The Sorrows of Captive Zion
1 1 How the city sits solitary, that was full of people!
She has become as a widow, who was great among the nations!
She who was a princess among the provinces is become tributary! 2 She weeps sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks;
among all her lovers she has none to comfort her:
All her friends have dealt treacherously with her; they are become her enemies. 3 Judah is gone into captivity because of affliction, and because of great servitude;
she dwells among the nations, she finds no rest:
all her persecutors 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 do sigh:
her virgins are afflicted, and she herself is in bitterness. 5 Her adversaries are become the head, her enemies prosper;
for Yahweh has afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions:
her young children are gone into captivity before the adversary. 6 From the daughter of Zion all her majesty is departed:
her princes are become like harts that find no pasture,
they are gone without strength before the pursuer. 7 Jerusalem remembers in the days of her affliction and of her miseries all her pleasant things that were from the days of old:
when her people fell into the hand of the adversary, and none did help her,
The adversaries saw her, they did mock at her desolations. 8 Jerusalem has grievously sinned; therefore she is become as an unclean thing;
all who honored her despise her, because they have seen her nakedness:
yes, she sighs, and turns backward. 9 Her filthiness was in her skirts; she didn’t remember her latter end;
therefore is she come down wonderfully; she has no comforter:
see, Yahweh, my affliction; for the enemy has magnified himself. 10 The adversary has spread out his hand on all her pleasant things:
for she has seen that the nations are entered into her sanctuary,
concerning whom you commanded that they should not enter into your assembly. 11 All her people sigh, they seek bread;
they have given their pleasant things for food to refresh the soul:
look, Yahweh, and see; for I am become abject.
12 Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?
Look, and see if there be any sorrow like my sorrow, which is brought on me,
With which Yahweh has afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger. 13 From on high has he sent fire into my bones, and it prevails against them;
He has spread a net for my feet, he has turned me back:
He has made me desolate and faint all the day. 14 The yoke of my transgressions is bound by his hand;
They are knit together, they are come up on my neck; he has made my strength to fail:
The Lord has delivered me into their hands, against whom I am not able to stand. 15 The Lord has set at nothing all my mighty men in the midst of me;
He has called a solemn assembly against me to crush my young men:
The Lord has trodden as in a winepress the virgin daughter of Judah. 16 For these things I weep; my eye, my eye runs down with water;
Because the comforter who should refresh my soul is far from me:
My children are desolate, because the enemy has prevailed. 17 Zion spreads forth her hands; there is none to comfort her;
Yahweh has commanded concerning Jacob, that those who are around him should be his adversaries:
Jerusalem is among them as an unclean thing. 18 Yahweh is righteous; for I have rebelled against his commandment:
Please hear all you peoples, and see my sorrow:
My virgins and my young men are gone into captivity. 19 I called for my lovers, but they deceived me:
My priests and my elders gave up the spirit in the city,
While they sought them food to refresh their souls. 20 See, Yahweh; for I am in distress; my heart is troubled;
My heart is turned within me; for I have grievously rebelled:
Abroad the sword bereaves, at home there is as death. 21 They have heard that I sigh; there is none to comfort me;
All my enemies have heard of my trouble; they are glad that you have done it:
You will bring the day that you have proclaimed, and they shall be like me. 22 Let all their wickedness come before you;
Do to them, as you have done to me for all my transgressions:
For my sighs are many, and my heart is faint.
Zion's Sorrows Come from the LORD
2 1 How has the Lord covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in his anger!
He has cast down from heaven to the earth the beauty of Israel,
And hasn’t remembered his footstool in the day of his anger. 2 The Lord has swallowed up all the habitations of Jacob, and has not pitied:
He has thrown down in his wrath the strongholds of the daughter of Judah;
He has brought them down to the ground; he has profaned the kingdom and its princes. 3 He has cut off in fierce anger all the horn of Israel;
He has drawn back his right hand from before the enemy:
He has burned up Jacob like a flaming fire, which devours all around. 4 He has bent his bow like an enemy, he has stood with his right hand as an adversary,
Has killed all that were pleasant to the eye:
In the tent of the daughter of Zion he has poured out his wrath like fire. 5 The Lord is become as an enemy, he has swallowed up Israel;
He has swallowed up all her palaces, he has destroyed his strongholds;
He has multiplied in the daughter of Judah mourning and lamentation. 6 He has violently taken away his tabernacle, as if it were of a garden; he has destroyed his place of assembly:
Yahweh has caused solemn assembly and Sabbath to be forgotten in Zion,
Has despised in the indignation of his anger the king and the priest. 7 The Lord has cast off his altar, he has abhorred his sanctuary;
He has given up into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces:
They have made a noise in the house of Yahweh, as in the day of a solemn assembly. 8 Yahweh has purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion;
He has stretched out the line, he has not withdrawn his hand from destroying;
He has made the rampart and wall to lament; they languish together. 9 Her gates are sunk into the ground; he has destroyed and broken her bars:
Her king and her princes are among the nations where the law is not;
Yes, her prophets find no vision from Yahweh.
