Lamentations 1
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The Prophet Speaks:

א (Alef)

1Alas! The city once full of people

now sits all alone!

The prominent lady among the nations

has become a widow!

The princess who once ruled the provinces

has become a forced laborer!

ב (Bet)

2She weeps bitterly at night;

tears stream down her cheeks.

She has no one to comfort her

among all her lovers.

All her friends have betrayed her;

they have become her enemies.

ג (Gimel)

3Judah has departed into exile

under affliction and harsh oppression.

She lives among the nations;

she has found no resting place.

All who pursued her overtook her

in narrow straits.

ד (Dalet)

4The roads to Zion mourn

because no one travels to the festivals.

All her city gates are deserted;

her priests groan.

Her virgins grieve;

she is in bitter anguish!

ה (He)

5Her foes subjugated her;

her enemies are at ease.

For the Lord afflicted her

because of her many acts of rebellion.

Her children went away

captive before the enemy.

ו (Vav)

6All of Daughter Zion’s splendor

has departed.

Her leaders became like deer;

they found no pasture,

so they were too exhausted to escape

from the hunter.

ז (Zayin)

7Jerusalem remembers,

when she became a poor homeless person,

all her treasures

that she owned in days of old.

When her people fell into an enemy’s grip,

none of her allies came to her rescue.

Her enemies gloated over her;

they sneered at her downfall.

ח (Khet)

8Jerusalem committed terrible sin;

therefore she became an object of scorn.

All who admired her have despised her

because they have seen her nakedness.

She groans aloud

and turns away in shame.

ט (Tet)

9Her menstrual flow has soiled her clothing;

she did not consider the consequences of her sin.

Her demise was astonishing,

and there was no one to comfort her.

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

because my enemy boasts!”

י (Yod)

10An enemy grabbed

all her valuables.

Indeed she watched in horror as Gentiles

invaded her holy temple –

those whom you had commanded:

“They must not enter your assembly place.”

כ (Kaf)

11All her people groaned

as they searched for a morsel of bread.

They exchanged their valuables

for just enough food

to stay alive.

Jerusalem Speaks:

“Look, O Lord! Consider

that I have become worthless!”

ל (Lamed)

12Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by on the road?

Look and see!

Is there any pain like mine?

The Lord has afflicted me,

he has inflicted it on me

when he burned with anger.

מ (Mem)

13He sent down fire

into my bones, and it overcame them.

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

he made me turn back.

He has made me desolate;

I am faint all day long.

נ (Nun)

14My sins are bound around my neck like a yoke;

they are fastened together by his hand.

He has placed his yoke on my neck;

he has sapped my strength.

The Lord has handed me over

to those whom I cannot resist.

ס (Samek)

15He rounded up all my mighty ones;

The Lord did this in my midst.

He summoned an assembly against me

to shatter my young men.

The Lord has stomped like grapes

the virgin daughter, Judah.

ע (Ayin)

16I weep because of these things;

my eyes flow with tears.

For there is no one in sight who can comfort me

or encourage me.

My children are desolated

because an enemy has prevailed.

The Prophet Speaks:

פ (Pe)

17Zion spread out her hands,

but there is no one to comfort her.

The Lord has issued a decree against Jacob;

his neighbors have become his enemies.

Jerusalem has become

like filthy garbage in their midst.

Jerusalem Speaks:

צ (Tsade)

18The Lord is right to judge me!

Yes, I rebelled against his commands.

Please listen, all you nations,

and look at my suffering!

My young women and men

have gone into exile.

ק (Qof)

19I called for my lovers,

but they had deceived me.

My priests and my elders

perished in the city.

Truly they had searched for food

to keep themselves alive.

ר (Resh)

20Look, O Lord! I am distressed;

my stomach is in knots!

My heart is pounding inside me.

Yes, I was terribly rebellious!

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

Inside the house death is present.

ש (Sin/Shin)

21They have heard that I groan,

yet there is no one to comfort me.

All my enemies have heard of my trouble;

they are glad that you have brought it about.

Bring about the day of judgment that you promised

so that they may end up like me!

ת (Tav)

22Let all their wickedness come before you;

afflict them

just as you have afflicted me

because of all my acts of rebellion.

For my groans are many,

and my heart is sick with sorrow.

Jeremiah 52
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