THE LAMENTATIONS OF JEREMIAS
In these JEREMIAS laments in a most pathetical manner the
miseries of his people, and the destruction of JERUSALEM
and the temple, in Hebrew verses, beginning with different
letters according to the order of the Hebrew alphabet.
Lamentations Chapter 1
PREFACE: And it came to pass, after Israel was carried into
captivity, and Jerusalem was desolate, that Jeremias the
prophet sat weeping, and mourned with this lamentation over
Jerusalem, and with a sorrowful mind, sighing and moaning,
And it came to pass, etc... This preface was not written
by Jeremias, but was added by the seventy interpreters, to
give the reader to understand upon what occasion the
Lamentations were published.
1:1. Aleph. How doth the city sit solitary that was full of
people! how is the mistress of the Gentiles become as a
widow: the princes of provinces made tributary!
1:2. Beth. Weeping, she hath wept in the night, and her
tears are on her cheeks: there is none to comfort her among
all them that were dear to her: all her friends have
despised her, and are become her enemies.
1:3. Ghimel. Juda hath removed her dwelling place, because
of her affliction, and the greatness of her bondage; she
hath dwelt among the nations, and she hath found no rest;
all her persecutors have taken her in the midst of straits.
1:4. Daleth. The ways of Sion mourn, because there are none
that come to the solemn feast: all her gates are broken
down; her priests sigh; her virgins are in affliction; and
she is oppressed with bitterness. 1:5. He. Her adversaries
are become her lords; her enemies are enriched; because the
Lord hath spoken against her for the multitude of her
iniquities; her children are led into captivity, before the
face of the oppressor.
1:6. Vau. And from the daughter of Sion, all her beauty is
departed; her princes are become like rams that find no
pastures; and they are gone away without strength before
the face of the pursuer.
1:7. Zain. Jerusalem hath remembered the days of her
affliction, and prevarication of all her desirable things
which she had from the days of old, when her people fell in
the enemy's hand, and there was no helper; the enemies have
seen her, and have mocked at her sabbaths.
1:8. Heth. Jerusalem hath grievously sinned, therefore is
she become unstable; all that honoured her, have despised
her, because they have seen her shame; but she sighed, and
1:9. Teth. Her filthiness is on her feet, and she hath not
remembered her end; she is wonderfully cast down, not
having a comforter: behold, O Lord, my affliction, because
the enemy is lifted up.
1:10. Jod. The enemy hath put out his hand to all her
desirable things: for she hath seen the Gentiles enter into
her sanctuary, of whom thou gavest commandment that they
should not enter into thy church.
1:11. Caph. All her people sigh, they seek bread: they have
given all their precious things for food to relieve the
soul: see, 0 Lord, and consider, for I am become vile.
1:12. Lamed. O all ye that pass by the way, attend, and see
if there be any sorrow like to my sorrow: for he hath made
a vintage of me, as the Lord spoke in the day of his fierce
1:13. Mem. From above he hath sent fire into my bones, and
hath chastised me: he hath spread a net for my feet, he
hath turned me back: he hath made me desolate, wasted with
sorrow all the day long.
1:14. Nun. The yoke of my iniquities hath watched: they are
folded together in his hand, and put upon my neck: my
strength is weakened: the Lord hath delivered me into a
hand, out of which I am not able to rise. 1:15. Samech.
The Lord hath taken away all my mighty men out of the midst
of me: he hath called against me the time, to destroy my
chosen men: the Lord hath trodden the winepress for the
virgin daughter of Juda.
1:16. Ain. Therefore do I weep, and my eyes run down with
water: because the comforter, the relief of my soul, is far
from me: my children are desolate because the enemy hath
1:17. Phe. Sion hath spread forth her hands, there is none
to comfort her: the Lord hath commanded against Jacob, his
enemies are round about him: Jerusalem is as a menstruous
woman among them.
1:18. Sade. The Lord is just, for I have provoked his mouth
to wrath: hear, I pray you, all ye people, and see my
sorrow: my virgins, and my young men are gone into
1:19. Coph. I called for my friends, but they deceived me:
my priests and my ancients pined away in the city: while
they sought their food, to relieve their souls.
