The Prophet Speaks:
1 א (Alef)1 2
Alas!3 The city once full of people4 The prominent6 lady among the nations The princess8 who once ruled the provinces9 has become10 a forced laborer!11
2 ב (Bet)
She weeps bitterly at night;
tears stream down her cheeks.12
She has no one to comfort her
All her friends have betrayed her;
they have become her enemies.
3 ג (Gimel)
Judah14 has departed into exile under15 affliction and harsh oppression.16 She17 lives among the nations;
she has found no resting place.
All who pursued her overtook her
4 ד (Dalet)
The roads to Zion20 mourn21 because no one22 travels to the festivals.23 All her city gates24 are deserted;25 she is in bitter anguish!28
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
captive32 before the enemy.
6 ו (Vav)
All of Daughter Zion’s33 splendor34
Her leaders became like deer;
they found no pasture,
so they were too exhausted to escape36
7 ז (Zayin)
when40 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 enemies45 gloated over46 her; they sneered47 at her downfall.48
8 ח (Khet)
Jerusalem committed terrible sin;49 therefore she became an object of scorn.50 All who admired51 her have despised her52 because they have seen her nakedness.53 and turns away in shame.55
9 ט (Tet)
Her menstrual flow56 has soiled57 her clothing;58 she did not consider59 the consequences of her sin.60 Her demise61 was astonishing,62
and there was no one to comfort her.
She cried, “Look,63 O Lord, on my64 affliction because my65 enemy boasts!”
10 י (Yod)
Indeed she watched in horror68 as Gentiles69 invaded her holy temple70 – those whom you71 had commanded: “They must not enter72 your assembly place.”73
11 כ (Kaf)
All her people groaned
as they searched for a morsel of bread.74 They exchanged75 their valuables76
“Look, O Lord! Consider79
that I have become worthless!”
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 Lord82 has afflicted me,83 he84 has inflicted it on me when85 he burned with anger.86
13 מ (Mem)
into my bones, and it overcame88 them. He spread out a trapper’s net89 for my feet;
he made me turn back.
He has made me desolate;
I am faint all day long.
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 yoke91 on my neck;92 he has sapped my strength.93 The Lord94 has handed me over95
to those whom I cannot resist.
15 ס (Samek)
He rounded up96 all my mighty ones;97 The Lord98 did this99 in100 my midst. He summoned an assembly101 against me
to shatter my young men.
The Lord has stomped like grapes102 the virgin daughter, Judah.103
16 ע (Ayin)
I weep because of these things;
my eyes104 flow with tears.105 For there is no one in sight who can comfort me106 My children108 are desolated109
because an enemy has prevailed.
The Prophet Speaks:
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 neighbors110 have become his enemies.
Jerusalem has become
like filthy garbage111 in their midst.112
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.
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 had117 searched for food
20 ר (Resh)
Look, O Lord! I am distressed;121 my stomach is in knots!122 My heart is pounding123 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
21 ש (Sin/Shin)
They have heard127 that I groan,
yet there is no one to comfort me.
All my enemies have heard of my trouble;
they are glad that you128 have brought it about.129 Bring about130 the day of judgment131 that you promised132 so that133 they may end up134 like me!
22 ת (Tav)
Let all their wickedness come before you;
just as you have afflicted136 me137 because of all my acts of rebellion.138
For my groans are many,
and my heart is sick with sorrow.139