1 HOW DOTH the city sit solitary, that was full of people! How is she become as a widow! She that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!
2 She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks; she hath none to comfort her among all her lovers; all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her enemies.
3 Judah is gone into exile because of affliction, and because of great servitude; she dwelleth among the nations, she findeth no rest; all her pursuers overtook her within the straits.
4 The ways of Zion do mourn, because none come to the solemn assembly; all her gates are desolate, her priests sigh; her virgins are afflicted, and she herself is in bitterness.
5 Her adversaries are become the head, her enemies are at ease; for HaShem hath afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions; her young children are gone into captivity before the adversary.
6 And gone is from the daughter of Zion all her splendour; her princes are become like harts that find no pasture, and they are gone without strength before the pursuer.
7 Jerusalem remembereth in the days of her affliction and of her anguish all her treasures that she had from the days of old; now that her people fall by the hand of the adversary, and none doth help her, the adversaries have seen her, they have mocked at her desolations.
8 Jerusalem hath grievously sinned, therefore she is become as one unclean; all that honoured her despise her, because they have seen her nakedness; she herself also sigheth, and turneth backward.
9 Her filthiness was in her skirts, she was not mindful of her end; therefore is she come down wonderfully, she hath no comforter. 'Behold, O HaShem, my affliction, for the enemy hath magnified himself.'
10 The adversary hath spread out his hand upon all her treasures; for she hath seen that the heathen are entered into her sanctuary, concerning whom Thou didst command that they should not enter into Thy congregation.
11 All her people sigh, they seek bread; they have given their pleasant things for food to refresh the soul. 'See, O HaShem, and behold, how abject I am become.'
12 'Let it not come unto you, all ye that pass by! Behold, and see if there be any pain like unto my pain, which is done unto me, wherewith HaShem hath afflicted me in the day of His fierce anger.
13 From on high hath He sent fire into my bones, and it prevaileth against them; He hath spread a net for my feet, He hath turned me back; He hath made me desolate and faint all the day.
14 The yoke of my transgressions is impressed by His hand; they are knit together, they are come up upon my neck; He hath made my strength to fail; the L-rd hath delivered me into their hands, against whom I am not able to stand.
15 The L-rd hath set at nought all my mighty men in the midst of me; He hath called a solemn assembly against me to crush my young men; the L-rd hath trodden as in a winepress the virgin the daughter of Judah.'
16 'For these things I weep; mine eye, mine eye runneth down with water; because the comforter is far from me, even he that should refresh my soul; my children are desolate, because the enemy hath prevailed.'
17 Zion spreadeth forth her hands; there is none to comfort her; HaShem hath commanded concerning Jacob, that they that are round about him should be his adversaries; Jerusalem is among them as one unclean.
18 'The HaShem is righteous; for I have rebelled against His word; hear, I pray you, all ye peoples, and behold my pain: my virgins and my young men are gone into captivity.
19 I called for my lovers, but they deceived me; my priests and mine elders perished in the city, while they sought them food to refresh their souls.
20 Behold, O HaShem, for I am in distress, mine inwards burn; my heart is turned within me, for I have grievously rebelled. Abroad the sword bereaveth, at home there is the like of death.
21 They have heard that I sigh, there is none to comfort me; all mine enemies have heard of my trouble, and are glad, for Thou hast done it; Thou wilt bring the day that Thou hast proclaimed, and they shall be like unto me.
22 Let all their wickedness come before Thee; and do unto them, as Thou hast done unto me for all my transgressions; for my sighs are many and my heart is faint.'
Sources: Portions copyright © 1997 by Benyamin Pilant, All Rights Reserved
JPS Electronic Edition Copyright © 1998 by Larry Nelson, All Rights Reserved