2 א (Alef)
Alas! 1 The Lord 2 has covered
Daughter Zion 3 with his anger. 4
He has thrown down the splendor of Israel
from heaven to earth;
he did not protect 5 his temple 6
when he displayed his anger. 7
2 ב (Bet)
The Lord 8 destroyed 9 mercilessly 10
all the homes of Jacob’s descendants. 11
In his anger he tore down
the fortified cities 12 of Daughter Judah.
He knocked to the ground and humiliated
the kingdom and its rulers. 13
3 ג (Gimel)
In fierce anger 14 he destroyed 15
the whole army 16 of Israel.
He withdrew his right hand 17
as the enemy attacked. 18
He was like a raging fire in the land of Jacob; 19
it consumed everything around it. 20
4 ד (Dalet)
He prepared his bow 21 like an enemy;
his right hand was ready to shoot. 22
Like a foe he killed everyone,
even our strong young men; 23
he has poured out his anger like fire
on the tent 24 of Daughter Zion.
5 ה (He)
The Lord, 25 like an enemy,
destroyed 26 Israel.
He destroyed 27 all her palaces;
he ruined her 28 fortified cities.
He made everyone in Daughter Judah
mourn and lament. 29
6 ו (Vav)
He destroyed his temple 30 as if it were a vineyard; 31
he destroyed his appointed meeting place.
The Lord has made those in Zion forget
both the festivals and the Sabbaths. 32
In his fierce anger 33 he has spurned 34
both king and priest.
7 ז (Zayin)
The Lord 35 rejected 36 his altar
and abhorred his temple. 37
He handed over to the enemy 38
her palace walls;
the enemy 39 shouted 40 in the Lord’s temple
as if it were a feast day. 41
8 ח (Khet)
The Lord was determined to tear down
Daughter Zion’s wall.
He prepared to knock it down; 42
he did not withdraw his hand from destroying. 43
He made the ramparts and fortified walls lament;
together they mourned their ruin. 44
9 ט (Tet)
Her city gates have fallen 45 to the ground;
he smashed to bits 46 the bars that lock her gates. 47
Her king and princes were taken into exile; 48
there is no more guidance available. 49
As for her prophets,
they no longer receive 50 a vision from the Lord.
10 י (Yod)
The elders of Daughter Zion
sit 51 on the ground in silence. 52
They have thrown dirt on their heads;
They have dressed in sackcloth. 53
Jerusalem’s young women 54 stare down at the ground. 55
11 כ (Kaf)
My eyes are worn out 56 from weeping; 57
my stomach is in knots. 58
My heart 59 is poured out on the ground
due to the destruction 60 of my helpless people; 61
children and infants faint
in the town squares.
12 ל (Lamed)
Children 62 say to their mothers, 63
“Where are food and drink?” 64
They faint 65 like a wounded warrior
in the city squares.
They die slowly 66
in their mothers’ arms. 67
13 מ (Mem)
With what can I equate 68 you?
To what can I compare you, O Daughter Jerusalem?
To what can I liken you 69
so that 70 I might comfort you, O Virgin Daughter Zion?
Your wound is as deep 71 as the sea. 72
Who can heal you? 73
14 נ (Nun)
Your prophets saw visions for you
that were worthless lies. 74
They failed to expose your sin
so as to restore your fortunes. 75
They saw oracles for you
that were worthless 76 lies.
15 ס (Samek)
All who passed by on the road
clapped their hands to mock you. 77
They sneered and shook their heads
at Daughter Jerusalem.
“Ha! Is this the city they called 78
‘The perfection of beauty, 79
the source of joy of the whole earth!’?” 80
16 פ (Pe)
All your enemies
gloated over you. 81
They sneered and gnashed their teeth;
they said, “We have destroyed 82 her!
Ha! We have waited a long time for this day.
We have lived to see it!” 83
17 ע (Ayin)
The Lord has done what he planned;
he has fulfilled 84 his promise 85
that he threatened 86 long ago: 87
He has overthrown you without mercy 88
and has enabled the enemy to gloat over you;
he has exalted your adversaries’ power. 89
18 צ (Tsade)
Cry out 90 from your heart 91 to the Lord, 92
O wall of Daughter Zion! 93
Make your tears flow like a river
all day and all night long! 94
Do not rest;
do not let your tears 95 stop!
19 ק (Qof)
Get up! Cry out in the night 96
when the night watches start! 97
Pour out your heart 98 like water
before the face of the Lord! 99
Lift up your hands 100 to him
for your children’s lives; 101
they are fainting 102
at every street corner. 103
20 ר (Resh)
Look, O Lord! Consider! 104
Whom have you ever afflicted 105 like this?
Should women eat their offspring, 106
their healthy infants? 107
Should priest and prophet
be killed in the Lord’s 108 sanctuary?
21 ש (Sin/Shin)
The young boys and old men
lie dead on the ground in the streets.
My young women 109 and my young men
have fallen by the sword.
You killed them when you were angry; 110
you slaughtered them without mercy. 111
22 ת (Tav)
As if it were a feast day, you call 112
enemies 113 to terrify me 114 on every side. 115
On the day of the Lord’s anger
no one escaped or survived.
My enemy has finished off
those healthy infants whom I bore 116 and raised. 117
3 א (Alef) 1
I am the man 2 who has experienced 3 affliction
from the rod 4 of his wrath.
2 He drove me into captivity 5 and made me walk 6
in darkness and not light.
