Lamentations

From the Greek Septuagint text as was used by First Century Christians
A dirge written by JeremiAh after the fall of JeruSalem.

Chapter 1

1 After IsraEl was captured and JeruSalem was desolated, Jeremiah sat down and cried, wailing this lamentation over the city:

O how that city, once filled with people,
Now must sit all alone.
Among the nations, she [sits as] a widow…
She is now ruled and [pays] tribute.

2 She cried and wept all through the night,
As tears rolled down her cheeks;
For, no one is left to offer her comfort
Among all those who once loved her.
Those who cared have now left her,
And her enemies, they've now become.

3 Humiliation has come upon Judah,
For [all of her people] were [taken away],
And she has become just a slave.

Now she finds no way to rest,
Because she [belongs to] the gentiles.
Yes, all those who chased her have caught her,
And [she lives] among those who oppress her.

4 The roads to Zion now mourn,
For no one comes any longer
To celebrate her holiday feasts.

All of her gates have been broken,
All of her Priests must now groan,
And all of her virgins are captives;
So inside herself, she is bitter.
5 For her head is those who opposed her,
And to her enemies, [she must submit].

Her humiliation was brought by Jehovah,
Because she no longer showed Him respect.
So her young were led off as captives
Before those who had oppressed her.

6 The daughters of Zion (her beauty) are gone,
[And others now serve as] their rulers.
As rams without pasture, they left without strength
In front of those who'd pursued them.
7 So, when she remembers these days of disgrace,
She'll be repulsed [by it all].

All of her beautiful things [are now gone]
(Those things that she's had since most ancient times).
For her people fell into the hands of oppressors,
And no one came to their aid.
Then her enemies laughed
When they saw these things being taken away.

8 It was because of JeruSalem's sins
That she was allowed to be battered.
She was humbled by the One who had loved her
When He saw how indecent she was.
So now, she [just sits there and] moans,
And all she does is reflect.

9 Her filth lies there at her feet,
Because she forgot how things would work out.
So, she has now been brought low,
And there’s no place where she can find comfort.

[She cries]: 'O Lord, see how I've been shamed;
For, to my enemies, I now must submit!'

10 Those who oppressed her have reached out their hands
To take her most desirable things.
She watched as the gentiles entered her [Temple]…
Those whom [God] said should not enter
Among the assembly [of His people].

11 Now, all of her people are groaning,
Because they are searching for bread.
Her desirable things, they’ve traded for food,
In order to save their own lives.

Please look upon this, O Jehovah,
For she has been so disgraced!

12 All those to whom You once became close,
But thereafter chose to reject You,
Will see if there’s pain like the pain that I feel.
For, I’ve been humbled by the One who addressed me…
By the Lord, in the day of His rage.

13 To my bones, He has sent fire…
Yes, fire is what He has sent me.
Then He spread out a net for my feet
To turn me back and make me retreat.
He appointed me to be hidden from view,
And to grieve throughout the rest of my days.

14 He was aware of my godless deeds;
For, they were close to my hands…
And then they [crawled] up my neck.
So, all of my strength has now left me,
Since Jehovah's put grief in my hands,
And I am unable to stand.

15 All my mighty have left me,
Along with [my God], Jehovah.
For the time arrived for His visit,
And to break the best of my men.
So the Lord has trodden the winepress
Of the virgin daughter of Judah.

16 It’s over such things that I weep…
It's why my eyes are now filled with tears.
For, those who would offer me comfort
(Those who would bring back my life)
[Have now been carried] away.

All of my sons are now gone,
And by my enemies, I have been conquered.
17 Although Zion has spread out her hands,
There's no one who'll come to console her.

Jehovah gave a warning to Jacob
That He’d surround them by those who’d attack him.
For JeruSalem was meant to serve as a woman
Who was set apart from the unclean…
Though she had to live in their midst.

18 Yet, Jehovah has been proven righteous,
For we're the ones who embittered His mouth.

So, hear all you peoples and look at my pain,
Since all my young men and virgins are gone…
They’ve all been taken as captives!

19 I was misled by those whom I loved…
My priests and my elders had failed me!
They just wanted food for themselves,
So they could save their own lives.

20 Behold, O Lord, my painful condition,
For my stomach is very upset,
And my heart is rolling within me!

I have become very bitter,
For the sword has left me no children…
It’s as though there is death in my home.

21 Listen indeed to my moaning,
For there’s no one to offer me comfort.
Since my enemies have heard of my badness,
They rejoice at the things that they’ve done.
But upon them You’ll bring a day and a time
When they will become just like me!

22 Yes, may their evils fall upon them…
Glean them as they've gleaned me for my sins!
For, [they are the cause] of my moaning,
And they're the thing that bothers my heart.

