1. How forlorn the city lies, once teeming with people! How like a widow is she, once mistress of the nations! A princess among the cities, she has now become a slave.
2. She spends her nights weeping, drenching her cheeks with tears. Who is there to comfort her among all her lovers? All her friends have betrayed her and have become her enemies.
3. Humiliated, exhausted, Judah has gone into exile but she finds no rest among the nations where she sojourns; her pursuers have overtaken her where there is no way of escape.
4. All roads to Zion are in mourning; no one comes to her feasts. Her gates are deserted, her priests groan, her virgins grieve. What bitter anguish she suffers!
5. She is at the mercy of her foes who enjoy prosperity and power. Yahweh himself has made her suffer for all her iniquity. Her children, driven into captivity, take the lonely road to exile.
6. Gone from the daughter of Zion is all her majestic splendor. Her rulers, like harts that find no pasture, have fled helplessly before the oppressors.
7. Jerusalem recalls her days of wandering and affliction, her people fell into the hands of her foes and there was no help. Haters gloated over her downfall and laughed at her destruction.
8. Greatly has Jerusalem sinned; she has become as a thing unclean. Honored before, but now despised by those who have seen her naked, she herself groans in dismay and turns her face away.
9. Her filth clings to her skirt. She gave no thought to her doom, and so her fall came suddenly, with no one to offer comfort. "Look, O Yahweh, upon my misery, for my enemy has overcome me."
10. She has seen how the enemy has laid hands on her treasures. She has seen how the nations have defiled her sanctuary - those peoples you have not allowed to come into your assembly.
11. All her people groan as they search for bread; just to keep themselves alive, they give their jewels for food. Look, Yahweh, and mark how I have been despised.
12. All you who pass by, look and see. Is there any calamity like this, inflicted on me by Yahweh on the day of his burning anger.
13. From above he sent a fire down into my very bones, he ensnared my feet and threw me down, and left me in pain the whole day long.
14. He bound my sins into a yoke and fastened them together, then set them upon my neck and caused my strength to fail. Yahweh gave me into the hands of those I cannot withstand.
15. Yahweh has spurned the bravest of my fighters; he has summoned an army to crush my young warriors. Yahweh has trodden in his winepress Judah's virgin daughter.
16. This is what I weep about, what makes my tears well up. No one is near to restore my spirit, no one at hand to console me. My children are desolate, for the enemy has triumphed.
17. Zion stretches out her hands, but there is no one to give comfort. Yahweh has decreed for Jacob that his neighbors become his foes. As an unclean thing among them has Jerusalem become.
18. Yahweh acts justly, for I have defied his order. Listen, all you peoples, and see how I suffer. My young men and maidens have all gone into exile.
19. I cried for help to my lovers, but they betrayed me. My priests and my elders perished in the city they sought anything to eat, but finally they had to die.
20. Look, Yahweh, upon my distress: all within me is in anguish. My heart recoils within me: I know that I have been rebellious. See, outside the sword that kills, and within, death that stalks.
21. People have heard my moaning but no one comes to comfort me. My foes have known of my suffering, they rejoice at what you have done. Hasten the day you have proclaimed, that they may be even as I am.
22. Let their evil come before you, and deal with them as you have dealt with me on account of my sins. Great indeed is my groaning. How sick at heart I am!