1:20. Res. Behold, 0 Lord, for I am in distress, my bowels
are troubled: my heart is turned within me, for I am full
of bitterness: abroad the sword destroyeth and at home
there is death alike.
1:21. Sin. They have heard that I sigh, and there is none
to comfort me: all my enemies have heard of my evil, they
have rejoiced that thou hast done it: thou hast brought a
day of consolation, and they shall be like unto me.
1:22. Thau. Let all their evil be present before thee: and
make vintage of them, as thou hast made vintage of me for
all my iniquities: for my sighs are many, and my heart is
Lamentations Chapter 2
2:1. Aleph. How hath the Lord covered with obscurity the
daughter of Sion in his wrath! how hath he cast down from
heaven to the earth the glorious one of Israel, and hath
not remembered his footstool in the day of his anger.
2:2. Beth. The Lord hath cast down headlong, and hath not
spared, all that was beautiful in Jacob: he hath destroyed
in his wrath the strong holds of the virgin of Juda, and
brought them down to the ground: he hath made the kingdom
unclean, and the princes thereof.
2:3. Ghimel. He hath broken in his fierce anger all the
horn of Israel: he hath drawn back his right hand from
before the enemy: and he hath kindled in Jacob as it were a
flaming fire devouring round about.
2:4. Daleth. He hath bent his bow as an enemy, he hath
fixed his right hand as an adversary: and he hath killed
all that was fair to behold in the tabernacle of the
daughter of Sion, he hath poured out his indignation like
2:5. He. The Lord is become as an enemy: he hath cast down
Israel headlong, he hath overthrown all the walls thereof:
he hath destroyed his strong holds, and hath multiplied in
the danghter of Juda the afflicted, both men and women.
2:6. Vau. And he hath destroyed his tent as a garden, he
hath thrown down his tabernacle: the Lord hath caused
feasts and sabbaths to be forgotten in Sion: and hath
delivered up king and priest to reproach, and to the
indignation of his wrath.
2:7. Zain. The Lord hath cast off his altar, he hath cursed
his sanctuary: he hath delivered the walls of the towers
thereof into the hand of the enemy: they have made a noise
in the house of the Lord, as in the day of a solemn feast.
He hath cursed his sanctuary... That is, he permitted his
sanctuary to be destroyed, as if it had not been
consecrated, but execrable.
2:8. Heth. The Lord hath purposed to destroy the wall of
the daughter of Sion: he hath stretched out his line, and
hath not withdrawn his hand from destroying: and the
bulwark hath mourned, and the wall hath been destroyed
2:9. Teth. 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, and her
prophets have found no vision from the Lord.
2:10. Jod. The ancients of the daughter of Sion sit upon
the ground, they have held their peace: they have sprinkled
their heads with dust, they are girdcd with haircloth, the
virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground.
2:11. Caph. My eyes have failed with weeping, my bowels are
troubled: my liver is poured out upon the earth, for the
destruction of the daughter of my people, when the
children, and the sucklings, fainted away in the streets of
2:12. Lamed. They said to their mothers: Where is corn and
wine? when they fainted away as the wounded in the streets
of the city: when they breathed out their souls in the
bosoms of their mothers.
2:13. Mem. To what shall I compare thee? or to what shall I
liken thee, O daughter of Jerusalem? to what shall I equal
thee, that I may comfort thee, O virgin daughter of Sion?
for great as the sea is thy destruction: who shall heal
2:14. Nun. Thy prophets have seen false and foolish things
for thee: and they have not laid open thy iniquity, to
excite thee to penance: but they have seen for thee false
revelations and banishments.
2:15. Samech. All they that passed by the way have clapped
their hands at thee: they have hissed, and wagged their
heads at the daughter of Jerusalem, saying: Is this the
city of perfect beauty, the joy of all the earth?