Chapter 2

1 O how dark was the rage of Jehovah
When it came to the daughter of Zion.
For He pulled IsraEl’s glory from the heights
And threw it down to the ground…
He forgot the stool for His feet
In the day of His rage.

2 [He] didn’t hold back, nor did He spare
Jacob’s beautiful things.
In His rage, He destroyed all the forts
Of the virgin daughter of Judah.
He cut them down to the ground,
And profaned our rulers and king.

3 He broke them to pieces in anger and rage,
Taking all of IsraEl’s strength…
He turned His hand from the enemy’s face
And allowed them to set Jacob ablaze
To consume everything that's around him.

4 As an enemy, He stretched tight His bow,
And as an opponent, he stiffened His hand
To destroy all the things that my eyes had desired.
On the Tents of the daughters of Zion,
He poured out the flames of His rage.

5 So Jehovah became our enemy…
He sunk IsraEl and all its estates.
He also destroyed all its forts…
The strongholds of the daughters of Judah.

He multiplied those who were humbling us,
And increased the numbers of those being humbled.

6 Like a grapevine, He spread out His Tent,
And His holiday feasts, He corrupted.
He forgot all the things He’d appointed for Zion…
The holiday feasts and the Sabbaths.
He did this, because we'd provoked Him…
Then He threatened our king and our priests in His rage.

7 [He] thrust away His own Altar…
His Holy Place, He brushed aside.
So our enemies broke down our walls,
And shouted within the House of the Lord
As we used to do on our holiday feasts.

8 Jehovah made plans to ruin the walls
Of the virgin daughter of Zion.
First, He stretched out His ruler,
Then His hand sent a trampling upon us,
Which caused us to mourn around all our walls,
Because the walls were destroyed,
9 And the gates had been cut to the ground…
They broke and destroyed the bars for our gates!

So now, her king and her rulers
Have been scattered among all the nations,
And there is no longer a Law,
Nor do our prophets see visions.

10 They silently sit on the ground
(The elders of the daughter of Zion),
As they throw dust on their heads…
As they are dressing in sackcloth…
As the heads of JeruSalem's virgins
Are being pushed down to the ground.

11 Then the tears in my eyes started to fail,
Because my heart has become so disturbed.
My glory had just been poured on the ground,
By the destruction of daughters
And nursing mothers with babies,
There in our city square.

12 They demanded grain and wine from the mothers
When they were as weak as the wounded.
Then, in those squares, they poured out the lives
[Of the babies] that nursed at their breasts.

13 And now, what more can I say,
O virgin daughter of JeruSalem…
To what can you be compared?
Who can come and bring you salvation,
O virgin daughter of Zion…
Since the cup of destruction was widened for you,
Who can now bring you healing?

14 Though your prophets saw all of your folly,
They refused to uncover your sins
And save you from this captive condition…
Yes, they were concerned over your foolish ways,
And they realized that you had to be purged!

15 Now, people clap hands as they’re passing,
And shake their heads as they whistle
Over JeruSalem’s daughter.
‘Isn’t she the city that was called glory’s crown…
The place of joy of the whole earth?’

16 But your enemies opened their mouths,
And they whistled, as they ground their teeth.
They said, ‘We will swallow her down,
And this is the day that we planned it…
We found it and [we made it happen]!’

17 So Jehovah did just as He planned…
He finished what He said must be done…
The things that He said [He would do] long ago.
So, He didn’t spare, He demolished…
He brought your enemies joy over you,
And raised the trumpets of those who attacked you!

18 Before Jehovah, they yelled out,
‘Let us tear down Zion’s walls
And make them stream tears day and night!
Don't allow them the time to get sober,
Or to let their eyes become still!’

19 So, during the night, awaken and think…
At the start of each watch, pour out your hearts
Before the face of Jehovah!
Raise your hands up before Him
On behalf of the children who are starving,
That are found on every street corner!

20 Behold, O Lord… see what You’ve gleaned!
Should women eat the fruit of their bellies…
Should the babies be murdered as they’re nursing on breasts…
Will you kill the priests and the prophets
Inside the Holy Place of Jehovah?

21 Young boys must now sleep in the streets,
Along with the old men and virgins.
My young men were all taken captive,
And then killed by the famine and swords.
For, in the day of Your rage,
You slashed and You have spared no one!

22 As a festival day (as no other day),
You called to those who were living around us.
Then, because of Your rage, none were saved…
They left no one left behind…
My enemies were filled, and You won.

Chapter 3

1 Now I am a man who is helpless,
For the rod of His rage has been laid upon me.
2 He took me, then led me away
Into the darkness (not into the light).

3 Throughout the rest of my days,
Against me, He has turned His hand.
4 My flesh and my skin, He’s made old,
And He has broken my bones.

5 Against me, He’s now built [a wall],
And encircled my head with great trouble.
6 Inside a dark place, He has put me,
As though I'd been dead through the ages.

