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For other English-language translations of this work, see Lamentations (Bible).
Lamentations by Unknown, translated by Wikisource
Free Bible
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Chapter 1[edit]

1 How it sat abandoned, the city of many people--- she was as a widow; greatest of the peoples, emissary to the nations, she became a tax.

2 She will cry tears at night, and her tear-drop is on her cheek--- she has no comforter among all that love her. All her friends betrayed her, became her enemies.

3 Yehuda (Judea) exiled through torments, through overwork--- she settled among the foreign, and found no resting place. All pursuers chased her down, between the straits.

4 The paths of Tzion (Zion) are in mourning, and none attend the event. Her gates are desolate, her priests sigh; her virgins touched, and she is bitter.

5 Her troubles are at a head, her enemies at peace, because Yahweh hurt her for her many crimes, her toddlers taken captive, before the foe.

6 And all her splendor has escaped from the daughter of Zion, her ministers were as does who couldn't find a pasture; and exhausted walk before a pursuer.

7 Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) remembered her days of agony and rebellion, all her admirers from former days; In the fall of her people in the hand of the foe, and none help her-- see her straits, mirth at her desertion.

8 Jerusalem has sinned a sin, for this she became menstrual,[1]. All that respected her, devalued her, because they have seen her nudity, and she also sighed, and turned back.

9 Her uncleanliness is in her fringes, she did not remember aftermaths, and came down wonders, she has no comforter. Yahweh see my torment, for an enemy grows.

10 In siege his hand in broke in to all her niceties: because she saw foreigners in her holy temple, those you have commanded should not come to you in droves.

11 All her nation sighs, asks for bread. Those gave their auspices in food to redeem the soul; Yahweh see, glance down, because I've become worthless.

12 Not at all of you, those passers-by did glance and see, if there is a hurt as the hurt which bereaves me: which Yahweh delivered, the day he snarled his lips.

13 From above, sent fire in my bones, brought them down; spread a net for my legs, sent me back-- gave me a wasteland, all day enfeebled.

14 My yoke of crimes is fastened by his hand, they assembled knit upon my neck--- he fails my strength; Lord, you made it, so that I could not myself stand up.

15 My Lord removed all the titans amidst me. Announced an event for breaking virile men. As a wine-press my lord stepped over the virgin daughters of Judea.

16 For those I do cry, eyes my eyes drop water, because far from me is any comforter, soul rescuer; my sons were desolate because the enemy has won.

17 Zion spread in her hands, she has no comforter, Yahweh commanded Ya'akov (Jacob) troubles wind around him, Jerusalem becomes menstrual between them.

18 Righteous is Yahweh, whose mouth I have spited. Listen now, all people, and witness my pain, my virgins, my strong men, they have gone captive.

19 I called on my lovers, they cheated me, My priests and elders in the city perished: because they asked for food for themselves, and redeemed their souls.

20 And Yahweh sees me besieged, my intestines ache severely, my heart tumbles within, because I have risen up, rebelled. Outside, all of the sword, at home, as death.

21 They heard I will deeply sigh, I have no comforter--- all my enemies heard my woes and gladdened; because you have done it. You bring your day of calling, and they will be like me.

22 Let their evil come before you, and at them fury, as you have furied at me for all my crimes--- because my sighs are many, and my heart enfeebled.

Chapter 2[edit]

1 How will my Lord's wrath cloud, against the daughter of Zion, threw her from heaven to Earth, glory of Israel, and did not pay heed to his footrest on the day of his wrath.

2 My lord has swallowed up, not sparing, all Ya'acob's pretty ones, destroyed in passing the forts of the daughters of Yehudah, arrived to the land, defiled a kingdom, and her ministers.

3 Cut down in wrath all the horn of Israel--- drew back his right hand, from in front of the enemy, and burned of Ya*akov's as a fire's flame eats its surroundings.

4 Drawn his bow like an enemy, raised his right hand like a foe, and killed all the beauties, in the tent of the daughter of Zion, spilled his fury like fire.

5 My lord became as an enemy, swallowed Israel, swallowed all her castles, slaughtered his strongholds. And has multiplied in the daughter of Yehuda her plaints and her complaints.

6 An he cut-down his tabernacle like garden-leaves, slashed his event-place, Yahweh erased from Zion holiday and Sabbath. And he constricted in his fury the king and the priest.

7 My lord neglected his altar, aired out his temple, delivered to enemy hands the fortress-wall of its palaces, in the palace of Yahweh, a voice was raised as on a holiday.

8 And Yahweh thought to lay waste to the fortress of the daughter of Zion, he stretched a line, did not withdraw his hand, swallowed her; and the wall and rampart mourn together, in misery.

9 Her gates drowned in the Earth, her armor is lost and broken; her king and ministers are amongst the foreign, without doctrine, even her prophets found no prophecy from Yahweh.

