1 [a]How solitary and lonely sits the city [Jerusalem]
That was [once] full of people!
How like a widow she has become.
She who was great among the nations!
The princess among the provinces,
Has become a forced laborer!
She weeps bitterly in the night
And her tears are [constantly] on her cheeks;
Among all her lovers (political allies)
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 under affliction
And under harsh servitude;
She dwells among the [pagan] nations,
But she has found no rest;
All her pursuers have overtaken her
In the midst of [her] distress.
The roads to Zion are in mourning
Because no one comes to the appointed feasts.
All her gates are desolate;
Her priests are groaning,
Her virgins are grieved and suffering,
And she suffers bitterly.
Her adversaries have become her masters,
Her enemies prosper;
For the Lord has caused her grief
Because of the multitude of her transgressions;
Her young children have gone
Into captivity before the enemy.
All her beauty and majesty
Have departed from the Daughter of Zion (Jerusalem).
Her princes have become like deer
That have found no pasture;
They have fled without strength
Before the pursuer.
In the days of her affliction and homelessness
Jerusalem remembers all her precious things
That she had from the days of old,
When her people fell into the hand of the adversary,
And no one helped her,
The enemy saw her,
They mocked at her downfall.
Jerusalem sinned greatly;
Therefore she has become an unclean thing [and has been removed].
All who honored her [now] despise her
Because they have seen her nakedness;
Even she herself groans and turns [her face] away.
Her (ceremonial) uncleanness was on her skirts;
She did not [seriously] consider her future.
Therefore she has come down [from throne to slavery] in an astonishing manner;
She has no comforter.
“O Lord” [cries Jerusalem], “look at my affliction,
For the enemy has magnified himself [in triumph]!”
The adversary has spread out his hand
Over all her precious and desirable things;
For she has seen the [Gentile] nations enter her sanctuary (the Jerusalem temple)—
[b]The ones whom You commanded
That they should not enter into Your congregation [not even in the outer courts].
All her people groan, seeking bread;
They have exchanged their desirable and precious things for food
To restore their lives.
“See, O Lord, and consider
How despised and repulsive I have become!”
“Is it nothing to you, all you who pass this way?
Look and see if there is any pain like my pain
Which was severely dealt out to me,
Which the Lord has inflicted [on me] on the day of His fierce anger.
“From on high He sent fire into my bones,
And it prevailed over them.
He has spread a net for my feet;
He has turned me back.
He has made me desolate and hopelessly miserable,
Faint all the day long.
“The yoke of my transgressions is bound;
By His hand they are knit and woven together.
They have come upon my neck.
He has made my strength fail;
The Lord has put me into the hand
Of those against whom I cannot stand.
“The Lord has rejected all the strong men
In my midst;
He has proclaimed an established time against me
To crush my young men.
The Lord has trampled down as in a wine press
The Virgin Daughter of Judah.
“I weep for these things;
My eyes overflow with tears,
Because a comforter,
One who could restore my soul, is far away from me.
My children are desolate and perishing,
For the enemy has prevailed.”
Zion stretches out her hands,
But there is no comforter for her.
The Lord has commanded concerning Jacob
That his neighbors should be his enemies;
Jerusalem has become a filthy thing [an object of contempt] among them.
“The Lord is righteous and just;
For I have rebelled against His commandment (His word).
Hear now, all you peoples,
And look at my pain;
My virgins and my young men
Have gone into captivity.
“I [Jerusalem] called to my lovers (political allies), but they deceived me.
My priests and my elders perished in the city
While they looked for food to restore their strength.
“See, O Lord, how distressed I am!
My spirit is deeply disturbed;
My heart is overturned within me and cannot rest,
For I have been very rebellious.
In the street the sword kills and bereaves;
In the house there is [famine, disease and] death!
“People have heard that I groan,
That I have no comforter [in You].
All my enemies have heard of my desperation;
They are delighted [O Lord] that You have done it.
Oh, that You would bring the day [of judgment] which You have proclaimed
So that they will become like me.
“Let all their wickedness 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.”
2 How the Lord has covered the Daughter of Zion (Jerusalem)
With a cloud in His anger!
He has cast down from heaven to the earth
The glory and splendor of Israel
And has not remembered His footstool
In the day of His anger.
The Lord has swallowed up; He has not spared
All the country places of Jacob.
In His wrath He has thrown down
The strongholds of the Daughter of Judah (Jerusalem).
He has brought them down to the ground [in disgrace];
He has debased the kingdom and its princes.
In fierce anger He has cut off and destroyed
Every [c]horn of Israel.
He has withdrawn His right hand
From the presence of the enemy.
And He has burned in Jacob like a flaming fire
Consuming all around.
He has bent His bow like an enemy;
He has set His right hand like an adversary
And slain all that were delightful and pleasing to the eye;
In the tent of the Daughter of Zion
He has poured out His wrath like fire.
The Lord has become like an enemy;
He has swallowed up Israel.
He has swallowed up all its palaces;
He has destroyed its strongholds
And multiplied in the Daughter of Judah
Mourning and lamentation (expressions of grief).
And He has violently broken down His temple like a [fragile] garden hedge;
He has destroyed His appointed meeting place.
The Lord has caused the appointed feast and Sabbath
To be forgotten in Zion
And has despised and rejected the king and the priest
In the indignation of His anger.
The Lord has rejected His altar;
He has abandoned His sanctuary.
