Jerusalem, once so full of people, is now deserted. She who was once great among the nations now sits alone like a widow. Once the queen of all the earth, she is now a slave.
She sobs through the night; tears stream down her cheeks. Among all her lovers, there is no one left to comfort her. All her friends have betrayed her and become her enemies.
Judah has been led away into captivity, oppressed with cruel slavery. She lives among foreign nations and has no place of rest. Her enemies have chased her down, and she has nowhere to turn.
The roads to Jerusalem are in mourning, for crowds no longer come to celebrate the festivals. The city gates are silent, her priests groan, her young women are crying— how bitter is her fate!
Her oppressors have become her masters, and her enemies prosper, for the LORD has punished Jerusalem for her many sins. Her children have been captured and taken away to distant lands.
All the majesty of beautiful Jerusalem has been stripped away. Her princes are like starving deer searching for pasture. They are too weak to run from the pursuing enemy.
In the midst of her sadness and wandering, Jerusalem remembers her ancient splendor. But now she has fallen to her enemy, and there is no one to help her. Her enemy struck her down and laughed as she fell.
Jerusalem has sinned greatly, so she has been tossed away like a filthy rag. All who once honored her now despise her, for they have seen her stripped naked and humiliated. All she can do is groan and hide her face.
She defiled herself with immorality and gave no thought to her future. Now she lies in the gutter with no one to lift her out. “ LORD, see my misery,” she cries. “The enemy has triumphed.”
The enemy has plundered her completely, taking every precious thing she owns. She has seen foreigners violate her sacred Temple, the place the LORD had forbidden them to enter.
Her people groan as they search for bread. They have sold their treasures for food to stay alive. “O LORD, look,” she mourns, “and see how I am despised.
“Does it mean nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look around and see if there is any suffering like mine, which the LORD brought on me when he erupted in fierce anger.