Lamentations 1; Lamentations 2; Lamentations 3:1-36

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Lamentations 1

1 How she sits alone, the city [once] crowded with people! She who was great among the nations has become like a widow. The princess among the provinces has become a slave.
2 She weeps aloud during the night, with tears on her cheeks. There is no one to offer her comfort, [not one] from all her lovers. All her friends have betrayed her; they have become her enemies.
3 Judah has gone into exile following affliction and harsh slavery; she lives among the nations but finds no place to rest. All her pursuers have overtaken her in narrow places.
4 The roads to Zion mourn, for no one comes to the appointed festivals. All her gates are deserted; her priests groan, her young women grieve, and she herself is bitter.
5 Her adversaries have become [her] masters; her enemies are at ease, for the Lord has made her suffer because of her many transgressions. Her children have gone away as captives before the adversary.
6 All her splendor has vanished from Daughter Zion. Her leaders are like stags that find no pasture; they walk away exhausted before the hunter.
7 During the days of her affliction and homelessness Jerusalem remembers all her precious belongings that were [hers] in days of old. When her people fell into the adversary's hand, she had no one to help. The adversaries looked at her, laughing over her downfall.
8 Jerusalem has sinned grievously; therefore, she has become an object of scorn. All who honored her [now] despise her, for they have seen her nakedness. She herself groans and turns away.
9 Her uncleanness [stains] her skirts. She never considered her end. Her downfall was astonishing; there was no one to comfort her. Lord, look on my affliction, for the enemy triumphs!
10 The adversary has seized all her precious belongings. She has even seen the nations enter her sanctuary- those You had forbidden to enter Your assembly.
11 All her people groan while they search for bread. They have traded their precious belongings for food in order to stay alive. Lord, look and see how I have become despised.
12 Is this nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look and see! Is there any pain like mine, which was dealt out to me, which the Lord made [me] suffer on the day of His burning anger?
13 He sent fire from on high into my bones; He made it descend. He spread a net for my feet and turned me back. He made me desolate, sick all day long.
14 My transgressions have been formed into a yoke, fastened together by His hand; they have been placed on my neck, and the Lord has broken my strength. He has handed me over to those I cannot withstand.
15 The Lord has rejected all the mighty men within me. He has summoned an army against me to crush my young warriors. The Lord has trampled Virgin Daughter Judah [like grapes] in a winepress.
16 I weep because of these things; my eyes flow with tears. For there is no one nearby to comfort [me], no one to keep me alive. My children are desolate because the enemy has prevailed.
17 Zion stretches out her hands; there is no one to comfort her. The Lord has issued a decree against Jacob that his neighbors should be his adversaries. Jerusalem has become something impure among them.
18 The Lord is in the right, for I have rebelled against His command. Listen, all you people; look at my pain. My young men and women have gone into captivity.
19 I called to my lovers, but they betrayed me. My priests and elders perished in the city while searching for food to keep themselves alive.
20 Lord, see how I am in distress. I am churning within; my heart is broken, for I have been very rebellious. Outside, the sword takes the children; inside, there is death.
21 People have heard me groaning, but there is no one to comfort me. All my enemies have heard of my misfortune; they are glad that You have caused [it]. Bring on the day You have announced, so that they may become like me.
22 Let all their wickedness come before You, and deal with them as You have dealt with me because of all my transgressions. For my groans are many, and I am sick at heart.
Holman Christian Standard Bible ® Copyright © 2003, 2002, 2000, 1999 by Holman Bible Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

