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Jerusalem Cries over Her Loss

Jerusalem once was full of people,
    but now the city is empty.
Jerusalem once was a great city among the nations,
    but now she[a] is like a widow.
She was like a queen of all the other cities,
    but now she is a slave.

She cries loudly at night,
    and tears are on her cheeks.
There is no one to comfort her;
    all who loved her are gone.
All her friends have turned against her
    and are now her enemies.

Judah has gone into captivity
    where she suffers and works hard.
She lives among other nations,
    but she has found no rest.
Those who chased her caught her
    when she was in trouble.

The roads to Jerusalem are sad,
    because no one comes for the feasts.
No one passes through her gates.
    Her priests groan,
her young women are suffering,
    and Jerusalem suffers terribly.

Her foes are now her masters.
    Her enemies enjoy the wealth they have taken.
The Lord is punishing her
    for her many sins.
Her children have gone away
    as captives of the enemy.

The beauty of Jerusalem
    has gone away.
Her rulers are like deer
    that cannot find food.
They are weak
    and run from the hunters.

Jerusalem is suffering and homeless.
    She remembers all the good things
    from the past.
But her people were defeated by the enemy,
    and there was no one to help her.
When her enemies saw her,
    they laughed to see her ruined.

Jerusalem sinned terribly,
    so she has become unclean.
Those who honored her now hate her,
    because they have seen her nakedness.
She groans
    and turns away.

She made herself dirty by her sins
    and did not think about what would happen to her.
Her defeat was surprising,
    and no one could comfort her.
She says, “Lord, see how I suffer,
    because the enemy has won.”

10 The enemy reached out and took
    all her precious things.
She even saw foreigners
    enter her Temple.
The Lord had commanded foreigners
    never to enter the meeting place of his people.

11 All of Jerusalem’s people groan,
    looking for bread.
They are trading their precious things for food
    so they can stay alive.
The city says, “Look, Lord, and see.
    I am hated.”

12 Jerusalem says, “You who pass by on the road don’t seem to care.
    Come, look at me and see:
Is there any pain like mine?
    Is there any pain like that he has caused me?
The Lord has punished me
    on the day of his great anger.

13 “He sent fire from above
    that went down into my bones.
He stretched out a net for my feet
    and turned me back.
He made me so sad and lonely
    that I am weak all day.

14 “He has noticed my sins;
    they are tied together by his hands;
they hang around my neck.
    He has turned my strength into weakness.
The Lord has handed me over
    to those who are stronger than I.

15 “The Lord has rejected
    all my mighty men inside my walls.
He brought an army against me
    to destroy my young men.
As if in a winepress, the Lord has crushed
    the capital city of Judah.

16 “I cry about these things;
    my eyes overflow with tears.
There is no one near to comfort me,
    no one who can give me strength again.
My children are left sad and lonely,
    because the enemy has won.”

17 Jerusalem reaches out her hands,
    but there is no one to comfort her.
The Lord commanded the people of Jacob
    to be surrounded by their enemies.
Jerusalem is now unclean
    like those around her.

18 Jerusalem says, “The Lord is right,
    but I refused to obey him.
Listen, all you people,
    and look at my pain.
My young women and men
    have gone into captivity.

19 “I called out to my friends,
    but they turned against me.
My priests and my elders
    have died in the city
while looking for food
    to stay alive.

20 “Look at me, Lord. I am upset
    and greatly troubled.
My heart is troubled,
    because I have been so stubborn.
Out in the streets, the sword kills;
    inside the houses, death destroys.

21 “People have heard my groaning,
    and there is no one to comfort me.
All my enemies have heard of my trouble,
    and they are happy you have done this to me.
Now bring that day you have announced
    so that my enemies will be like me.

22 “Look at all their evil.
    Do to them what you have done to me
    because of all my sins.
I groan over and over again,
    and I am afraid.”


  1. 1:1 she In this poem the city of Jerusalem is described as a woman.

[a]How deserted(A) lies the city,
    once so full of people!(B)
How like a widow(C) is she,
    who once was great(D) among the nations!
She who was queen among the provinces
    has now become a slave.(E)

Bitterly she weeps(F) at night,
    tears are on her cheeks.
Among all her lovers(G)
    there is no one to comfort her.
All her friends have betrayed(H) her;
    they have become her enemies.(I)

After affliction and harsh labor,
    Judah has gone into exile.(J)
She dwells among the nations;
    she finds no resting place.(K)
All who pursue her have overtaken her(L)
    in the midst of her distress.