10 They sit and will resemble the soil, the elders of the daughter of Zion--- they raised ashes on their head, wore sacks as belts, lower into the earth first, the virgins of Jerusalem.

11 My eyes' tears ended, my intestines ache severely, my liver spills to Earth, over the fracture of the daughter of my nation: enshrouded is toddler and infant in the common streets.

12 To their mothers they will say, where is wheat and wine? while wrapped as an empty space, in the streets of the city, their souls spilling towards their mother's chest.

13 What shall I attest, what will I liken you to, daughter of Jerusalem, what will I compare to you, and I will comfort you, virgin of the house of Zion: because your fracture is as big as the sea, who will heal you?

14 Your prophets envisioned for you futility and idleness, they did not not uncover your tribulations, to return your captivity,and they prophesied for you futile pilgrimage and exiles.

15 They clasped hands for you, all the passers-by, whistled and shook their heads, towards the daughter of Jerusalem: is this the city they said encompasses beauty--- a celebration for all the land.

16 They opened their mouth to you, all your enemies, whistled and gnashed their teeth, said "we have ingested her! But this is the day that we have hoped for, found, seen!"

17 Yahweh did what he schemed, enacted his word which he commanded in early days, destroyed, did not spare, and he imbued your enemy with joy, raised your sorrow's horn.

18 Their hearts shouted to my lord, the fortress of the daughter of Jerusalem bring down tears like a stream, day and night, don't give arrest, let your pupil no surcease.

19 Rise, cavort at night until the first guard, pour out your heart like water, in witness of my lord, raise your palms to him, for your infants' souls, shrouded in hunger, at head of every street.

20 Yahweh sees and looks over, for whom have you wailed so? Would women eat their fruit, the wailing infants held close, Would a priest and a prophet be struck down in the temple of the lord?

21 Laid down on the earth all but youths and elders, my virgins and my virile men fell to the sword, you killed on the day of your wrath, you slaughtered, showed no mercy.

22 Call like a holiday my hosts around me, and there wasn't in the day of Yahweh's wrath a single refugee or survivor; those I nurtured and multiplied, my enemy destroyed.

Chapter 3[edit]

1 I'm the guy that saw misery, in the staff of his wrath.

2 He will guide me, walk me, to darkness not light.

3 Only to me does he repeatedly invert his hand, all day.

4 Rotted my flesh and skin, fractured my bones.

5 Gathered up to me, and surrounded, venom and exhaustion.

6 He let me dwell in the darkness, as do the dead to the world.

7 Fenced me around and I cannot get out, made heavy my chains

8 If I were to wail and plead, he has blocked up my prayer

9 Fenced my paths with boulders, distorted my trails;

10 A stalking bear is he to me, a lion in hiding

11 My path he turns and deserts, placed me deserted

13 Bent back his bow and stood me, as an arrow's target

14 Laid into my kidneys, the sons of his quiver.

15 I became a laughingstock to all my people, their music making all day,

16 He sated me full with bitters, sated me drink with pulped-grass squeezings,

17 Made my teeth crush pebbles, coated me with ashes

18 And my soul will neglect its peace, wellness passed away

19 And I say I have lost my excellence, my motivation, from Yahweh

20 The memory of my torments and my despair, of wormwood and venom

21 Remember well, and save my soul

22 The kind acts of Yahweh did not finish, his mercies did not end

23 As new, in the mornings, multiplied, is your faith.

24 My share is Yahweh, my soul said, therefore I will expect of him.

25 Yahweh is good to those that place hope in him, our souls you'll demand

26 Good and effective and silent, for Yahweh's salvation

27 Good for the man that he bears the yoke in his youth

28 Will sit alone and keep silent, because that's his appointment

29 Will give his mouth to ashes, maybe there's hope

30 Will give his cheek to those who beat him, will vow the unmentionable

31 Because my lord will not neglect forever,

32 to the suffering, he will have mercy, as he's plentiful in mercy.

33 because he did not torment willingly, and afflict sons of man,

34 To crush under his feet, all the prisoners of the Earth,

35 Let the judgement of man deviate opposite that of the higher plane

36 To distort a man in his conflicts, my lord didn't see fit

37 Who said 'So it will be, but the Lord didn't command it'?

38 You won't hear from the higher source, about the wrongs and the right.

39 What will a living man agonize over? A guy against his sins.

40 we will find our way, investigate it, and return onto Yahweh,

41 Lift our hearts in our palms, to God, to the sky

42 Rested, and transgressed, and rebelled, you did not forgive.

43 you entombed this in anger and pursued us; you killed, you did not show mercy.

