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Lamentations 2:1-19 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

Judgment on Jerusalem

א Aleph

How the Lord has overshadowed
Daughter Zion with his anger!
He has thrown down Israel’s glory
from heaven to earth.
He did not acknowledge his footstool
in the day of his anger.

ב Beth

Without compassion the Lord has swallowed up
all the dwellings of Jacob.
In his wrath he has demolished
the fortified cities of Daughter Judah.
He brought them to the ground
and defiled the kingdom and its leaders.

ג Gimel

He has cut off every horn of Israel
in his burning anger
and withdrawn his right hand
in the presence of the enemy.
He has blazed against Jacob like a flaming fire
that consumes everything.

ד Daleth

He has strung his bow like an enemy;
his right hand is positioned like an adversary.
He has killed everyone who was the delight to the eye,
pouring out his wrath like fire
on the tent of Daughter Zion.

ה He

The Lord is like an enemy;
he has swallowed up Israel.
He swallowed up all its palaces
and destroyed its fortified cities.
He has multiplied mourning and lamentation
within Daughter Judah.

ו Waw

He has wrecked his temple[a]
as if it were merely a shack in a field,[b]
destroying his place of meeting.
The Lord has abolished
appointed festivals and Sabbaths in Zion.
He has despised king and priest
in his fierce anger.

ז Zayin

The Lord has rejected his altar,
repudiated his sanctuary;
he has handed the walls of her palaces
over to the enemy.
They have raised a shout in the house of the Lord
as on the day of an appointed festival.

ח Cheth

The Lord determined to destroy
the wall of Daughter Zion.
He stretched out a measuring line
and did not restrain himself from destroying.
He made the ramparts and walls grieve;
together they waste away.

ט Teth

Zion’s gates have fallen to the ground;
he has destroyed and shattered the bars on her gates.
Her king and her leaders live among the nations,
instruction[c] is no more,
and even her prophets receive
no vision from the Lord.

י Yod

10 The elders of Daughter Zion
sit on the ground in silence.
They have thrown dust on their heads
and put on sackcloth.
The young women of Jerusalem
have bowed their heads to the ground.

כ Kaph

11 My eyes are worn out from weeping;
I am churning within.
My heart is poured out in grief[d]
because of the destruction of my dear people,
because infants and nursing babies faint
in the streets of the city.

ל Lamed

12 They cry out to their mothers,
“Where is the grain and wine?”
as they faint like the wounded
in the streets of the city,
as their life pours out
in the arms of their mothers.

מ Mem

13 What can I say on your behalf?
What can I compare you to, Daughter Jerusalem?
What can I liken you to,
so that I may console you, Virgin Daughter Zion?
For your ruin is as vast as the sea.
Who can heal you?

נ Nun

14 Your prophets saw visions for you
that were empty and deceptive;[e]
they did not reveal your iniquity
and so restore your fortunes.
They saw pronouncements for you
that were empty and misleading.

ס Samek

15 All who pass by
scornfully clap their hands at you.
They hiss and shake their heads
at Daughter Jerusalem:
Is this the city that was called
the perfection of beauty,
the joy of the whole earth?

פ Pe

16 All your enemies
open their mouths against you.
They hiss and gnash their teeth,
saying, “We have swallowed her up.
This is the day we have waited for!
We have lived to see it.”

ע Ayin

17 The Lord has done what he planned;
he has accomplished his decree,
which he ordained in days of old.
He has demolished without compassion,
letting the enemy gloat over you
and exalting the horn of your adversaries.

צ Tsade

18 The hearts of the people cry out to the Lord.
Wall of Daughter Zion,
let your tears run down like a river
day and night.
Give yourself no relief
and your[f] eyes no rest.

ק Qoph

19 Arise, cry out in the night
from the first watch of the night.
Pour out your heart like water
before the Lord’s presence.
Lift up your hands to him
for the lives of your children
who are fainting from hunger
at the head of every street.


