Reading for October 8th

Lamentations 1-2 (Listen)

How Lonely Sits the City
How lonely sits the city

that was full of people!

How like a widow has she become,

she who was great among the nations!

She who was a princess among the provinces

has become a slave.

 

She weeps bitterly in the night,

with tears on her cheeks;

among all her lovers

she has none to comfort her;

all her friends have dealt treacherously with her;

they have become her enemies.

 

Judah has gone into exile because of affliction

and hard servitude;

she dwells now among the nations,

but finds no resting place;

her pursuers have all overtaken her

in the midst of her distress.

 

The roads to Zion mourn,

for none come to the festival;

all her gates are desolate;

her priests groan;

her virgins have been afflicted,

and she herself suffers bitterly.

 

Her foes have become the head;

her enemies prosper,

because the Lord has afflicted her

for the multitude of her transgressions;

her children have gone away,

captives before the foe.

 

From the daughter of Zion

all her majesty has departed.

Her princes have become like deer

that find no pasture;

they fled without strength

before the pursuer.

 

Jerusalem remembers

in the days of her affliction and wandering

all the precious things

that were hers from days of old.

When her people fell into the hand of the foe,

and there was none to help her,

her foes gloated over her;

they mocked at her downfall.

 

Jerusalem sinned grievously;

therefore she became filthy;

all who honored her despise her,

for they have seen her nakedness;

she herself groans

and turns her face away.

 

Her uncleanness was in her skirts;

she took no thought of her future;

therefore her fall is terrible;

she has no comforter.

“O Lord, behold my affliction,

for the enemy has triumphed!”

 

The enemy has stretched out his hands

over all her precious things;

for she has seen the nations

enter her sanctuary,

those whom you forbade

to enter your congregation.

 

All her people groan

as they search for bread;

they trade their treasures for food

to revive their strength.

“Look, O Lord, and see,

for I am despised.”

 

“Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?

Look and see

if there is any sorrow like my sorrow,

which was brought upon me,

which the Lord inflicted

on the day of his fierce anger.

 

“From on high he sent fire;

into my bones he made it descend;

he spread a net for my feet;

he turned me back;

he has left me stunned,

faint all the day long.

 

“My transgressions were bound into a yoke;

by his hand they were fastened together;

they were set upon my neck;

he caused my strength to fail;

the Lord gave me into the hands

of those whom I cannot withstand.

 

“The Lord rejected

all my mighty men in my midst;

he summoned an assembly against me

to crush my young men;

the Lord has trodden as in a winepress

the virgin daughter of Judah.

 

“For these things I weep;

my eyes flow with tears;

for a comforter is far from me,

one to revive my spirit;

my children are desolate,

for the enemy has prevailed.”

 

Zion stretches out her hands,

but there is none to comfort her;

the Lord has commanded against Jacob

that his neighbors should be his foes;

Jerusalem has become

a filthy thing among them.

 

“The Lord is in the right,

for I have rebelled against his word;

but hear, all you peoples,

and see my suffering;

my young women and my young men

have gone into captivity.

 

“I called to my lovers,

but they deceived me;

my priests and elders

perished in the city,

while they sought food

to revive their strength.

 

“Look, O Lord, for I am in distress;

my stomach churns;

my heart is wrung within me,

because I have been very rebellious.

In the street the sword bereaves;

in the house it is like death.

 

“They heard my groaning,

yet there is no one to comfort me.

All my enemies have heard of my trouble;

they are glad that you have done it.

You have brought the day you announced;

now let them be as I am.

 

“Let all their evildoing come before you,

and deal with them

as you have dealt with me

because of all my transgressions;

for my groans are many,

and my heart is faint.”

 

The Lord Has Destroyed Without Pity
How the Lord in his anger

has set the daughter of Zion under a cloud!

He has cast down from heaven to earth

the splendor of Israel;

he has not remembered his footstool

in the day of his anger.

 

The Lord has swallowed up without mercy

all the habitations of Jacob;

in his wrath he has broken down

the strongholds of the daughter of Judah;

he has brought down to the ground in dishonor

the kingdom and its rulers.

 

He has cut down in fierce anger

all the might of Israel;

he has withdrawn from them his right hand

in the face of the enemy;

he has burned like a flaming fire in Jacob,

consuming all around.

 

He has bent his bow like an enemy,

with his right hand set like a foe;

and he has killed all who were delightful in our eyes

in the tent of the daughter of Zion;

he has poured out his fury like fire.

 

The Lord has become like an enemy;

he has swallowed up Israel;

he has swallowed up all its palaces;

he has laid in ruins its strongholds,

and he has multiplied in the daughter of Judah

mourning and lamentation.

 

He has laid waste his booth like a garden,

laid in ruins his meeting place;

the Lord has made Zion forget

festival and Sabbath,

and in his fierce indignation has spurned king and priest.

 

The Lord has scorned his altar,

disowned his sanctuary;

he has delivered into the hand of the enemy

the walls of her palaces;

they raised a clamor in the house of the Lord

as on the day of festival.

 

The Lord determined to lay in ruins

the wall of the daughter of Zion;

he stretched out the measuring line;

he did not restrain his hand from destroying;

he caused rampart and wall to lament;

they languished together.

 

Her gates have sunk into the ground;

he has ruined and broken her bars;

her king and princes are among the nations;

the law is no more,

and her prophets find

no vision from the Lord.

 

The elders of the daughter of Zion

sit on the ground in silence;

they have thrown dust on their heads

and put on sackcloth;

the young women of Jerusalem

have bowed their heads to the ground.

 

My eyes are spent with weeping;

my stomach churns;

my bile is poured out to the ground

because of the destruction of the daughter of my people,

because infants and babies faint

in the streets of the city.

 

They cry to their mothers,

“Where is bread and wine?”

as they faint like a wounded man

in the streets of the city,

as their life is poured out

on their mothers' bosom.

 

What can I say for you, to what compare you,

O daughter of Jerusalem?

What can I liken to you, that I may comfort you,

O virgin daughter of Zion?

For your ruin is vast as the sea;

who can heal you?

 

Your prophets have seen for you

false and deceptive visions;

they have not exposed your iniquity

to restore your fortunes,

but have seen for you oracles

that are false and misleading.

 

All who pass along the way

clap their hands at you;

they hiss and wag their heads

at the daughter of Jerusalem:

“Is this the city that was called

the perfection of beauty,

the joy of all the earth?”

 

All your enemies

rail against you;

they hiss, they gnash their teeth,

they cry: “We have swallowed her!

Ah, this is the day we longed for;

now we have it; we see it!”

 

The Lord has done what he purposed;

he has carried out his word,

which he commanded long ago;

he has thrown down without pity;

he has made the enemy rejoice over you

and exalted the might of your foes.

 

Their heart cried to the Lord.

O wall of the daughter of Zion,

let tears stream down like a torrent

day and night!

Give yourself no rest,

your eyes no respite!

 

“Arise, cry out in the night,

at the beginning of the night watches!

Pour out your heart like water

before the presence of the Lord!

Lift your hands to him

for the lives of your children,

who faint for hunger

at the head of every street.”

 

Look, O Lord, and see!

With whom have you dealt thus?

Should women eat the fruit of their womb,

the children of their tender care?

Should priest and prophet be killed

in the sanctuary of the Lord?

 

In the dust of the streets

lie the young and the old;

my young women and my young men

have fallen by the sword;

you have killed them in the day of your anger,

slaughtering without pity.

 

You summoned as if to a festival day

my terrors on every side,

and on the day of the anger of the Lord

no one escaped or survived;

those whom I held and raised

my enemy destroyed.