New English Translation
The Prophet Speaks:
1 Alas! The LORD has covered Daughter Zion with his anger. He has thrown down the splendor of Israel from heaven to earth; he did not protect his temple when he displayed his anger.
2 The LORD destroyed mercilessly all the homes of Jacob's descendants. In his anger he tore down the fortified cities of Daughter Judah. He knocked to the ground and humiliated the kingdom and its rulers.
3 In fierce anger he destroyed the whole army of Israel. He withdrew his right hand as the enemy attacked. He was like a raging fire in the land of Jacob; it consumed everything around it.
4 He prepared his bow like an enemy; his right hand was ready to shoot. Like a foe he killed everyone, even our strong young men; he has poured out his anger like fire on the tent of Daughter Zion.
5 The LORD, like an enemy, destroyed Israel. He destroyed all her palaces; he ruined her fortified cities. He made everyone in Daughter Judah mourn and lament.
6 He destroyed his temple as if it were a vineyard; he destroyed his appointed meeting place. The LORD has made those in Zion forget both the festivals and the Sabbaths. In his fierce anger he has spurned both king and priest.
7 The LORD rejected his altar and abhorred his temple. He handed over to the enemy her palace walls; the enemy shouted in the LORD's temple as if it were a feast day.
8 The LORD was determined to tear down Daughter Zion's wall. He prepared to knock it down; he did not withdraw his hand from destroying. He made the ramparts and fortified walls lament; together they mourned their ruin.
9 Her city gates have fallen to the ground; he smashed to bits the bars that lock her gates. Her king and princes were taken into exile; there is no more guidance available. As for her prophets, they no longer receive a vision from the LORD.
10 The elders of Daughter Zion sit on the ground in silence. They have thrown dirt on their heads; They have dressed in sackcloth. Jerusalem's young women stare down at the ground.
11 My eyes are worn out from weeping; my stomach is in knots. My heart is poured out on the ground due to the destruction of my helpless people; children and infants faint in the town squares.
12 Children say to their mothers, "Where are food and drink?"They faint like a wounded warrior in the city squares. They die slowly in their mothers' arms.
13 With what can I equate you? To what can I compare you, O Daughter Jerusalem? To what can I liken you so that I might comfort you, O Virgin Daughter Zion? Your wound is as deep as the sea. Who can heal you?
14 Your prophets saw visions for you that were worthless lies. They failed to expose your sin so as to restore your fortunes. They saw oracles for you that were worthless lies.
15 All who passed by on the road clapped their hands to mock you. They sneered and shook their heads at Daughter Jerusalem. "Ha! Is this the city they called 'The perfection of beauty, the source of joy of the whole earth!'?"
16 All your enemies gloated over you. They sneered and gnashed their teeth; they said, "We have destroyed her! Ha! We have waited a long time for this day. We have lived to see it!"
17 The LORD has done what he planned; he has fulfilled his promise that he threatened long ago: He has overthrown you without mercy and has enabled the enemy to gloat over you; he has exalted your adversaries' power.
18 Cry out from your heart to the LORD, O wall of Daughter Zion! Make your tears flow like a river all day and all night long! Do not rest; do not let your tears stop!
19 Get up! Cry out in the night when the night watches start! Pour out your heart like water before the face of the LORD! Lift up your hands to him for your children's lives; they are fainting at every street corner.
20 Look, O LORD! Consider! Whom have you ever afflicted like this? Should women eat their offspring, their healthy infants? Should priest and prophet be killed in the LORD's sanctuary?
21 The young boys and old men lie dead on the ground in the streets. My young women and my young men have fallen by the sword. You killed them when you were angry; you slaughtered them without mercy.
22 As if it were a feast day, you call enemies to terrify me on every side. On the day of the LORD's anger no one escaped or survived. My enemy has finished off those healthy infants whom I bore and raised.
King James Version
1 How hath the Lord covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in his anger, and cast down from heaven unto the earth the beauty of Israel, and remembered not his footstool in the day of his anger!
2 The Lord hath swallowed up all the habitations of Jacob, and hath not pitied: he hath thrown down in his wrath the strong holds of the daughter of Judah; he hath brought them down to the ground: he hath polluted the kingdom and the princes thereof.
3 He hath cut off in his fierce anger all the horn of Israel: he hath drawn back his right hand from before the enemy, and he burned against Jacob like a flaming fire, which devoureth round about.
4 He hath bent his bow like an enemy: he stood with his right hand as an adversary, and slew all that were pleasant to the eye in the tabernacle of the daughter of Zion: he poured out his fury like fire.
5 The Lord was as an enemy: he hath swallowed up Israel, he hath swallowed up all her palaces: he hath destroyed his strong holds, and hath increased in the daughter of Judah mourning and lamentation.
6 And he hath violently taken away his tabernacle, as if it were of a garden: he hath destroyed his places of the assembly: the LORD hath caused the solemn feasts and sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion, and hath despised in the indignation of his anger the king and the priest.
7 The Lord hath cast off his altar, he hath abhorred his sanctuary, he hath given up into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces; they have made a noise in the house of the LORD, as in the day of a solemn feast.
8 The LORD hath purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion: he hath stretched out a line, he hath not withdrawn his hand from destroying: therefore he made the rampart and the wall to lament; they languished together.
9 Her gates are sunk into the ground; he hath destroyed and broken her bars: her king and her princes are among the Gentiles: the law is no more; her prophets also find no vision from the LORD.
10 The elders of the daughter of Zion sit upon the ground, and keep silence: they have cast up dust upon their heads; they have girded themselves with sackcloth: the virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground.
11 Mine eyes do fail with tears, my bowels are troubled, my liver is poured upon the earth, for the destruction of the daughter of my people; because the children and the sucklings swoon in the streets of the city.
12 They say to their mothers, Where is corn and wine? when they swooned as the wounded in the streets of the city, when their soul was poured out into their mothers' bosom.
13 What thing shall I take to witness for thee? what thing shall I liken to thee, O daughter of Jerusalem? what shall I equal to thee, that I may comfort thee, O virgin daughter of Zion? for thy breach is great like the sea: who can heal thee?
14 Thy prophets have seen vain and foolish things for thee: and they have not discovered thine iniquity, to turn away thy captivity; but have seen for thee false burdens and causes of banishment.
15 All that pass by clap their hands at thee; they hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, saying, Is this the city that men call The perfection of beauty, The joy of the whole earth?
16 All thine enemies have opened their mouth against thee: they hiss and gnash the teeth: they say, We have swallowed her up: certainly this is the day that we looked for; we have found, we have seen it.
17 The LORD hath done that which he had devised; he hath fulfilled his word that he had commanded in the days of old: he hath thrown down, and hath not pitied: and he hath caused thine enemy to rejoice over thee, he hath set up the horn of thine adversaries.
18 Their heart cried unto the Lord, O wall of the daughter of Zion, let tears run down like a river day and night: give thyself no rest; let not the apple of thine eye cease.
19 Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord: lift up thy hands toward him for the life of thy young children, that faint for hunger in the top of every street.
20 ¶ Behold, O LORD, and consider to whom thou hast done this. Shall the women eat their fruit, and children of a span long? shall the priest and the prophet be slain in the sanctuary of the Lord?
21 The young and the old lie on the ground in the streets: my virgins and my young men are fallen by the sword; thou hast slain them in the day of thine anger; thou hast killed, and not pitied.
22 Thou hast called as in a solemn day my terrors round about, so that in the day of the LORD'S anger none escaped nor remained: those that I have swaddled and brought up hath mine enemy consumed.