He has given into the hand of the enemy
The walls of her palaces;
They have made a noise in the house of the Lord
As on a day of an appointed feast.
The Lord determined to lay in ruins
The [city] wall of the Daughter of Zion.
He has stretched out a line,
He has not stopped His hand from destroying.
He has caused the rampart and the wall to lament (mourn in grief);
They have languished together.
Her gates have sunk into the ground;
He has destroyed and broken her bars.
Her king and her princes are [exiled] among the nations;
The law is no more.
Also, her prophets no longer find
Vision from the Lord.
The elders of the Daughter of Zion
Sit on the ground keeping silent;
They have thrown dust on their heads,
They have covered themselves with sackcloth.
The virgins of Jerusalem
Have bowed their heads to the ground.
My eyes fail because of tears [mourns Jeremiah],
My spirit is deeply disturbed;
My heart is poured out on the earth [in grief]
Because of the destruction of the daughter of my people [Jerusalem],
When little ones and infants faint
In the streets of the city.
They cry to their mothers,
“Where is grain and wine?”
As they faint like a wounded man
In the streets of the city,
As their life [slips away and] is poured out
In their mothers’ arms.
How shall I console you?
To what shall I compare you,
O Daughter of Jerusalem?
With what shall I compare you, so that I may comfort you,
O Virgin Daughter of Zion?
For your ruin is as vast as the sea;
Who can heal you?
Your prophets have seen (imagined) for you
False and foolish visions;
And they have not exposed your wickedness
To restore you from captivity [by teaching you to repent],
But they have seen (imagined) and declared to you false and misleading oracles.
All who pass along the way
Clap their hands in derision at you;
They scoff and shake their heads
At the Daughter of Jerusalem, saying,
“Is this the city that was called
‘The perfection of beauty,
The joy of all the earth’?”
All your enemies
Have opened their mouths wide against you;
They [scornfully] hiss and gnash their teeth.
They say, “We have swallowed her up!
Certainly this is the day for which we waited;
We have reached it, we have seen it!”
The Lord has done what He planned;
He has accomplished His word
Which He commanded [d]from days of old.
He has demolished without sparing,
And He has caused the enemy to rejoice over you;
He has exalted the power of your enemies.
Their hearts cried out to the Lord.
“O wall of the Daughter of Zion,
Let your tears run down like a river day and night;
Give yourself no relief,
Let your eyes have no rest.
“Arise, cry aloud in the night,
At the beginning of the night watches;
Pour out your heart like water
Before the presence of the Lord;
Lift up your hands to Him
For the life of your little ones
Who are faint from hunger
At the head of every street.”
See, O Lord, and look!
With whom have You dealt this way?
Should women eat their offspring,
The little ones who were born healthy and beautiful?
Should priest and prophet be killed
In the sanctuary of the Lord?
The young and the old
Lie on the ground in the streets;
My virgins and my young men
Have fallen by the sword.
You have killed them in the day of Your anger,
You have slaughtered, not sparing.
You [Lord] called as in the day of an appointed feast
My terrors (dangers) on every side;
And there was no one who escaped or survived
In the day of the Lord’s anger.
Those I have cared for and brought up with tenderness,
My enemy annihilated them.
10 For since the Law has only a shadow [just a pale representation] of the good things to come—not the very image of those things—it can never, by offering the same sacrifices continually year after year, make [a]perfect those who approach [its altars]. 2 For if it were otherwise, would not these sacrifices have stopped being offered? For the worshipers, having once [for all time] been cleansed, would no longer have a consciousness of sin. 3 But [as it is] these [continual] sacrifices bring a fresh reminder of sins [to be atoned for] year after year, 4 for it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5 Therefore, when Christ enters into the world, He says,
“Sacrifice and offering You have not desired,
But [instead] You have prepared a body for Me [to offer];
In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have taken no delight.
“Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come
To do Your will, O God—
[To fulfill] what is written of Me in the scroll of the book.’”
8 After saying [in the citation] above, “You have neither desired, nor have You taken delight in sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin” (which are offered according to the Law) 9 then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will.” [And so] He does away with the first [covenant as a means of atoning for sin based on animal sacrifices] so that He may inaugurate and establish the second [covenant by means of obedience]. 10 And in accordance with this will [of God] we [who believe in the message of salvation] have been sanctified [that is, set apart as holy for God and His purposes] through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed) once for all.
11 Every priest stands [at his altar of service] ministering daily, offering the same sacrifices over and over, which are never able [b]to strip away sins [that envelop and cover us]; 12 whereas Christ, having offered the one sacrifice [the all-sufficient sacrifice of Himself] for sins for all time, sat down [signifying the completion of atonement for sin] at the right hand of God [the position of honor], 13 waiting from that time onward until his enemies are made a footstool for His feet. 14 For by the one offering He has perfected forever and completely cleansed those who are being sanctified [bringing each believer to spiritual completion and maturity]. 15 And the Holy Spirit also adds His testimony to us [in confirmation of this]; for after having said,
“This is the covenant that I will make with them
After those days, says the Lord:
I will imprint My laws upon their heart,
And on their mind I will inscribe them [producing an inward change],”
He then says,
“And their sins and their lawless acts
I will remember no more [no longer holding their sins against them].”
18 Now where there is [absolute] forgiveness and complete cancellation of the penalty of these things, there is no longer any offering [to be made to atone] for sin.