Lamentations - 1

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