1See how the Lord covered the city of Zion
with the cloud of his anger!
He threw Israel’s glory down
from heaven to earth.
When he was angry, he turned his back
on his own city.
2Without pity the Lord swallowed up
all the homes of Jacob’s people.
When he was angry, he tore down
the forts of the people of Judah.
He brought down their kingdom and princes
to the ground in dishonor.
3When he was very angry,
he took away Israel’s power.
He pulled back his powerful right hand
as the enemy approached.
His burning anger blazed out in Jacob’s land.
It burned up everything near it.
4Like an enemy the Lord got his bow ready to use.
He had a sword in his right hand.
Like an enemy he destroyed
everything that used to be pleasing to him.
His anger blazed out like fire.
It burned up the homes in the city of Zion.
5The Lord was like an enemy.
He swallowed up Israel.
He swallowed up all of its palaces.
He destroyed its forts.
He filled the people of Judah
with sorrow and sadness.
6The Lord’s temple was like a garden.
But he completely destroyed it.
He destroyed the place
where he used to meet with his people.
He made Zion’s people forget
their appointed feasts and Sabbath days.
When he was very angry, he turned his back on
king and priest alike.
7The Lord deserted his altar.
He left his temple.
He gave the walls of Jerusalem’s palaces
into the hands of her enemies.
They shouted loudly in the house of the Lord.
You would have thought it was the day
of an appointed feast.
8The Lord decided to tear down
the walls around the city of Zion.
He measured out what he wanted to destroy.
Then he destroyed Jerusalem by his power.
He made even her towers and walls sing songs of sadness.
All of them fell down.
9Her gates sank down into the ground.
He broke the metal bars that locked her gates, and he destroyed them.
Her king and princes were taken away to other nations.
There is no law anymore.
Jerusalem’s prophets no longer receive
visions from the Lord.
10The elders of the city of Zion
sit silently on the ground.
They have sprinkled dust on their heads.
They’ve put on the clothes of sadness.
The young women of Jerusalem
have bowed their heads toward the ground.
11I’ve cried so much I can’t see very well.
I’m suffering deep down inside.
My heart is broken
because my people are destroyed.
Children and babies are fainting
in the streets of the city.
12They say to their mothers,
“Where can we find something to eat and drink?”
They faint like wounded soldiers
in the streets of the city.
Their lives are slipping away
in their mothers’ arms.
13City of Jerusalem, what can I say about you?
What can I compare you to?
People of Zion, what are you like?
I want to comfort you.
Your wound is as deep as the ocean.
Who can heal you?
14The visions of your prophets were lies.
They weren’t worth anything.
They didn’t show you the sins you had committed.
So that’s why you were captured.
The messages they gave you were lies.
They led you astray.
15All those who pass by
clap their hands and make fun of you.
They laugh at you and shake their heads
at the city of Jerusalem.
They say, “Could that be the city
that was called perfect and beautiful?
Is that the city that brought joy to everyone on earth?”
16All your enemies open their mouths
wide against you.
They laugh at you and grind their teeth.
They say, “We have swallowed up Jerusalem’s people.
This is the day we’ve waited for.
And we’ve lived to see it.”
17The Lord has done what he planned to do.
He has made what he said come true.
He gave the command long ago.
He has destroyed you without pity.
He has let your enemies laugh at you.
He has made them stronger than you are.
18People in the city of Zion,
cry out from your heart to the Lord.
Let your tears flow like a river
day and night.
Don’t stop at all.
Don’t give your eyes any rest.
19Get up. Cry out as the night begins.
Tell the Lord all your troubles.
Lift up your hands to him.
Pray that the lives of your children will be spared.
At every street corner they faint
because they are so hungry.
20Jerusalem says, “Lord, look at me.
Think about my condition.
Have you ever treated anyone else like this?
Should women have to eat their babies?
Should they eat the children they’ve taken care of?
Should priests and prophets be killed
in your own temple?
21“Young people and old people alike
lie dead in the dust of my streets.
My young men and women
have been killed by swords.
You killed them when you were angry.
You put them to death without pity.
22“You sent for terrors to come against me on every side.
It was as if you were inviting people to enjoy a feast day.
Because you were angry, no one escaped.
No one was left alive.
I took good care of my children and brought them up.
But my enemies have destroyed them.”