2:16. Phe. All thy enemies have opened their month against
thee: they have hissed, and gnashed with the teeth, and
have said: We will swallow her up: lo, this is the day
which we looked for: we have found it, we have seen it.
2:17. Ain. The Lord hath done that which he purposed, he
hath fulfilled his word, which he commanded in the days of
old: he hath destroyed, and hath not spared, and he hath
caused the enemy to rejoice over thee, and hath set up the
horn of thy adversaries.
2:18. Sade. Their heart cried to the Lord upon the walls of
the daughter of Sion: Let tears run down like a torrent day
and night: give thyself no rest, and let not the apple of
thy eye cease.
2:19. Coph. Arise, give praise in the night, in the
beginning of the watches: pour out thy heart like water,
before the face of the Lord: lift up thy hands to him for
the life of thy little children, that have fainted for
hunger at the top of all the streets.
2:20. Res. Behold, O Lord, and consider whom thou hast thus
dealt with: shall women then eat their own fruit, their
children of a span long? shall the priest and the prophet
be slain in the sanctuary of the Lord?
2:21. Sin. The child and the old man lie without on the
ground: my virgins and my young men are fallen by the
sword: thou hast slain them in the day of thy wrath: thou
hast killed, and shewn them no pity.
2:22. Thau. Thou hast called as to a festival, those that
should terrify me round about, and there was none in the
day of the wrath of the Lord that escaped and was left:
those that I brought up, and nourished, my enemy hath
Lamentations Chapter 3
3:1. Aleph. I am the man that see my poverty by the rod of
3:2. Aleph. He hath led me, and brought me into darkness,
and not into light. 3:3. Aleph. Only against me he hath
turned, and turned again his hand all the day.
3:4. Beth. My skin and my flesh he hath made old, he hath
broken my bones.
3:5. Beth. He hath built round about me, and he hath
compassed me with gall, and labour.
3:6. Beth. He hath set me in dark places as those that are
dead for ever.
3:7. Ghimel. He hath built against me round about, that I
may not get out: he hath made my fetters heavy.
3:8. Ghimel. Yea, and when I cry, and entreat, he hath shut
out my prayer.
3:9. Ghimel. He hath shut up my ways with square stones, he
hath turned my paths upside down.
3:10. Daleth. He is become to me as a bear lying in wait:
as a lion in secret places.
3:11. Daleth. He hath turned aside my paths, and hath
broken me in pieces, he hath made me desolate.
3:12. Daleth. He hath bent his bow, and set me as a mark
for his arrows.
3:13. He. He hath shot into my reins the daughters of his
3:14. He. I am made a derision to all my people, their song
all the day long.
3:15. He. He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath
inebriated me with wormwood.
3:16. Vau. And he hath broken my teeth one by one, he hath
fed me with ashes.
3:17. Vau. And my soul is removed far off from peace, I
have forgotten good things.
3:18. Vau. And I said: My end and my hope is perished from
3:19. Zain. Remember my poverty, and transgression, the
wormwood and the gall.
3:20. Zain. I will be mindful and remember, and my soul
shall languish within me.
3:21. Zain. These things I shall think over in my heart,
therefore will I hope.
3:22. Heth. The mercies of the Lord that we are not
consumed: because his commiserations have not failed.
3:23. Heth. They are new every morning, great is thy
3:24. Heth. The Lord is my portion, said my soul: therefore
will I wait for him.
3:25. Teth. The Lord is good to them that hope in him, to
the soul that seeketh him.
3:26. Teth. It is good to wait with silence for the
salvation of God.
3:27. Teth. It is good for a man, when he hath borne the
yoke from his youth.
3:28. Jod. He shall sit solitary, and hold his peace:
because he hath taken it up upon himself.
3:29. Jod. He shall put his mouth in the dust, if so be
there may be hope.
3:30. Jod. He shall give his cheek to him that striketh
him, he shall be filled with reproaches.
3:31. Caph. For the Lord will not cast off for ever.
3:32. Caph. For if he hath cast off, he will also have
mercy, according to the multitude of his mercies.
