Lamentations Chapters (Bible in Basic English)
1 How has the daughter of Zion been covered with a cloud by the Lord in his wrath! he has sent down from heaven to earth the glory of Israel, and has not kept in memory the resting-place of his feet in the day of his wrath.
2 The Lord has given up to destruction all the living-places of Jacob without pity; pulling down in his wrath the strong places of the daughter of Judah, stretching out on the earth the wounded, even her king and her rulers.
3 In his burning wrath every horn of Israel has been cut off; his right hand has been turned back before the attacker: he has put a fire in Jacob, causing destruction round about.
4 His bow has been bent for the attack, he has taken his place with his hand ready, in his hate he has put to death all who were pleasing to the eye: on the tent of the daughter of Zion he has let loose his passion like fire.
5 The Lord has become like one fighting against her, sending destruction on Israel; he has sent destruction on all her great houses, making waste his strong places: increasing the grief and the sorrow of the daughter of Judah.
6 And he has violently taken away his tent, as from a garden; he has made waste his meeting-place: the Lord has taken away the memory of feast and Sabbath in Zion, and in the passion of his wrath he is against king and priest.
7 The Lord has given up his altar and has been turned in hate from his holy place; he has given up into the hands of the attacker the walls of her great houses: their voices have been loud in the house of the Lord as in the day of a holy meeting.
8 It is the Lord’s purpose to make waste the wall of the daughter of Zion; his line has been stretched out, he has not kept back his hand from destruction: he has sent sorrow on tower and wall, they have become feeble together.
9 Her doors have gone down into the earth; he has sent destruction on her locks: her king and her princes are among the nations where the law is not; even her prophets have had no vision from the Lord.
10 The responsible men of the daughter of Zion are seated on the earth without a word; they have put dust on their heads, they are clothed in haircloth: the heads of the virgins of Jerusalem are bent down to the earth.
11 My eyes are wasted with weeping, the inmost parts of my body are deeply moved, my inner parts are drained out on the earth, for the destruction of the daughter of my people; because of the young children and babies at the breast who are falling without strength in the open squares of the town.
12 They say to their mothers, Where is grain and wine? when they are falling like the wounded in the open squares of the town, when their life is drained out on their mother’s breast.
13 What example am I to give you? what comparison am I to make for you, O daughter of Jerusalem? what am I to make equal to you, so that I may give you comfort, O virgin daughter of Zion? for your destruction is great like the sea: who is able to make you well?
14 The visions which your prophets have seen for you are false and foolish; they have not made clear to you your sin so that your fate might be changed: but they have seen for you false words, driving you away.
15 All who go by make a noise with their hands at you; they make hisses, shaking their heads at the daughter of Jerusalem, and saying, Is this the town which was the crown of everything beautiful, the joy of all the earth?
16 All your haters are opening their mouths wide against you; making hisses and whistling through their teeth, they say, We have made a meal of her: certainly this is the day we have been looking for; it has come, we have seen it.
17 The Lord has done that which was his purpose; he has put into force the orders which he gave in the days which are past; pulling down without pity, he has made your hater glad over you, lifting up the horn of those who were against you.
18 Let your cry go up to the Lord: O wall of the daughter of Zion, let your weeping be flowing down like a stream day and night; give yourself no rest, let not your eyes keep back the drops of sorrow.
19 Up! give cries in the night, at the starting of the night-watches; let your heart be flowing out like water before the face of the Lord, lifting up your hands to him for the life of your young children who are falling down, feeble for need of food, at the top of every street.
20 Look! O Lord, see to whom you have done this! Are the women to take as their food the fruit of their bodies, the children who are folded in their arms? are the priest and the prophet to be put to death in the holy place of the Lord?
21 The young men and the old are stretched on the earth in the streets; my virgins and my young men have been put to the sword: you have sent death on them in the day of your wrath, causing death without pity.
22 As in the day of a holy meeting you have made fears come round me on every side, and no one got away or was kept safe in the day of the Lord’s wrath: those who were folded in my arms, whom I took care of, have been sent to their destruction by my hater.