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 now those who opposed her,
And to her enemies, [she must submit].

By Jehovah, she has been humbled,
For all the irreverence within her.
So her young were led out 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 Then, as she remembers these days of disgrace,
She'll be repulsed [by the thought].

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 them 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 never 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 Lord,
For, she has been so disgraced!

12 All those to whom You were close,
And 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 whole day.

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 ones have now 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 all been carried] away.

Why, 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 them.
For JeruSalem was to serve as a woman,
Who was set apart from the unclean…
Though she still had to live in their midst.

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

So, hear all you peoples and look at my pain,
Since all my young men and my 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 now rejoice at the things that You’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 come upon them…
Glean them as they've gleaned me for my sins!
For, [they are the cause] of my moaning,
And 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 took IsraEl’s glory down 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 daughters 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.

Those who humbled us, He multiplied,
And He 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 in 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 to the ground.

11 Then the tears in my eyes started to fail,
Because my heart became so disturbed.
My glory had just been poured on the ground,
Because of the destruction of the daughters,
And of 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 Your prophets saw all of your folly,
But, they refused to uncover your sins,
And save you from this captive condition.
Yet, they were concerned over your foolish ways,
And they saw 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.
They ask:
‘Isn’t she the city that was called glory’s crown…
The place of joy of the whole earth?’

16 Your enemies opened their mouths,
Then they whistled, as they ground their teeth.
They said, ‘We have swallowed her down,
And this is the day that we planned it…
We found it and [then 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 horns of those who attacked you!

18 Before Jehovah, they yelled out,
‘Let us tear down Zion’s walls,
So they will 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 starving children,
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 go to bed in the streets,
Along with the old men and virgins.
My young men were all taken captive…
And then killed by famine and swords.
Yes, on the day of Your rage,
You slashed and You have spared none.

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

Chapter 3

1 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’s turned His hand.
4 My flesh and my skin, He’s made old,
And He has broken my bones.

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

7 Against me, He has built walls,
Through which I cannot escape…
And He’s weighed me down with brass chains.

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 a bear that is lying in wait,
And a lion that's lurking, unseen.
11 When I rebelled, He chased me down,
And 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 He made me a reason for laughter…
A sacred hymn 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 away peace from my life,
And 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 was in
(Despite my persecution, bitterness, and bile)…
20 I will not be forgotten…
Yes, my life will continue!
21 This is [the thought] that I’ve kept in my heart,
And the reason why I keep on waiting.

22 For the mercies of [God] never end,
And His compassions will never fail.
23 Each morning, they are 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'll wait…
And with their whole souls, search for Him.

26 So it’s good [for us all] to be still,
And await Jehovah's salvation.
27 And it’s also good for a man,
To bear his yoke from his youth.

28 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’ll turn the other cheek when they slap him,
And he will 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,
When He's teaching the sons of men to be humble.
34 And now He has humbled under His feet,
All 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 For Jehovah never said that He’d bring,
Condemnation upon all mankind.
37 Why, who could say such a thing…
Yes, who could bring it about,
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 living men 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 Therefore, we should lift our hearts with our hands,
Toward the Most High in heaven.

42 It's because we're irreverent sinners,
Who could 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…
This is why He destroyed us and not chosen to 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 daughter of my people.

49 I’ll [drink the tears] from my eyes,
And 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 As though we were sparrows, our enemies hunted,
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, '[Please] don't cover Your ears…
Hear my voice and the things that I beg.'
57 Then You came to my aid in the day that I called,
And told me, ‘Don’t be afraid!’

58 O Lord, You have pleaded my case,
And then, You ransomed my soul.
59 You've seen the things that they've done, O 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 heard 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 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 gold,
They came to be looked on as earthenware pots…
As works of 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,
So that their thirst can be quenched.
And though the infants cry out for bread,
It has all been snatched from their mouths.

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

6 For, the lawless ways of the daughters of my people,
Proved to be greater than Sodom…
Yes, that place which 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 can't be recognized 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 down 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 It came, because of the sins of her prophets,
As well as the failures of 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 nations 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 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:
'In his shadow, we'll dwell among nations.'

21 So rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom…
The one who in Uz has resided!
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 you'll go.

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

7 Our fathers had sinned and no longer exist…
They've paid the cost of breaking Your Law.
8 As the result, we’re now slaves,
And we have no one to redeem us.

9 We carry bread at the risk of our lives,
Before the swords in the desert.
10 Our skins now 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 the elders couldn't be recognized.

13 The best men have taken to weeping;
And from carrying 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 Why did You forget to send victory?
Will You forsake us through the rest of our days?
21 Turn back to us, O Jehovah,
Then, when we return, we'll make our days new,
The same as they were long ago!

22 We were pushed away and rejected by You,
Because we provoked You to rage.

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