Lamentations 2

1 How the Lord has overshadowed Daughter Zion with His anger! He has thrown down Israel's glory from heaven to earth. He has abandoned His footstool in the day of His anger.
2 Without compassion the Lord has swallowed up all the dwellings of Jacob. In His wrath He has demolished the fortified cities of Daughter Judah. He brought [them] to the ground and defiled the kingdom and its leaders.
3 He has cut off every horn of Israel in His burning anger and withdrawn His right hand in the presence of the enemy. He has blazed against Jacob like a flaming fire that consumes everything [in its path].
4 Like an enemy He has bent His bow; His right hand is positioned like an adversary. He has killed everyone who was loved, pouring out His wrath like fire on the tent of Daughter Zion.
5 The Lord is like an enemy; He has swallowed up Israel. He swallowed up all its palaces and destroyed its fortified cities. He has multiplied mourning and lamentation within Daughter Judah.
6 He has done violence to His temple as if [it were] a garden [booth], destroying His place of meeting. The Lord has abolished appointed festivals and Sabbaths in Zion. He has despised king and priest in His fierce anger.
7 The Lord has rejected His altar, repudiated His sanctuary; He has handed the walls of her palaces over to the enemy. They have raised a shout in the house of the Lord as on the day of an appointed festival.
8 The Lord determined to destroy the wall of Daughter Zion. He stretched out a measuring line and did not restrain Himself from destroying. He made the ramparts and walls grieve; together they waste away.
9 Zion's gates have fallen to the ground; He has destroyed and shattered the bars on her [gates]. Her king and her leaders [live] among the nations, instruction is no more, and even her prophets receive no vision from the Lord.
10 The elders of Daughter Zion sit on the ground in silence. They have thrown dust on their heads and put on sackcloth. The young women of Jerusalem have bowed their heads to the ground.
11 My eyes are worn out from weeping; I am churning within. My heart is poured out in grief because of the destruction of my dear people, because children and infants faint in the streets of the city.
12 They cry out to their mothers: Where is the grain and wine? as they faint like the wounded in the streets of the city, as their lives fade away in the arms of their mothers.
13 What can I say on your behalf? To what can I compare you, Daughter Jerusalem? What can I liken you to, so that I may console you, Virgin Daughter Zion? For your ruin is as vast as the sea. Who can heal you?
14 Your prophets saw visions for you that were empty and deceptive; they did not reveal your guilt and so restore your fortunes. They saw oracles for you that were empty and misleading.
15 All who pass by [scornfully] clap their hands at you. They hiss and shake their heads at Daughter Jerusalem: Is this the city that was called the perfection of beauty, the joy of the whole earth?
16 All your enemies open their mouths against you. They hiss and gnash [their] teeth, saying, "We have swallowed [her] up. This is the day we have waited for! We have lived to see [it]."
17 The Lord has done what He planned; He has accomplished His decree, which He ordained in days of old. He has demolished without compassion, letting the enemy gloat over you and exalting the horn of your adversaries.
18 The hearts of the people cry out to the Lord. Wall of Daughter Zion, let [your] tears run down like a river day and night. Give yourself no relief and your eyes no rest.
19 Arise, cry out in the night, from the first watch of the night. Pour out your heart like water before the Lord's presence. Lift up your hands to Him for the lives of your children who are fainting from hunger on the corner of every street.
20 Lord, look and consider who You have done this to. Should women eat their own children, the infants they have nurtured? Should priests and prophets be killed in the Lord's sanctuary?
21 [Both] young and old are lying on the ground in the streets. My young men and women have fallen by the sword. You have killed [them] in the day of Your anger, slaughtering without compassion.
22 You summoned my attackers on every side, as if [for] an appointed festival day; on the day of the Lord's anger no one escaped or survived. My enemy has destroyed those I nurtured and reared.
Holman Christian Standard Bible ® Copyright © 2003, 2002, 2000, 1999 by Holman Bible Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

Lamentations 3:1-36

1 I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of God's wrath.
2 He has driven me away and forced [me] to walk in darkness instead of light.
3 Yes, He repeatedly turns His hand against me all day long.
4 He has worn away my flesh and skin; He has shattered my bones.
5 He has laid siege against me, encircling me with bitterness and hardship.
6 He has made me dwell in darkness like those who have been dead for ages.
7 He has walled me in so I cannot escape; He has weighed me down with chains.
8 Even when I cry out and plead for help, He rejects my prayer.
9 He has walled in my ways with cut stones; He has made my paths crooked.
10 He is a bear waiting in ambush, a lion in hiding;
11 He forced me off my way and tore me to pieces; He left me desolate.
12 He bent His bow and set me as the target for His arrow.
13 He pierced my kidneys with His arrows.
14 I am a laughingstock to all my people, mocked by their songs all day long.
15 He filled me with bitterness, sated me with wormwood.
16 He ground my teeth on gravel and made me cower in the dust.
17 My soul has been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is.
18 Then I thought: My future is lost, as well as my hope from the Lord.
19 Remember my affliction and my homelessness, the wormwood and the poison.
20 I continually remember [them] and have become depressed.
21 Yet I call this to mind, and therefore I have hope:
22 [Because of] the Lord's faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end.
23 They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!
24 I say: The Lord is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in Him.
25 The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him.
26 It is good to wait quietly for deliverance from the Lord.
27 It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is [still] young.
28 Let him sit alone and be silent, for God has disciplined him.
29 Let him put his mouth in the dust- perhaps there is [still] hope.
30 Let him offer [his] cheek to the one who would strike him; let him be filled with shame.
31 For the Lord will not reject [us] forever.
32 Even if He causes suffering, He will show compassion according to His abundant, faithful love.
33 For He does not enjoy bringing affliction or suffering on mankind.
34 Crushing all the prisoners of the land beneath one's feet,
35 denying justice to a man in the presence of the Most High,
36 or suppressing a person's lawsuit- the Lord does not approve [of these things].
Holman Christian Standard Bible ® Copyright © 2003, 2002, 2000, 1999 by Holman Bible Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.