Bible: Lam 1

The Prophet Speaks:

1:1 א (Alef) 1 

2 

Alas! 3  The city once full of people 4 

now sits all alone! 5 

The prominent 6  lady among the nations

has become a widow! 7 

The princess 8  who once ruled the provinces 9 

has become 10  a forced laborer! 11 

1:2 ב (Bet)

She weeps bitterly at night;

tears stream down her cheeks. 12 

She has no one to comfort her

among all her lovers. 13 

All her friends have betrayed her;

they have become her enemies.

1:3 ג (Gimel)

Judah 14  has departed into exile

under 15  affliction and harsh oppression. 16 

She 17  lives among the nations;

she has found no resting place.

All who pursued her overtook her

in 18  narrow straits. 19 

1:4 ד (Dalet)

The roads to Zion 20  mourn 21 

because no one 22  travels to the festivals. 23 

All her city gates 24  are deserted; 25 

her priests groan. 26 

Her virgins grieve; 27 

she is in bitter anguish! 28 

1:5 ה (He)

Her foes subjugated her; 29 

her enemies are at ease. 30 

For the Lord afflicted her

because of her many acts of rebellion. 31 

Her children went away

captive 32  before the enemy.

1:6 ו (Vav)

All of Daughter Zion’s 33  splendor 34 

has departed. 35 

Her leaders became like deer;

they found no pasture,

so they were too exhausted to escape 36 

from the hunter. 37 

1:7 ז (Zayin)

Jerusalem 38  remembers, 39 

when 40  she became a poor homeless person, 41 

all her treasures

that she owned in days of old. 42 

When her people fell into an enemy’s grip, 43 

none of her allies came to her rescue. 44 

Her enemies 45  gloated over 46  her;

they sneered 47  at her downfall. 48 

1:8 ח (Khet)

Jerusalem committed terrible sin; 49 

therefore she became an object of scorn. 50 

All who admired 51  her have despised her 52 

because they have seen her nakedness. 53 

She groans aloud 54 

and turns away in shame. 55 

1:9 ט (Tet)

Her menstrual flow 56  has soiled 57  her clothing; 58 

she did not consider 59  the consequences of her sin. 60 

Her demise 61  was astonishing, 62 

and there was no one to comfort her.

She cried, “Look, 63  O Lord, on my 64  affliction

because my 65  enemy boasts!”

1:10 י (Yod)

An enemy grabbed 66 

all her valuables. 67 

Indeed she watched in horror 68  as Gentiles 69 

invaded her holy temple 70 

those whom you 71  had commanded:

“They must not enter 72  your assembly place.” 73 

1:11 כ (Kaf)

All her people groaned

as they searched for a morsel of bread. 74 

They exchanged 75  their valuables 76 

for 77  just enough food

to stay alive. 78 

Jerusalem Speaks:

“Look, O Lord! Consider 79 

that I have become worthless!”

1:12 ל (Lamed)

Is it nothing to you, 80  all you who pass by on the road? 81 

Look and see!

Is there any pain like mine?

The Lord 82  has afflicted me, 83 

he 84  has inflicted it on me

when 85  he burned with anger. 86 

1:13 מ (Mem)

He sent down fire 87 

into my bones, and it overcame 88  them.

He spread out a trapper’s net 89  for my feet;

he made me turn back.

He has made me desolate;

I am faint all day long.

1:14 נ (Nun)

My sins are bound around my neck like a yoke; 90 

they are fastened together by his hand.

He has placed his yoke 91  on my neck; 92 

he has sapped my strength. 93 

The Lord 94  has handed me over 95 

to those whom I cannot resist.

1:15 ס (Samek)

He rounded up 96  all my mighty ones; 97 

The Lord 98  did this 99  in 100  my midst.

He summoned an assembly 101  against me

to shatter my young men.

The Lord has stomped like grapes 102 

the virgin daughter, Judah. 103 

1:16 ע (Ayin)

I weep because of these things;

my eyes 104  flow with tears. 105 

For there is no one in sight who can comfort me 106 

or encourage me. 107 

My children 108  are desolated 109 

because an enemy has prevailed.

The Prophet Speaks:

1:17 פ (Pe)

Zion spread out her hands,

but there is no one to comfort her.

The Lord has issued a decree against Jacob;

his neighbors 110  have become his enemies.

Jerusalem has become

like filthy garbage 111  in their midst. 112 

Jerusalem Speaks:

1:18 צ (Tsade)

The Lord is right to judge me! 113 

Yes, I rebelled against his commands. 114 

Please listen, all you nations, 115 

and look at my suffering!

My young women and men

have gone into exile.

1:19 ק (Qof)

I called for my lovers, 116 

but they had deceived me.

My priests and my elders

perished in the city.

Truly they had 117  searched for food

to 118  keep themselves 119  alive. 120 

1:20 ר (Resh)

Look, O Lord! I am distressed; 121 

my stomach is in knots! 122 

My heart is pounding 123  inside me.

Yes, I was terribly rebellious! 124 

Out in the street the sword bereaves a mother of her children; 125 

Inside the house death is present. 126 

1:21 ש (Sin/Shin)

They have heard 127  that I groan,

yet there is no one to comfort me.

All my enemies have heard of my trouble;

they are glad that you 128  have brought it about. 129 

Bring about 130  the day of judgment 131  that you promised 132 

so that 133  they may end up 134  like me!

1:22 ת (Tav)

Let all their wickedness come before you;

afflict 135  them

just as you have afflicted 136  me 137 

because of all my acts of rebellion. 138 

For my groans are many,

and my heart is sick with sorrow. 139 

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