7 Against me, He has constructed a wall
Through which I cannot escape,
And with a brass chain, weighed me down.

8 Although I cry out and yell,
He has shut out my prayers…
9 He’s blocked all my roads and my ways!

10 He’s become a bear that is lying in wait,
And a lion that's lurking, unseen.
11 When I rebelled, He chased me down,
And He caused me to no longer be…
He established me to be wiped away.

12 He has stretched tight His bow,
And set me on a stone as His target.
13 He shot poison arrows into my kidneys,
14 And made me a source of His laughter…
A psalm throughout the whole day.

15 With bitterness, He has now filled me,
And bile, He gave me to drink.
16 With a small rock, He knocked out my teeth,
And He gave me ashes to eat.

17 He has pushed peace out of my life,
And He made me forget all the good things I had.
18 So I said that my victory had perished,
As had my hope in Jehovah.

19 But, this is what I remembered:
Despite the state I came to be in
(Despite my persecution, bitterness, and bile),
20 I have not been forgotten…
Yes, my life will go on!
21 This is [the thought] that I’ve kept in my heart,
And the reason why I continue to wait.

22 For the mercies of [God] never end,
And His compassions will never fail.
23 Each morning, once more, they're renewed,
And on Him, we always can rely.

24 ‘The portion that's mine is Jehovah,’ said my soul.
‘And because of this, I’ll keep waiting.
25 For Jehovah is good to all those who wait,
And with their whole souls, keep searching for Him.

26 So it’s good [for us all] to be quiet,
And await Jehovah's salvation.
27 And it’s also good for each man
To bear his yoke from the time he is young.

28 Yes, he should sit all alone
And quietly carry his load;
29 Then, put his mouth to the dust,
And believe that there is still hope.

30 He should turn the other cheek when they slap him,
And he must accept all their scorn.
31 For, [in his heart], he'll know that Jehovah
Won’t push [him] away through the ages.
32 Since, in His abundance of mercy,
He shows pity to all who are humble.

33 Harsh replies won't come from His heart,
As He teaches sons of men to be humble.
34 And now He has humbled the feet
Of those who've been carried away from this land.

35 From before His face in the heights,
He’s removed the decisions of men.
36 But Jehovah never said that He’d bring
Condemnation upon all mankind.
37 And who could ever say such a thing…
Yes, who could cause it to happen
Without Jehovah saying it's so?

38 From out of His mouth in the heights
Can come what's good or what's bad.
39 So, why do the living continue to grumble
At others concerning their sins?

40 For before Him, our ways are stretched and examined
To see how we can return to the Lord.
41 So, we should lift our hearts with our hands
Toward the Most High in heaven.

42 It's because we're irreverent sinners
Who should not be forgiven,
43 That we have been wrapped in His rage…
It's because we chose to reject Him
That He decided to send us away…
Why He chose to destroy us, not spare us.

44 So He wrapped Himself in a cloud,
And closed His eyes to our prayers…
45 Yes, this is why He pushed us away.

46 So against us, our enemies [shouted],
47 Which made us be fearful and stunned…
And then, our destruction arrived.
48 So, tears have poured from my eyes,
For the destruction of the daughters of my people.

49 But I’ll [drink the tears] from my eyes,
And I'll not hold back or be quiet
50 Until the time that I can look through,
And see Jehovah in the heavens.

51 Now my eyes look back on my life in great rage
For [what’s happened to] the daughters of my city.

52 By our enemies, we were hunted like sparrows,
53 And now they have ended my life…
They tossed me into a grave,
And covered it up with a stone.
54 Then, as water dripped down on my head, I said:
‘I have been thrown away.’

55 So I called on Your Name, O Jehovah,
From out of the lowest of pits.
56 I said, 'Don't cover Your ears…
Hear my voice and the things that I'm begging.'
57 Then You came to my aid on the day that I called,
And You said to me, ‘Don’t be afraid!’

58 O Lord, You have pleaded my case,
And then You ransomed my soul.
59 For You've seen the things that they've done, O my Lord;
So, judge them on my behalf.

60 You've beheld their vengeance upon me,
And the plans that they've plotted against me.
61 You listened to their scornful words,
And saw the [things that they did]…
62 You've heard from the lips of those rising against me
And You knew what they thought all day long.
63 For, when they sit down and when they arise,
You can see it all through their own eyes!

64 O Lord;
Will You will pay them back with what they deserve
According to the works of their hands?
65 Curse them for all the trouble they’ve caused,
66 Then pursue them in rage and remove them
From everywhere under the heavens, O Lord.

Chapter 4

1 O how the gold’s lost its luster,
And how the silver's been tarnished;
For the [Temple’s] holy stones have been tossed in the streets.

2 Because the sons of Zion esteemed
And gained all their courage from things made of gold,
They came to be looked on as earthenware pots,
And as works in the hands of a potter.