The roads to Zion mourn,(M)
    for no one comes to her appointed festivals.
All her gateways are desolate,(N)
    her priests groan,
her young women grieve,
    and she is in bitter anguish.(O)

Her foes have become her masters;
    her enemies are at ease.
The Lord has brought her grief(P)
    because of her many sins.(Q)
Her children have gone into exile,(R)
    captive before the foe.(S)

All the splendor has departed
    from Daughter Zion.(T)
Her princes are like deer
    that find no pasture;
in weakness they have fled(U)
    before the pursuer.

In the days of her affliction and wandering
    Jerusalem remembers all the treasures
    that were hers in days of old.
When her people fell into enemy hands,
    there was no one to help her.(V)
Her enemies looked at her
    and laughed(W) at her destruction.

Jerusalem has sinned(X) greatly
    and so has become unclean.(Y)
All who honored her despise her,
    for they have all seen her naked;(Z)
she herself groans(AA)
    and turns away.

Her filthiness clung to her skirts;
    she did not consider her future.(AB)
Her fall(AC) was astounding;
    there was none to comfort(AD) her.
“Look, Lord, on my affliction,(AE)
    for the enemy has triumphed.”

10 The enemy laid hands
    on all her treasures;(AF)
she saw pagan nations
    enter her sanctuary(AG)
those you had forbidden(AH)
    to enter your assembly.

11 All her people groan(AI)
    as they search for bread;(AJ)
they barter their treasures for food
    to keep themselves alive.
“Look, Lord, and consider,
    for I am despised.”

12 “Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?(AK)
    Look around and see.
Is any suffering like my suffering(AL)
    that was inflicted on me,
that the Lord brought on me
    in the day of his fierce anger?(AM)

13 “From on high he sent fire,
    sent it down into my bones.(AN)
He spread a net(AO) for my feet
    and turned me back.
He made me desolate,(AP)
    faint(AQ) all the day long.

14 “My sins have been bound into a yoke[b];(AR)
    by his hands they were woven together.
They have been hung on my neck,
    and the Lord has sapped my strength.
He has given me into the hands(AS)
    of those I cannot withstand.

15 “The Lord has rejected
    all the warriors in my midst;(AT)
he has summoned an army(AU) against me
    to[c] crush my young men.(AV)
In his winepress(AW) the Lord has trampled(AX)
    Virgin Daughter(AY) Judah.

16 “This is why I weep
    and my eyes overflow with tears.(AZ)
No one is near to comfort(BA) me,
    no one to restore my spirit.
My children are destitute
    because the enemy has prevailed.”(BB)

17 Zion stretches out her hands,(BC)
    but there is no one to comfort her.
The Lord has decreed for Jacob
    that his neighbors become his foes;(BD)
Jerusalem has become
    an unclean(BE) thing(BF) among them.

18 “The Lord is righteous,(BG)
    yet I rebelled(BH) against his command.
Listen, all you peoples;
    look on my suffering.(BI)
My young men and young women
    have gone into exile.(BJ)

19 “I called to my allies(BK)
    but they betrayed me.
My priests and my elders
    perished(BL) in the city
while they searched for food
    to keep themselves alive.

20 “See, Lord, how distressed(BM) I am!
    I am in torment(BN) within,
and in my heart I am disturbed,(BO)
    for I have been most rebellious.(BP)
Outside, the sword bereaves;
    inside, there is only death.(BQ)

21 “People have heard my groaning,(BR)
    but there is no one to comfort me.(BS)
All my enemies have heard of my distress;
    they rejoice(BT) at what you have done.
May you bring the day(BU) you have announced
    so they may become like me.

22 “Let all their wickedness come before you;
    deal with them
as you have dealt with me
    because of all my sins.(BV)
My groans(BW) are many
    and my heart is faint.”


  1. Lamentations 1:1 This chapter is an acrostic poem, the verses of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
  2. Lamentations 1:14 Most Hebrew manuscripts; many Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint He kept watch over my sins
  3. Lamentations 1:15 Or has set a time for me / when he will

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