3 He repeatedly 7 attacks me,
he turns his hand 8 against me all day long. 9
4 ב (Bet)
He has made my mortal skin 10 waste away;
he has broken my bones.
5 He has besieged 11 and surrounded 12 me
with bitter hardship. 13
6 He has made me reside in deepest darkness 14
like those who died long ago.
7 ג (Gimel)
He has walled me in 15 so that I cannot get out;
he has weighted me down with heavy prison chains. 16
8 Also, when I cry out desperately 17 for help, 18
he has shut out my prayer. 19
9 He has blocked 20 every road I take 21 with a wall of hewn stones;
he has made every path impassable. 22
10 ד (Dalet)
To me he is like a bear lying in ambush, 23
like a hidden lion 24 stalking its prey. 25
11 He has obstructed my paths 26 and torn me to pieces; 27
he has made me desolate.
12 He drew 28 his bow and made me 29
the target for his arrow.
13 ה (He)
He shot 30 his arrows 31
into my heart. 32
14 I have become the laughingstock of all people, 33
their mocking song 34 all day long. 35
15 He has given me my fill of bitter herbs
and made me drunk with bitterness. 36
16 ו (Vav)
He ground 37 my teeth in gravel;
he trampled 38 me in the dust.
17 I 39 am deprived 40 of peace; 41
I have forgotten what happiness 42 is.
18 So I said, “My endurance has expired;
I have lost all hope of deliverance 43 from the Lord.”
19 ז (Zayin)
Remember 44 my impoverished and homeless condition, 45
which is a bitter poison. 46
20 I 47 continually think about 48 this,
and I 49 am depressed. 50
21 But this I call 51 to mind; 52
therefore I have hope:
22 ח (Khet)
The Lord’s loyal kindness 53 never ceases; 54
his compassions 55 never end.
23 They are fresh 56 every morning;
your faithfulness is abundant! 57
24 “My portion is the Lord,” I have said to myself, 58
so I will put my hope in him.
25 ט (Tet)
The Lord is good to those who trust 59 in him,
to the one 60 who seeks him.
26 It is good to wait patiently 61
for deliverance from the Lord. 62
27 It is good for a man 63
to bear 64 the yoke 65 while he is young. 66
28 י (Yod)
Let a person 67 sit alone in silence,
when the Lord 68 is disciplining him. 69
29 Let him bury his face in the dust; 70
perhaps there is hope.
30 Let him offer his cheek to the one who hits him; 71
let him have his fill of insults.
31 כ (Kaf)
For the Lord 72 will not
reject us forever. 73
32 Though he causes us 74 grief, he then has compassion on us 75
according to the abundance of his loyal kindness. 76
33 For he is not predisposed to afflict 77
or to grieve people. 78
34 ל (Lamed)
To crush underfoot
all the earth’s prisoners, 79
35 to deprive a person 80 of his rights 81
in the presence of the Most High,
36 to defraud a person in a lawsuit –
the Lord 82 does not approve 83 of such things!
37 מ (Mem)
Whose command was ever fulfilled 84
unless the Lord 85 decreed it?
38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that everything comes –
both calamity and blessing? 86
39 Why should any living person 87 complain
when punished for his sins? 88
40 נ (Nun)
Let us carefully examine our ways, 89
and let us return to the Lord.
41 Let us lift up our hearts 90 and our hands
to God in heaven:
42 “We 91 have blatantly rebelled; 92
you 93 have not forgiven.”
43 ס (Samek)
You shrouded yourself 94 with anger and then pursued us;
you killed without mercy.
44 You shrouded yourself with a cloud
so that no prayer can get through.
45 You make us like filthy scum 95
in the estimation 96 of the nations.
46 פ (Pe)
All our enemies have gloated over us; 97
47 Panic and pitfall 98 have come upon us,
devastation and destruction. 99
48 Streams 100 of tears flow from my eyes 101
because my people 102 are destroyed. 103
49 ע (Ayin)
Tears flow from my eyes 104 and will not stop;
there will be no break 105
50 until the Lord looks down from heaven
and sees what has happened. 106
51 What my eyes see 107 grieves me 108 –
all the suffering of the daughters in my city. 109
52 צ (Tsade)
For no good reason 110 my enemies
hunted me down 111 like a bird.
53 They shut me 112 up in a pit
and threw stones at me.
54 The waters closed over my head;
I thought 113 I was about to die. 114
55 ק (Qof)
I have called on your name, O Lord,
from the deepest pit. 115
56 You heard 116 my plea: 117
“Do not close your ears to my cry for relief!” 118
57 You came near 119 on the day I called to you;
you said, 120 “Do not fear!”
58 ר (Resh)
O Lord, 121 you championed 122 my cause, 123
you redeemed my life.
59 You have seen the wrong done to me, O Lord;
pronounce judgment on my behalf! 124
60 You have seen all their vengeance,
all their plots against me. 125
61 ש (Sin/Shin)
You have heard 126 their taunts, O Lord,
all their plots against me.
62 My assailants revile and conspire 127
against me all day long.
63 Watch them from morning to evening; 128
I am the object of their mocking songs.
64 ת (Tav)
Pay them back 129 what they deserve, 130 O Lord,
according to what they 131 have done. 132
65 Give them a distraught heart; 133
may your curse be on them!
66 Pursue them 134 in anger and eradicate them
from under the Lord’s heaven.