1 How deserted she sits, the city once thronged with people! Once the greatest of nations, she is now like a widow. Once the princess of states, she is now put to forced labour.
2 All night long she is weeping, tears running down her cheeks. Not one of all her lovers remains to comfort her. Her friends have all betrayed her and become her enemies.
3 Judah has gone into exile after much pain and toil. Living among the nations she finds no respite; her persecutors all overtake her where there is no way out.
4 The roads to Zion are in mourning; no one comes to her festivals now. Her gateways are all deserted; her priests groan; her young girls are grief-stricken; she suffers bitterly.
5 Her foes now have the upper hand, her enemies prosper, for Yahweh has made her suffer for her many, many crimes; her children have gone away into captivity driven in front of the oppressor.
6 And from the daughter of Zion all her splendour has departed. Her princes were like stags which could find no pasture, exhausted, as they flee before the hunter.
7 Jerusalem remembers her days of misery and distress; when her people fell into the enemy's clutches there was no one to help her. Her enemies looked on and laughed at her downfall.
8 Jerusalem has sinned so gravely that she has become a thing unclean. All who used to honour her despise her, having seen her nakedness; she herself groans aloud and turns her face away.
9 Her filth befouls her skirts -- she never thought to end like this, and hence her astonishing fall with no one to comfort her. Yahweh, look at my misery, for the enemy is triumphant!
10 The enemy stretched out his hand for everything she treasured; she saw the heathen enter her sanctuary, whom you had forbidden to enter your Assembly.
11 All her people are groaning, looking for something to eat; they have bartered their treasures for food, to keep themselves alive. Look, Yahweh, and consider how despised I am!
12 All you who pass this way, look and see: is any sorrow like the sorrow inflicted on me, with which Yahweh struck me on the day of his burning anger?
13 He sent fire from on high deep into my bones; he stretched a net for my feet, he pulled me back; he left me shattered, sick all day long.
14 He has watched out for my offences, with his hand he enmeshes me, his yoke is on my neck, he has deprived me of strength. The Lord has put me into clutches which I am helpless to resist.
15 The Lord has rejected all my warriors within my walls, he has summoned a host against me to crush my young men; in the winepress the Lord trampled the young daughter of Judah.
16 And that is why I weep; my eyes stream with water, since a comforter who could revive me is far away. My children are shattered, for the enemy has proved too strong.
17 Zion stretches out her hands, with no one to comfort her. Yahweh has commanded Jacob's enemies to surround him; they treat Jerusalem as though she were unclean.
18 Yahweh is in the right, for I rebelled against his command. Listen, all you peoples, and see my sorrow. My young girls and my young men have gone into captivity. Qophp
19 I called to my lovers; they failed me. My priests and my elders expired in the city, as they searched for food to keep themselves alive.
20 Look, Yahweh. I am in distress! My inmost being is in ferment; my heart turns over inside me -- how rebellious I have been! Outside, the sword bereaves; inside it is like death.
21 Listen, for I am groaning, with no one to comfort me. All my enemies have heard of my disaster, they are glad about what you have done. Bring the Day you once foretold, so that they may be like me!
22 Let all their wickedness come before you, and treat them as you have treated me for all my crimes; numberless are my groans, and I am sick at heart.