Fifth lament
A prayer for mercy
The people of Jerusalem pray:#5.1 The people of Jerusalem pray: Or “The prophet prays”.
1Our LORD, don't forget
how we have suffered
and been disgraced.
2Foreigners and strangers
have taken our land
and our homes.
3We are like children
whose mothers are widows.
4The water we drink
and the wood we burn
cost far too much.
5We are terribly ill-treated;#5.5 We … ill-treated: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
we are worn out
and can find no rest.
6We had to surrender
to#5.6 surrender to: Or “make treaties with”. Egypt and Assyria
because we were hungry.
7Our ancestors sinned,
but they are dead,
and we are left to pay
for their sins.
8Slaves are now our rulers,
and there is no one
to set us free.
9We are in danger
from brutal desert tribes;
we must risk our lives
just to bring in our crops.#5.9 crops: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 9.
10Our skin is scorched
from fever and hunger.
11On Zion and everywhere in Judah
our wives and daughters
are being raped.
12Our rulers are strung up
by their arms,
and our nation's advisers
are treated shamefully.
13Young men are forced
to do the work of slaves;
boys must carry
heavy loads of wood.
14Our leaders are not allowed
to decide cases in court,
and young people
no longer play music.
15Our hearts are sad;
instead of dancing,
we mourn.
16Zion's glory has disappeared!
And we are doomed
because of our sins.
17We feel sick all over
and can't even see straight;
18our city is in ruins,
overrun by wild dogs.
19You will rule for ever, LORD!
You are King for all time.
20Why have you forgotten us
for so long?
21Bring us back to you!
Give us a fresh start.
22Or do you despise us so much
that you don't want us?