  1. 2:6 Lit booth
  2. 2:6 Lit it were a garden
  3. 2:9 Or the law
  4. 2:11 Lit My liver is poured out on the ground
  5. 2:14 Or insipid
  6. 2:18 Lit and the daughter of your
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

Lamentations 2:1-19 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

God’s Warnings Fulfilled

How the Lord in his anger
    has humiliated[a] daughter Zion!
He has thrown down from heaven to earth
    the splendor of Israel;
he has not remembered his footstool
    in the day of his anger.

The Lord has destroyed without mercy
    all the dwellings of Jacob;
in his wrath he has broken down
    the strongholds of daughter Judah;
he has brought down to the ground in dishonor
    the kingdom and its rulers.

He has cut down in fierce anger
    all the might of Israel;
he has withdrawn his right hand from them
    in the face of the enemy;
he has burned like a flaming fire in Jacob,
    consuming all around.

He has bent his bow like an enemy,
    with his right hand set like a foe;
he has killed all in whom we took pride
    in the tent of daughter Zion;
he has poured out his fury like fire.

The Lord has become like an enemy;
    he has destroyed Israel.
He has destroyed all its palaces,
    laid in ruins its strongholds,
and multiplied in daughter Judah
    mourning and lamentation.

He has broken down his booth like a garden,
    he has destroyed his tabernacle;
the Lord has abolished in Zion
    festival and sabbath,
and in his fierce indignation has spurned
    king and priest.

The Lord has scorned his altar,
    disowned his sanctuary;
he has delivered into the hand of the enemy
    the walls of her palaces;
a clamor was raised in the house of the Lord
    as on a day of festival.

The Lord determined to lay in ruins
    the wall of daughter Zion;
he stretched the line;
    he did not withhold his hand from destroying;
he caused rampart and wall to lament;
    they languish together.

Her gates have sunk into the ground;
    he has ruined and broken her bars;
her king and princes are among the nations;
    guidance is no more,
and her prophets obtain
    no vision from the Lord.

10 The elders of daughter Zion
    sit on the ground in silence;
they have thrown dust on their heads
    and put on sackcloth;
the young girls of Jerusalem
    have bowed their heads to the ground.

11 My eyes are spent with weeping;
    my stomach churns;
my bile is poured out on the ground
    because of the destruction of my people,
because infants and babes faint
    in the streets of the city.

12 They cry to their mothers,
    “Where is bread and wine?”
as they faint like the wounded
    in the streets of the city,
as their life is poured out
    on their mothers’ bosom.

13 What can I say for you, to what compare you,
    O daughter Jerusalem?
To what can I liken you, that I may comfort you,
    O virgin daughter Zion?
For vast as the sea is your ruin;
    who can heal you?

14 Your prophets have seen for you
    false and deceptive visions;
they have not exposed your iniquity
    to restore your fortunes,
but have seen oracles for you
    that are false and misleading.

15 All who pass along the way
    clap their hands at you;
they hiss and wag their heads
    at daughter Jerusalem;
“Is this the city that was called
    the perfection of beauty,
    the joy of all the earth?”

16 All your enemies
    open their mouths against you;
they hiss, they gnash their teeth,
    they cry: “We have devoured her!
Ah, this is the day we longed for;
    at last we have seen it!”

17 The Lord has done what he purposed,
    he has carried out his threat;
as he ordained long ago,
    he has demolished without pity;
he has made the enemy rejoice over you,
    and exalted the might of your foes.

18 Cry aloud[b] to the Lord!
    O wall of daughter Zion!
Let tears stream down like a torrent
    day and night!
Give yourself no rest,
    your eyes no respite!

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 your hands to him
    for the lives of your children,
who faint for hunger
    at the head of every street.


  1. Lamentations 2:1 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  2. Lamentations 2:18 Cn: Heb Their heart cried
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.

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