Lamentations 4:1-22

א [Aleph] 4  How the shining gold has grown dim, the fine gold!+ How the holy stones+ lie scattered at every street corner!*+ ב [Beth]   As for the precious sons of Zion, who were weighed against* refined gold,How they have been regarded as earthenware jars,The work of a potter’s hands! ג [Gimel]   Even jackals offer the udder to nurse their young,But the daughter of my people has become cruel,+ like ostriches in the wilderness.+ ד [Daleth]   The tongue of the nursing infant sticks to its palate because of thirst. Children beg for bread,+ but no one gives them any.+ ה [He]   Those who used to eat delicacies lie famished* in the streets.+ Those who were brought up wearing scarlet+ have embraced ash heaps. ו [Waw]   The punishment* of the daughter of my people is greater than the punishment for the sin of Sodʹom,+Which was overthrown in a moment, with no hand to help her.+ ז [Zayin]   Her Nazʹi·rites+ were purer than snow, whiter than milk. They were more ruddy than corals; they were like polished sapphires. ח [Heth]   Their appearance has become darker than soot;*They are not recognized in the streets. Their skin has shriveled over their bones;+ it has become like dry wood. ט [Teth]   Those slain with the sword are better off than those slain by famine,+Those who waste away, who are pierced through for lack of food from the field. י [Yod] 10  The hands of compassionate women have boiled their own children.+ They have become their food of mourning during the breakdown of the daughter of my people.+ כ [Kaph] 11  Jehovah has expressed his wrath;He has poured out his burning anger.+ And he starts a fire in Zion that consumes her foundations.+ ל [Lamed] 12  The kings of the earth and all the inhabitants of the productive land did not believeThat the adversary and the enemy would enter the gates of Jerusalem.+ מ [Mem] 13  It was because of the sins of her prophets, the errors of her priests,+Who shed the blood of righteous ones in her midst.+ נ [Nun] 14  They have wandered blindly+ in the streets. They are polluted with blood,+So that none are able to touch their garments. ס [Samekh] 15  “Go away! Unclean!” they call out to them. “Go away! Go away! Do not touch us!” For they have gone homeless and wander about. People have said among the nations: “They cannot stay here with us.*+ פ [Pe] 16  The face of Jehovah has scattered them;+He will no longer look favorably on them. Men will show no respect for the priests,+ no favor to the elders.”+ ע [Ayin] 17  Even now our eyes are worn out from looking in vain for help.+ We looked and looked for help from a nation that could not save us.+ צ [Tsade] 18  They have hunted us down at every step+ so that we could not walk in our public squares. Our end has drawn near; our days have finished, for our end has come. ק [Qoph] 19  Our pursuers were swifter than the eagles of the sky.+ They chased us on the mountains; they ambushed us in the wilderness. ר [Resh] 20  The breath of our nostrils, the anointed one of Jehovah,+ has been captured in their large pit,+The one of whom we said: “In his shade we will live among the nations.” ש [Sin] 21  Exult and rejoice, O daughter of Eʹdom,+ living as you do in the land of Uz. But to you also the cup will be passed,+ and you will become drunk and expose your nakedness.+ ת [Taw] 22  The punishment for your error, O daughter of Zion, has come to its finish. He will not carry you off into exile again.+ But he will turn his attention to your error, O daughter of Eʹdom. He will uncover your sins.+


Lit., “at the head of all streets!”
Or “were as precious as.”
Lit., “desolate.”
Lit., “error.”
Lit., “blackness.”
Or “reside here as foreigners.”

Study Notes