Lament over Jerusalem
א Aleph
1How1:1 The stanzas in Lm 1–4 form an acrostic. she sits alone,1:1 Lm 3:28
the city1:1 Lm 1:17 once crowded with people!
She who was great among the nations
has become like a widow.1:1 Ex 22:22; Dt 10:18; 24:19–21; Is 1:17; 47:8–9
The princess among the provinces
has been put to forced labor.
ב Beth
2She weeps bitterly during the night,1:2 Ps 6:6
with tears on her cheeks.
There is no one to offer her comfort,
not one from all her lovers.1:2 = Jerusalem’s political allies1:2 Jr 3:1; 22:20–22
All her friends have betrayed her;
they have become her enemies.
ג Gimel
3Judah has gone into exile
following1:3 Or because of affliction and harsh slavery;
she lives among the nations
but finds no place to rest.1:3 Dt 28:65; Ps 116:7
All her pursuers have overtaken her
in narrow places.
ד Daleth
4The roads to Zion1:4 2Sm 5:7; Ps 20:2; Jr 51:35 mourn,
for no one comes to the appointed festivals.1:4 Dt 16:16; 2Ch 8:13; Ps 84:5; Is 1:11–17
All her gates are deserted;
her priests groan,
her young women grieve,
and she herself is bitter.
ה He
5Her adversaries have become her masters;1:5 Dt 28:13,44
her enemies are at ease,1:5 Jb 3:26; 12:6; Jr 12:1
for the Lord has made her suffer
because of her many transgressions.
Her children have gone away
as captives before the adversary.
ו Waw
6All the splendor1:6 Ezk 27:10 has vanished
from Daughter Zion.1:6 Lm 2:1,4,8; 4:22
Her leaders are like stags
that find no pasture;
they stumble away exhausted
before the hunter.1:6 Jr 39:4–7
ז Zayin
7During the days of her affliction and homelessness1:7 Is 58:7; Lm 3:19
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
8Jerusalem has sinned grievously;
therefore, she has become an object of scorn.1:8 Or become impure
All who honored her now despise her,
for they have seen her nakedness.
She herself groans and turns away.
ט Teth
9Her uncleanness stains her skirts.1:9 Jr 13:22,26; Nah 3:5
She never considered her end.
Her downfall was astonishing;1:9 Dt 28:43
there was no one to comfort her.
Lord, look on my affliction,
for the enemy boasts.
י Yod
10The adversary has seized
all her precious belongings.
She has even seen the nations
enter her sanctuary —
those you had forbidden
to enter your assembly.1:10 Dt 23:3; Neh 13:1–3; Ezk 44:9
כ Kaph
11All her people groan
while they search for bread.1:11 Jr 38:9; 52:6
They have traded their precious belongings for food
in order to stay alive.1:11 Lm 1:19; 2:20; 4:10
Lord, look and see
how I have become despised.
ל Lamed
12Is this nothing to you, all you who pass by?1:12 Ps 89:41; Jr 22:8
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?1:12 Am 5:18
מ Mem
13He sent fire from on high1:13 Gn 19:24; Hs 8:14; Am 1:4–2:5 into my bones;
he made it descend.1:13 DSS, LXX; MT reads bones, and it prevailed against them1:13 1Kg 18:38; 2Kg 1:10,12; Jb 30:30; Jr 20:9
He spread a net for my feet1:13 Ps 35:7; Is 51:20; Ezk 12:13; Hs 7:12
and turned me back.
He made me desolate,
sick all day long.
נ Nun
14My transgressions have been formed into a yoke,1:14 Some Hb mss, LXX read He kept watch over my transgressions1:14 Or The yoke of my transgressions is bound; Hb obscure1:14 Gn 27:40; Lv 26:13; Dt 28:48; 2Ch 10:3–11; Is 9:4; Jr 27:2,6–11
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
15The Lord has rejected1:15 Ps 119:118
all the mighty men within me.
He has summoned an army1:15 Or has announced an appointed time against me
to crush my young warriors.
The Lord has trampled Virgin Daughter Judah1:15 Lm 2:2,5
like grapes in a winepress.1:15 Is 63:1–6; Jl 3:12–15; Rv 14:17–20; 19:15
ע Ayin
16I weep because of these things;
my eyes flow1:16 Lit my eye, my eye flows with tears.1:16 Jr 9:1,18; Lm 2:11,18; 3:48–49
For there is no one nearby to comfort me,1:16 Is 40:1
no one to keep me alive.
My children are desolate
because the enemy has prevailed.
פ Pe
17Zion 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 impure1:17 Lv 15:19–20; Ezk 7:19–20; 18:6 among them.
צ Tsade
18The Lord is just,
for I have rebelled against his command.1:18 Neh 9:33
Listen, all you people;
look at my pain.
My young women and young men
have gone into captivity.1:18 Dt 28:41; 2Ch 29:9; Ezr 9:7; Jr 48:46
ק Qoph
19I called to my lovers,1:19 Lm 1:2
but they betrayed me.
My priests and elders
perished in the city
while searching for food
to keep themselves alive.1:19 Lm 1:11
ר Resh
20 Lord, see how I am in distress.
I am churning within;1:20 Jb 30:27
my heart is broken,1:20 Lit is turned within me
for I have been very rebellious.
Outside, the sword takes the children;
inside, there is death.1:20 Dt 32:25; Ezk 7:15
שׁ Shin
21People have heard me groaning,1:21 Lm 1:4,8
but there is no one to comfort me.
All my enemies have heard of my misfortune;
they are glad that you have caused it.1:21 Lm 2:15–17
Bring on the day you have announced,
so that they may become like me.1:21 Is 62:8–63:6; Ezk 38–39; Jl 3:1–3; Mc 7:8–13; Zch 14:1–9
ת Taw
22Let all their wickedness come before you,
and deal with them
as you have dealt with me
because of all my transgressions.1:22 Lm 4:21–22
For my groans are many,
and I am sick at heart.