3:33. Caph. For he hath not willingly afflicted, nor cast
off the children of men.
3:34. Lamed. To crush under his feet all the prisoners of
3:35. Lamed. To turn aside the judgment of a man before the
face of the most High,
3:36. Lamed. To destroy a man wrongfully in his judgment,
the Lord hath not approved.
3:37. Mem. Who is he that hath commanded a thing to be
done, when the Lord commandeth it not?
3:38. Mem. Shall not both evil and good proceed out of the
mouth of the Highest?
3:39. Mem. Why hath a living man murmured, man suffering
for his sins?
3:40. Nun. Let us search our ways, and seek, and return to
3:41. Nun. Let us lift up our hearts with our hands to the
Lord in the heavens.
3:42. Nun. We have done wickedly, and provoked thee to
wrath: therefore thou art inexorable.
3:43. Samech. Thou hast covered in thy wrath, and hast
struck us: thou hast killed and hast not spared.
3:44. Samech. Thou hast set a cloud before thee, that our
prayer may not pass through.
3:45. Samech. Thou hast made me as an outcast, and refuse
in the midst of the people.
3:46. Phe. All our enemies have opened their mouths against
3:47. Phe. Prophecy is become to us a fear, and a snare,
3:48. Phe. My eye hath run down with streams of water, for
the destruction of the daughter of my people.
3:49. Ain. My eye is afflicted, and hath not been quiet,
because there was no rest:
3:50. Ain. Till the Lord regarded and looked down from the
3:51. Ain. My eye hath wasted my soul because of all the
daughters of my city.
3:52. Sade. My enemies have chased me and caught me like a
bird, without cause.
3:53. Sade. My life is fallen into the pit, and they have
laid a stone over me.
3:54. Sade. Waters have flowed over my head: I said: I am
3:55. Coph. I have called upon thy name, O Lord, from the
3:56. Coph. Thou hast heard my voice: turn not away thy ear
from my sighs, and cries.
3:57. Coph. Thou drewest near in the day, when I called
upon thee, thou saidst: Fear not.
3:58. Res. Thou hast judged, O Lord, the cause of my soul,
thou the Redeemer of my life.
3:59. Res. Thou hast seen, O Lord, their iniquity against
me: judge thou my judgment.
3:60. Res. Thou hast seen all their fury, and all their
thoughts against me.
3:61. Sin. Thou hast heard their reproach, O Lord, all
their imaginations against me.
3:62. Sin. The lips of them that rise up against me: and
their devices against me all the day.
3:63. Sin. Behold their sitting down, and their rising up,
I am their song.
3:64. Thau. Thou shalt render them a recompense, O Lord,
according to the works of their hands.
3:65. Thau. Thou shalt give them a buckler of heart, thy
3:66. Thau. Thou shalt persecute them in anger, and shalt
destroy them from under the heavens, O Lord.
Lamentations Chapter 4
4:1. Aleph. How is the gold become dim, the finest colour
is changed, the stones of the sanctuary are scattered in
the top of every street?
4:2. Beth. The noble sons of Sion, and they that were
clothed with the best gold: how are they esteemed as
earthen vessels, the work of the potter's hands?
4:3. Ghimel. Even the sea monsters have drawn out the
breast, they have given suck to their young: the daughter
of my people is cruel, like the ostrich in the desert.
4:4. Daleth. The tongue of the sucking child hath stuck to
the roof of his mouth for thirst: the little ones have
asked for bread, and there was none to break it unto them.
4:5. He. They that were fed delicately have died in the
streets: they that were brought up in scarlet have embraced
4:6. Vau. And the iniquity of the daughter of my people is
made greater than the sin of Sodom, which was overthrown in
a moment, and hands took nothing in her.
4:7. Zain. Her Nazarites were whiter than snow, purer than
milk, more ruddy than the old ivory, fairer than the
4:8. Heth. Their face is now made blacker than coals, and
they are not known in the streets: their skin hath stuck to
their bones, it is withered, and is become like wood.
