See, Adonai, how distressed I am!
Everything in me is churning!
My heart turns over inside me,
because I have been so rebellious.
Outside, the sword brings bereavement;
inside, it is like death.

21 “People have heard how I groan,
with no one to comfort me.
All my foes have heard of my trouble;
they are glad that you have done it.
Bring the day you have promised,
so that they will suffer like me!

22 “Let all their wickedness come before you.
Then do to them
as you have done to me
because of all my offenses.
For my groans are many,
and I am sick at heart.”

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Lamentations 1 The Message (MSG)

Worthless, Cheap, Abject!

Oh, oh, oh . . .
How empty the city, once teeming with people.
    A widow, this city, once in the front rank of nations,
    once queen of the ball, she’s now a drudge in the kitchen.

She cries herself to sleep each night, tears soaking her pillow.
    No one’s left among her lovers to sit and hold her hand.
    Her friends have all dumped her.

After years of pain and hard labor, Judah has gone into exile.
    She camps out among the nations, never feels at home.
    Hunted by all, she’s stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Zion’s roads weep, empty of pilgrims headed to the feasts.
    All her city gates are deserted, her priests in despair.
    Her virgins are sad. How bitter her fate.

Her enemies have become her masters. Her foes are living it up
    because God laid her low, punishing her repeated rebellions.
    Her children, prisoners of the enemy, trudge into exile.

All beauty has drained from Daughter Zion’s face.
    Her princes are like deer famished for food,
    chased to exhaustion by hunters.

Jerusalem remembers the day she lost everything,
    when her people fell into enemy hands, and not a soul there to help.
    Enemies looked on and laughed, laughed at her helpless silence.

Jerusalem, who outsinned the whole world, is an outcast.
    All who admired her despise her now that they see beneath the surface.
    Miserable, she groans and turns away in shame.

She played fast and loose with life, she never considered tomorrow,
    and now she’s crashed royally, with no one to hold her hand:
    “Look at my pain, O God! And how the enemy cruelly struts.”

10 The enemy reached out to take all her favorite things. She watched
    as pagans barged into her Sanctuary, those very people for whom
    you posted orders: keep out: this assembly off-limits.

11 All the people groaned, so desperate for food, so desperate to stay alive
    that they bartered their favorite things for a bit of breakfast:
    “O God, look at me! Worthless, cheap, abject!

12 “And you passersby, look at me! Have you ever seen anything like this?
    Ever seen pain like my pain, seen what he did to me,
    what God did to me in his rage?

13 “He struck me with lightning, skewered me from head to foot,
    then he set traps all around so I could hardly move.
    He left me with nothing—left me sick, and sick of living.

14 “He wove my sins into a rope
    and harnessed me to captivity’s yoke.
    I’m goaded by cruel taskmasters.

15 “The Master piled up my best soldiers in a heap,
    then called in thugs to break their fine young necks.
    The Master crushed the life out of fair virgin Judah.

16 “For all this I weep, weep buckets of tears,
    and not a soul within miles around cares for my soul.
    My children are wasted, my enemy got his way.”

17 Zion reached out for help, but no one helped.
    God ordered Jacob’s enemies to surround him,
    and now no one wants anything to do with Jerusalem.

18 God has right on his side. I’m the one who did wrong.
    Listen everybody! Look at what I’m going through!
    My fair young women, my fine young men, all herded into exile!

19 “I called to my friends; they betrayed me.
    My priests and my leaders only looked after themselves,
    trying but failing to save their own skins.

20 “O God, look at the trouble I’m in! My stomach in knots,
    my heart wrecked by a life of rebellion.
    Massacres in the streets, starvation in the houses.

21 “Oh, listen to my groans. No one listens, no one cares.
    When my enemies heard of the trouble you gave me, they cheered.
    Bring on Judgment Day! Let them get what I got!

22 “Take a good look at their evil ways and give it to them!
    Give them what you gave me for my sins.
    Groaning in pain, body and soul, I’ve had all I can take.”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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