Lamentations 2
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The Prophet Speaks:

א (Alef)

1Alas! The Lord has covered

Daughter Zion with his anger.

He has thrown down the splendor of Israel

from heaven to earth;

he did not protect his temple

when he displayed his anger.

ב (Bet)

2The Lord destroyed mercilessly

all the homes of Jacob’s descendants.

In his anger he tore down

the fortified cities of Daughter Judah.

He knocked to the ground and humiliated

the kingdom and its rulers.

ג (Gimel)

3In fierce anger he destroyed

the whole army of Israel.

He withdrew his right hand

as the enemy attacked.

He was like a raging fire in the land of Jacob;

it consumed everything around it.

ד (Dalet)

4He prepared his bow like an enemy;

his right hand was ready to shoot.

Like a foe he killed everyone,

even our strong young men;

he has poured out his anger like fire

on the tent of Daughter Zion.

ה (He)

5The Lord, like an enemy,

destroyed Israel.

He destroyed all her palaces;

he ruined her fortified cities.

He made everyone in Daughter Judah

mourn and lament.

ו (Vav)

6He destroyed his temple as if it were a vineyard;

he destroyed his appointed meeting place.

The Lord has made those in Zion forget

both the festivals and the Sabbaths.

In his fierce anger he has spurned

both king and priest.

ז (Zayin)

7The Lord rejected his altar

and abhorred his temple.

He handed over to the enemy

her palace walls;

the enemy shouted in the Lord’s temple

as if it were a feast day.

ח (Khet)

8The Lord was determined to tear down

Daughter Zion’s wall.

He prepared to knock it down;

he did not withdraw his hand from destroying.

He made the ramparts and fortified walls lament;

together they mourned their ruin.

ט (Tet)

9Her city gates have fallen to the ground;

he smashed to bits the bars that lock her gates.

Her king and princes were taken into exile;

there is no more guidance available.

As for her prophets,

they no longer receive a vision from the Lord.

י (Yod)

10The elders of Daughter Zion

sit on the ground in silence.

They have thrown dirt on their heads;

They have dressed in sackcloth.

Jerusalem’s young women stare down at the ground.

כ (Kaf)

11My eyes are worn out from weeping;

my stomach is in knots.

My heart is poured out on the ground

due to the destruction of my helpless people;

children and infants faint

in the town squares.

ל (Lamed)

12Children say to their mothers,

“Where are food and drink?”

They faint like a wounded warrior

in the city squares.

They die slowly

in their mothers’ arms.

מ (Mem)

13With what can I equate you?

To what can I compare you, O Daughter Jerusalem?

To what can I liken you

so that I might comfort you, O Virgin Daughter Zion?

Your wound is as deep as the sea.

Who can heal you?

נ (Nun)

14Your prophets saw visions for you

that were worthless lies.

They failed to expose your sin

so as to restore your fortunes.

They saw oracles for you

that were worthless lies.

ס (Samek)

15All who passed by on the road

clapped their hands to mock you.

They sneered and shook their heads

at Daughter Jerusalem.

“Ha! Is this the city they called

‘The perfection of beauty,

the source of joy of the whole earth!’?”

פ (Pe)

16All your enemies

gloated over you.

They sneered and gnashed their teeth;

they said, “We have destroyed her!

Ha! We have waited a long time for this day.

We have lived to see it!”

ע (Ayin)

17The Lord has done what he planned;

he has fulfilled his promise

that he threatened long ago:

He has overthrown you without mercy

and has enabled the enemy to gloat over you;

he has exalted your adversaries’ power.

צ (Tsade)

18Cry out from your heart to the Lord,

O wall of Daughter Zion!

Make your tears flow like a river

all day and all night long!

Do not rest;

do not let your tears stop!

ק (Qof)

19Get up! Cry out in the night

when the night watches start!

Pour out your heart like water

before the face of the Lord!

Lift up your hands to him

for your children’s lives;

they are fainting

at every street corner.

Jerusalem Speaks:

ר (Resh)

20Look, O Lord! Consider!

Whom have you ever afflicted like this?

Should women eat their offspring,

their healthy infants?

Should priest and prophet

be killed in the Lord’s sanctuary?

ש (Sin/Shin)

21The young boys and old men

lie dead on the ground in the streets.

My young women and my young men

have fallen by the sword.

You killed them when you were angry;

you slaughtered them without mercy.

ת (Tav)

22As if it were a feast day, you call

enemies to terrify me on every side.

On the day of the Lord’s anger

no one escaped or survived.

My enemy has finished off

those healthy infants whom I bore and raised.

Lamentations 1
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