4:9. Teth. It was better with them that were slain by the
sword, than with them that died with hunger: for these
pined away being consumed for want of the fruits of the
4:10. Jod. The hands of the pitiful women have sodden their
own children: they were their meat in the destruction of
the daughter of my people.
4:11. Caph. The Lord hath accomplished his wrath, he hath
poured out his fierce anger: and he hath kindled a fire in
Sion, and it hath devoured the foundations thereof.
4:12. Lamed. The kings of the earth, and all the
inhabitants of the world would not have believed, that the
adversary and the enemy should enter in by the gates of
4:13. Mem. For the sins of her prophets, and the iniquities
of her priests, that have shed the blood of the just in the
midst of her.
4:14. Nun. They have wandered as blind men in the streets,
they were defiled with blood: and when they could not help
walking in it, they held up their skirts.
4:15. Samech. Depart you that are defiled, they cried out
to them: Depart, get ye hence, touch not: for they
quarrelled, and being removed, they said among the
Gentiles: He will no more dwell among them.
4:16. Phe. The face of the Lord hath divided them, he will
no more regard them: they respected not the persons of the
priests, neither had they pity on the ancient.
4:17. Ain. While we were yet standing, our eyes failed,
expecting help for us in vain, when we looked attentively
towards a nation that was not able to save.
4:18. Sade. Our steps have slipped in the way of our
streets, our end draweth near: our days are fulfilled, for
our end is come.
4:19. Coph. Our persecutors were swifter than the eagles of
the air: they pursued us upon the mountains, they lay in
wait for us in the wilderness.
4:20. Res. The breath of our mouth, Christ the Lord, is
taken in our sins: to whom we said: Under thy shadow we
shall live among the Gentiles.
Christ, etc... This, according to the letter, is spoken of
their king, who is called the Christ, that is, the
Anointed of the Lord. But it also relates, in the
spiritual sense, to Christ our Lord, suffering for our
4:21. Sin. Rejoice, and be glad, O daughter of Edom, that
dwellest in the land of Hus: to thee also shall the cup
come, thou shalt be made drunk, and naked.
4:22. Thau. Thy iniquity is accomplished, O daughter of
Sion, he will no more carry thee away into captivity: he
hath visited thy iniquity, O daughter of Edom, he hath
discovered thy sins.
THE PRAYER OF JEREMIAS THE PROPHET
Lamentations Chapter 5
5:1. Remember, O Lord, what is come upon us: consider and
behold our reproach.
5:2. Our inheritance is turned to aliens: our houses to
5:3. We are become orphans without a father: our mothers
are as widows.
5:4. We have drunk our water for money: we have bought our
5:6. We were dragged by the necks, we were weary and no
rest was given us.
5:6. We have given our hand to Egypt, and to the Assyrians,
that we might be satisfied with bread.
5:7. Our fathers have sinned, and are not: and we have
borne their iniquities.
5:8. Servants have ruled over us: there was none to redeem
us out of their hand.
5:9. We fetched our bread at the peril of our lives,
because of the sword in the desert.
5:10. Our skin was burnt as an oven, by reason of the
violence of the famine.
5:11. They oppressed the women in Sion, and the virgins in
the cities of Juda.
5:12. The princes were hanged up by their hand: they did
not respect the persons of the ancients.
5:13. They abused the young men indecently: and the
children fell under the wood.
5:14. The ancients have ceased from the gates: the young
men from the choir of the singers.
5:15. The joy of our heart is ceased, our dancing is turned
5:16. The crown is fallen from our head: woe to us, because
we have sinned.
5:17. Therefore is our heart sorrowful, therefore are our
eyes become dim.
5:18. For mount Sion, because it is destroyed, foxes have
walked upon it.
5:19. But thou, O Lord, shalt remain for ever, thy throne
from generation to generation.
5:20. Why wilt thou forget us for ever? why wilt thou
forsake us for a long time?
5:21. Convert us, O Lord, to thee, and we shall be
converted: renew our days, as from the beginning.
5:22. But thou hast utterly rejected us, thou art
exceedingly angry with us.
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