10 The elders of the daughter of Zion sit on the ground, they keep silence;
They have cast up dust on their heads; they have girded themselves with sackcloth:
The virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground. 11 My eyes do fail with tears, my heart is troubled;
My liver is poured on the earth, because of the destruction of the daughter of my people,
Because the young children and the infants swoon in the streets of the city. 12 They tell their mothers, Where is grain and wine?
When they swoon as the wounded in the streets of the city,
When their soul is poured out into their mothers’ bosom. 13 What shall I testify to you? what shall I liken to you, daughter of Jerusalem?
What shall I compare to you, that I may comfort you, virgin daughter of Zion?
For your breach is great like the sea: who can heal you? 14 Your prophets have seen for you false and foolish visions;
They have not uncovered your iniquity, to bring back your captivity,
but have seen for you false oracles and causes of banishment. 15 All that pass by clap their hands at you.
They hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, saying,
Is this the city that men called The perfection of beauty, The joy of the whole earth? 16 All your enemies have opened their mouth wide against you;
They hiss and gnash the teeth; they say, We have swallowed her up;
Certainly this is the day that we looked for; we have found, we have seen it. 17 Yahweh has done that which he purposed; he has fulfilled his word that he commanded in the days of old;
He has thrown down, and has not pitied:
He has caused the enemy to rejoice over you; he has exalted the horn of your adversaries. 18 Their heart cried to the Lord:
wall of the daughter of Zion, let tears run down like a river day and night;
Give yourself no respite; don’t let the apple of your eye cease. 19 Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the watches;
Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord:
Lift up your hands toward him for the life of your young children, that faint for hunger at the head of every street. 20 Look, Yahweh, and see to whom you have done thus!
Shall the women eat their fruit, the children that are dandled in the hands?
Shall the priest and the prophet be killed in the sanctuary of the Lord? 21 The youth and the old man lie on the ground in the streets;
My virgins and my young men are fallen by the sword:
You have killed them in the day of your anger; you have slaughtered, and not pitied. 22 You have called, as in the day of a solemn assembly, my terrors on every side;
There was none that escaped or remained in the day of Yahweh’s anger:
Those that I have dandled and brought up has my enemy consumed.
Hope of Relief through God's Mercy
3 1 I am the man that has seen affliction by the rod of his wrath. 2 He has led me and caused me to walk in darkness, and not in light. 3 Surely against me he turns his hand again and again all the day. 4 My flesh and my skin has he made old; he has broken my bones. 5 He has built against me, and surrounded me with gall and travail. 6 He has made me to dwell in dark places, as those that have been long dead. 7 He has walled me about, that I can’t go forth; he has made my chain heavy. 8 Yes, when I cry, and call for help, he shuts out my prayer. 9 He has walled up my ways with cut stone; he has made my paths crooked. 10 He is to me as a bear lying in wait, as a lion in secret places. 11 He has turned aside my ways, and pulled me in pieces; he has made me desolate. 12 He has bent his bow, and set me as a mark for the arrow. 13 He has caused the shafts of his quiver to enter into my kidneys. 14 I am become a derision to all my people, and their song all the day. 15 He has filled me with bitterness, he has sated me with wormwood. 16 He has also broken my teeth with gravel stones; he has covered me with ashes. 17 You have removed my soul far off from peace; I forgot prosperity. 18 I said, My strength is perished, and my expectation from Yahweh. 19 Remember my affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall. 20 My soul still remembers them, and is bowed down within me.
21 This I recall to my mind; therefore have I hope. 22 It is of Yahweh’s loving kindnesses that we are not consumed, because his compassion doesn’t fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 Yahweh is my portion, says my soul; therefore will I hope in him. 25 Yahweh is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him. 26 It is good that a man should hope and quietly wait for the salvation of Yahweh. 27 It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. 28 Let him sit alone and keep silence, because he has laid it on him. 29 Let him put his mouth in the dust, if so be there may be hope. 30 Let him give his cheek to him who strikes him; let him be filled full with reproach. 31 For the Lord will not cast off forever. 32 For though he cause grief, yet he will have compassion according to the multitude of his loving kindnesses. 33 For he does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men. 34 To crush under foot all the prisoners of the earth, 35 To turn aside the right of a man before the face of the Most High, 36 To subvert a man in his cause, the Lord doesn’t approve.