3 Then, nursing cubs were stripped from the breasts
By those who'd become like the Dragon,
And the daughters of my people were abandoned
Like sparrows that are lost in the desert.

4 Now the tongues of the nursing, stick to the breasts,
In hope that their thirst can be quenched.
And as the infants are crying for bread,
It is being snatched from their mouths.

5 So from those who once ate the best,
All been taken away;
And those who were raised wearing purple,
Are found in the streets embracing manure.

6 For the lawless ways of my people's daughters
Proved to be greater than Sodom…
That place that was once wiped away,
And which no one tried to prevent.

7 Her Nazarites were [brighter] than snow…
Radiant and whiter than milk…
Yes, even better than sapphires!
8 But now, their appearance is darker than soot,
And they're unrecognized in the streets.
For their skin is now stuck to their bones,
And they have dried up like lumber.

9 It was better for those who were killed by the sword
Than for those who've been pierced by starvation…
Those in want of the produce of fields.

10 And the hands of women [who were known for their] pity,
Then boiled their own children as food…
Amid the destruction of the daughters of my people,
11 Jehovah completed His rage.

Then, as He poured out the wrath of His rage,
He lit a fire throughout Zion,
Which burned her to her foundations.

12 To the kings of the earth who lived in that time,
It was hard to believe…
That an enemy could enter JeruSalem’s gates,
And bring so much devastation.

13 But it happened because of the sins of her prophets,
As well as the failures of her priests,
And the shedding of innocent blood in her midst.

14 Then, in her streets, her watchmen were stunned;
For, they became [spattered] with blood…
It was something they couldn't avoid,
Since the clothes that they wore had to touch it.
15 So people started shouting, ‘Get away… get away…
Because you're all now unclean!
Get away… get away… do not touch them!’

Then, after we fled and wandered about,
The gentiles said, ‘You can’t stay here!’
Yes the gentiles shouted at us:
‘There's no way that we want you to come here!'

16 Though our portion was the person of [God],
He no longer kept watch over us,
For the people had shown no respect
To their elders or Priests.

17 So our eyes had started to fail
As we were searching for aid…
They just watched us and offered no help…
A nation with no one to save them.

18 Now, stay away from our city squares,
For they are hunting our young…
Our time has approached and our days are fulfilled,
So our end is now close at hand!

19 Those who chased us were even more agile
Than eagles [that attack from] the mountains…
They just sat there and waited for us
From their perches high over the desert.

20 Jehovah’s anointed (our life’s breath and lord)
Has also been seized and carried away
Because we became so corrupt…
Yes, this one about whom we once said:
'Among the nations, we'll dwell in his shadow.'

21 So rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom…
The one who's residing in Uz!
Yet you'll also go into the cup of the Lord,
Where, after you're drunk, you'll be poured.’

22 O great daughter of Zion;
Your lawless acts have now reached their end,
And [God] won't be in the places where you will be sent.

And you, O daughter of Edom;
He’ll also examine your lawless ways,
And reveal your unrighteous deeds.

Chapter 5

1 O Jehovah; remember what has happened to us…
Look down and see how we have been scorned!
2 Our inheritance has been [given] to strangers,
And our houses have been offered to gentiles.

3 Since we don't have fathers, we're orphans,
And all of our mothers are widows.
4 So now, we must pay for our water,
And we must barter for wood.

5 Because we were closely pursued,
We became tired and we couldn't find rest.
6 Then to Egypt, we held out our hands,
And also to Assyria's bounty.

7 Since our fathers had sinned, they are gone…
They've paid the cost of breaking Your Law.
8 As the result, we’re now slaves,
And there is no one to redeem us.

9 Now we carry bread at the risk of our lives
Before the swords in the desert,
10 And our skins are dark, as though oven baked,
And they have shriveled from famine.

11 They've [raped] the women of Zion,
And the virgins in the cities of Judah.
12 Rulers were hung by their hands,
And elders couldn't be recognized.

13 So the best of men are now weeping,
And from hauling wood, the young men are weak.
14 Our elders no longer sit at our gates,
And our [singers] no longer sing songs.
15 So, what once brought joy and dance to our hearts,
Has now been turned into dirges.

16 It is because of our sins
That the crowns on our heads reflect woe.
17 The grief in our hearts is more grievous,
And our eyes have become even darker.

18 Mount Zion has now been destroyed,
And it looks like foxes ran through it.
19 But You, O Jehovah, have lived through the ages
Through generations of generations, Your throne has remained.

20 So, why did You forget to make us victorious,
And will we be forsaken through the rest of our days?

21 Turn back to us please, O Jehovah,
Then, when we return, we'll make our days new
The same as they were long ago!
22 But we were pushed away and rejected by You,
Because we provoked You to rage.

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