44 You made us slough and refuse, in the judgement of the nations.

45 They turned their mouths against us, all our enemies.

46 to us was fear and the pit, destitution and fracture

47 My eyes run waterfalls, over the fracture in my nation's daughter.

48 My eyes water and didn't stop, no surcease.

50 Until Yahweh from the sky will cast eyes and see

51 My eyes torment my soul, over all the daughters of my city

52 Hunted me as a hunted bird, my enemies did, for nothing.

53 They threw my life into a pit, and cast stones at me.

54 poured water on my head, I said, I am shredded

55 I called your name, Yahweh, from an underground pit

56 My voice you heard, don't deafen your ears to my spirit, my expression

57 You came near on the day I called you, you said "Don't fear".

58 My Lord, you multiplied my soul into much, you liberated my life.

59 Yahweh, you saw my contortions, you judged my tribulations.

60 You saw all their vengeance, all their calculations over me.

61 You heard the unmentionables, all their thoughts of me.

Chapter 4[edit]

1 How has gold tarnished, the precious gold has changed; The holy stones spill at the head of every street.

2 The dearest sons of Zion, whose value is as gold, how could they considered as earthenware, made by maker's hands.

3 Even the jackals extend their breast, to suckle cubs; the daughter of my nation is crueller, like ostriches in the desert.

4 The suckling's tongue clung in thirst to palate; toddlers asked for bread, and none apportioned.

5 Those who ate delicacies, were put outside, the devotees of scarlet leaves, embraced the trash heaps.

6 And the misery of my people's daughters is grown more than Sodom's sin, which was overturned in a moment, and no hands fell on her.

7 Her princes purer than snow, whiter than milk, redder to the bone than rubies, their figure sapphire.

8 darkened from charcoal their countenance, in the streets unrecognised, their skin encrusted over their bones, it was dry as wood.

9 The corpses of the sword were better than the corpses of starvation: those estranged, pierced in pangs, from the bounties of the fields.

10 The hands of merciful women cooked their own children, they were taken in morsels, for sustaining the daughters of my people.

11 Yahweh spent his wrath, spilled his rage, and lit a fire in Zion, to eat at its foundations.

12 And kings of the Earth did not believe, and all those settled in foreign lands: that an enemy, a foe, could come to the gates of Jerusalem.

13 From the sins of her prophets, the torment of her priests, that spill within her, the blood of saints

14 they swayed blind outside, were touched by blood, so that their clothes, no one could touch.

15 "Away, defiled!" they called to them, "Away! Away! Do not touch". So they fled, also swayed, and said, among foreigners they will not continue to wander.

16 God presently split them, no longer regarded them. The priests could not hold their heads high, and the elderly did not receive mercy.

17 And still our eyes desire that the foreigner will come to aid us, our hopes we directed towards an unhelpful alien.

18 We took our steps from walking in our streets; our end is near, our days are numbered, because our end is come.

19 Our pursuers were faster than the eagles in the sky, they lit upon us over hills, in the desert ambushed us.

20 Our spirit breath, Yahweh's Messiah, ensnared in their slaughter, of whom we said, "In his shadow, we will live among the nations".

21 Enjoy, celebrate, daughter of Edom, settled in the land of Uz, over to you too a cup will pass, you will get drunk, and strip naked.

22 Your punishment is ended, daughter of Zion, he will no longer keep you exiled, Daughter of Edom, he has commanded your punishment, exposed your sins all over.

Chapter 5[edit]

1 Remember Yahweh, what we went through, glance and see our vituperation

2 Our homeland turned to strangers, our houses onto outsiders

3 We were orphaned without father, our mothers are widows.

4 Our [own] water we drank for money, our [own] trees came at a price.

5 Upon our necks we were chased, they tormented us without respite.

6 To Egypt we stretched a hand, to Assyria to fill on bread.

7 Their fathers sinned, and are gone, We suffered their tribulations.

8 Slaves governed over us, no one can deliver us from their hands

9 In his spirit, the prophets fought for us, against the sword of the desert

10 Our skins severe as a furnace, from the ravages of famine.

11 Women in Zion suffered, the virgins of the cities of Judea

12 Leaders by their own hands hanged, the elders faces were not honored

13 Virile men carried a millstone, and youths under wood stumbled

14 The elders desert the city gates, young men their music making

15 Our heart's gladness ceased, turned into grief at our affliction

16 Our headdress has fallen, woe to us, because we have sinned

17 For this our hearts were feeble, for this our eyesight darkened

18 On mount Zion, which is desolate, foxes walk

19 You, Yahweh, will settle there forever, your chair from generation to generation.

20 Why forget us forever, leave us for a stretch of days,

21 Yahweh, return us to you and we will return, renew our days like the past

22 because if you rejected us for good, you foamed at us a lot.


  1. נִידָה The word refers to a woman who is menstruating, or finished menstruating but has not taken a ritual bath. This translation tries to keep the blood imagery apparent.