Lamentations 3:37; Lamentations 3:38–5:22

37  eWho has spoken and it came to pass,

unless the Lord has commanded it?


38  fIs it not from the mouth of the Most High

that good and bad come?

39  gWhy should a living man complain,

a man, about the punishment of his sins?

40  Let us test and examine our ways,

hand return to the Lord!

41  iLet us lift up our hearts and hands

to God in heaven:

42  jWe have transgressed and krebelled,

and you have not forgiven.

43  You have wrapped yourself with anger and pursued us,

lkilling without pity;

44  myou have wrapped yourself with a cloud

so that no prayer can pass through.

45  nYou have made us scum and garbage

among the peoples.

46  oAll our enemies

open their mouths against us;

47  ppanic and pitfall have come upon us,

devastation and qdestruction;

48  rmy eyes flow with rivers of tears

because of the destruction of the daughter of my people.

49  rMy eyes will flow without ceasing,

without respite,

50  suntil the Lord from heaven

looks down and sees;

51  my eyes cause me grief

at the fate of all the daughters of my city.

52  tI have been hunted ulike a bird

by those who were my enemies vwithout cause;

53  wthey flung me alive into the pit

xand cast stones on me;

54  ywater closed over my head;

I said, zI am lost.

55  aI called on your name, O Lord,

from the depths of the pit;

56  byou heard my plea, Do not close

your ear to my cry for help!

57  cYou came near when I called on you;

you said, dDo not fear!

58  You have etaken up my cause, fO Lord;

you have eredeemed my life.

59  You have seen the wrong done to me, gO Lord;

judge my cause.

60  You have seen all their vengeance,

all htheir plots against me.

61  iYou have heard their taunts, O Lord,

all htheir plots against me.

62  The lips and thoughts jof my assailants

are against me all the day long.

63  kBehold their sitting and their rising;

lI am the object of their taunts.

64  mYou will repay them,1 O Lord,

naccording to the work of their hands.

65  You will give them2 dullness of heart;

your curse will be3 on them.

66  You will pursue them4 in anger and odestroy them

from under pyour heavens, O Lord.5

The Holy Stones Lie Scattered

qHow the gold has grown dim,

how the pure gold is changed!

The holy stones lie scattered

rat the head of every street.

The precious sons of Zion,

worth their weight in sfine gold,

how they are regarded as tearthen pots,

the work of a potter’s hands!

Even jackals offer the breast;

they nurse their young;

but the daughter of my people has become cruel,

like the ostriches in the wilderness.

The tongue of the nursing infant usticks

to the roof of its mouth for thirst;

vthe children beg for food,

but no one gives to them.

Those who once feasted on delicacies

perish in the streets;

wthose who were brought up in purple

embrace ash heaps.

xFor the chastisement6 of the daughter of my people has been greater

than the punishment7 of Sodom,

ywhich was overthrown in a moment,

and no hands were wrung for her.8

Her princes were purer than snow,

whiter than milk;

their bodies were more ruddy than coral,

the beauty of their form9 was like sapphire.10

zNow their face is blacker than soot;

they are not recognized in the streets;

their skin has shriveled on their bones;

it has become as dry as wood.

Happier were the victims of the sword

than the victims of hunger,

who wasted away, pierced

by lack of the fruits of the field.

10  aThe hands of bcompassionate women

chave boiled their own children;

dthey became their food

during the destruction of the daughter of my people.

11  eThe Lord gave full vent to his wrath;

he poured out his hot anger,

and fhe kindled a fire in Zion

that consumed its foundations.

12  gThe kings of the earth did not believe,

nor any of the inhabitants of the world,

that foe or enemy could enter

the gates of Jerusalem.

13  This was for hthe sins of her prophets

and hthe iniquities of her priests,

who shed in the midst of her

the blood of the righteous.

14  iThey wandered, blind, through the streets;

they were so defiled with blood

jthat no one was able to touch

their garments.

15  Away! kUnclean! people cried at them.

Away! Away! Do not touch!

So they became fugitives and wanderers;

people said among the nations,

They shall stay with us no longer.

16  lThe Lord himself11 has scattered them;

he will regard them no more;

mno honor was shown to the priests,

nno favor to the elders.

17  oOur eyes failed, ever watching

ovainly for help;

in our watching we watched

for pa nation which could not save.

18  qThey dogged our steps

so that we could not walk in our streets;

rour end drew near; our days were numbered,

for our end had come.

19  Our pursuers were sswifter

than the eagles in the heavens;

they chased us on the mountains;

they lay in wait for us in the wilderness.

20  tThe breath of our nostrils, uthe Lord’s anointed,

was captured vin their pits,

of whom we said, wUnder his shadow

we shall live among the nations.

21  xRejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom,

you who dwell in ythe land of Uz;

but to you also zthe cup shall pass;

you shall become drunk and strip yourself bare.

22  aThe punishment of your iniquity, O daughter of Zion, is accomplished;

he will keep you in exile no longer;12

but byour iniquity, O daughter of Edom, he will punish;

he will uncover your sins.

Restore Us to Yourself, O Lord

cRemember, O Lord, what has befallen us;

look, and see dour disgrace!

eOur inheritance has been turned over to strangers,

our homes to foreigners.

We have become orphans, fatherless;

our mothers are like widows.

We must pay for the water we drink;

the wood we get must be bought.

fOur pursuers are at our necks;

we are weary; we are given no rest.

We have given the hand to gEgypt, and to gAssyria,

to get bread enough.

Our fathers sinned, and are no more;

hand we bear their iniquities.

iSlaves rule over us;

there is none to deliver us from their hand.

jWe get our bread at the peril of our lives,

because of the sword in the wilderness.

10  kOur skin is hot as an oven

with lthe burning heat of famine.

11  Women are raped in Zion,

young women in the towns of Judah.

12  mPrinces are hung up by their hands;

nno respect is shown to the elders.

13  Young men are compelled to ogrind at the mill,

and boys stagger punder loads of wood.

14  nThe old men have left the city gate,

the young men qtheir music.

15  qThe joy of our hearts has ceased;

rour dancing has been turned to mourning.

16  sThe crown has fallen from our head;

woe to us, for we have sinned!

17  For this tour heart has become sick,

for these things uour eyes have grown dim,

18  for Mount Zion which lies desolate;

vjackals prowl over it.

19  wBut you, O Lord, reign forever;

your throne endures to all generations.

20  xWhy do you forget us forever,

why do you forsake us for so many days?

21  yRestore us to yourself, O Lord, that we may be restored!

Renew our days as of old

22  zunless you have utterly rejected us,

and you remain exceedingly angry with us.