בסיעתא דשמיא

מגילת איכה | Megillat Eikhah (Lamentations) for Tisha B’Av by Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org, 2015)

Image: Eikha by Aharon Varady. Font is Bar Kosba by the Culmus Project. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0 Unported.

We are grateful to Rabbi David Seidenberg for sharing his translation of Eikhah (aka Laments, Lamentations). Please support Reb Dovid’s work with a financial contribution.

This translation was originally published as a PDF at neohasid.org. For Reb Dovid’s essay on cannibalism in Eikha, please read “To Prey or to Pray? The Lessons of Famine on Tisha B’Av” (The Jew & the Carrot blog, 2008-08-07).

Rabbi Seidenberg writes:

Some notes on the theology of Eikhah

The idea that tragedy and disaster are punishment for our sins is alien to most most modern Jews. The author(s) of Eikhah believed that what happened to Zion was divine punishment. (This is one reason why it is hard to connect the Holocaust with what we mourn on Tish’a B’av.)

Besides the obvious consolation of believing that the tragedy had meaning, the reader might also consider that for the ancients, the two choices were to believe that the destruction was punishment, or that God simply had no interest in them. It is easy to imagine why people would choose the image of a punishing God over the complete absence of God – though the latter possibility is suggested in the very last line of the text, before we go back to repeat the more comforting line “Turn us…”

Only in chapter 3 is the destruction of Zion consistently seen as fair and just punishment. In other chapters, the degree of divine punishment is (subtly) described as excessive and abusive (e.g. “See YHVH and look: Whom did you treat like this?” in chapter 2).

According to Jeremiah, the reason for exile was that Israel had not allowed the land to rest during her Jubilee years – an outcome promised in the Torah. (This idea is not found in Eikhah, where the identification of the people with the land is total.) In an age when we have good reason to believe that our ecological “sins” are coming home to roost, the connection between disaster and divine retribution may not seem so farfetched. If we sympathize with this idea, we can read Eikhah as an invitation to change our lives, towards justice for all peoples, for all species, and for the land herself.

[Translator’s Notes]

This booklet uses two translations of Laments, the book of mourning poems read on Tish’a B’Av. Chapters 1, 2 and 5 were translated by Rabbi David Mevorach Seidenberg, with attention to the principles of the Buber-Rosenzweig Bible. This translation strives to be “concordant” by translating related Hebrew words with related English words, and by following the order and syntax of the Hebrew as much as possible. In some cases alternate translations are given, indicated by a slash. This translation also focuses on the more physical, earthy meaning of words, drawing the reader from modern thought patterns towards more ancient ways of seeing and feeling. Chapters 3 and 4 were translated by James Moffat (1870-1944) [nearly] a century ago, according to the principles of “idiomatic” translation. This translation strives to recast the Hebrew according to the word order, meaning, and sense of everyday English, even to the point of reordering the verses (see 49-51 of chapter 3). Moffat, more than most idiomatic translators, is able to evoke the emotional depth of the Hebrew.

Translation revised from 2002, 2003 editions for the Aleph Kallah and the NHC Institute. Original translation © 1993, David Seidenberg and shared with a CC-BY-SA 3.0 Unported license. James Moffat’s translation is excerpted from The holy Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments: A new translation (1924, Hodder & Stoughton), and has been revised and updated in minor ways.



אֵיכָה א

1 אֵיכָ֣ה ׀ יָשְׁבָ֣ה בָדָ֗ד
הָעִיר֙ רַבָּ֣תִי עָ֔ם
הָיְתָ֖ה כְּאַלְמָנָ֑ה
רַּבָּ֣תִי בַגּוֹיִ֗ם
שָׂרָ֙תִי֙ בַּמְּדִינ֔וֹת
הָיְתָ֖ה לָמַֽס׃ ס

2 בָּכ֨וֹ תִבְכֶּ֜ה בַּלַּ֗יְלָה
וְדִמְעָתָהּ֙ עַ֣ל לֶֽחֱיָ֔הּ
אֵֽין־לָ֥הּ מְנַחֵ֖ם מִכָּל־אֹהֲבֶ֑יהָ
כָּל־רֵעֶ֙יהָ֙ בָּ֣גְדוּ בָ֔הּ
הָ֥יוּ לָ֖הּ לְאֹיְבִֽים׃ ס

3 גָּֽלְתָ֨ה יְהוּדָ֤ה מֵעֹ֙נִי֙ וּמֵרֹ֣ב עֲבֹדָ֔ה
הִ֚יא יָשְׁבָ֣ה בַגּוֹיִ֔ם
לֹ֥א מָצְאָ֖ה מָנ֑וֹחַ
כָּל־רֹדְפֶ֥יהָ הִשִּׂיג֖וּהָ בֵּ֥ין הַמְּצָרִֽים׃ ס

4 דַּרְכֵ֨י צִיּ֜וֹן אֲבֵל֗וֹת
מִבְּלִי֙ בָּאֵ֣י מוֹעֵ֔ד
כָּל־שְׁעָרֶ֙יהָ֙ שֽׁוֹמֵמִ֔ין
כֹּהֲנֶ֖יהָ נֶאֱנָחִ֑ים
בְּתוּלֹתֶ֥יהָ נּוּג֖וֹת וְהִ֥יא מַר־לָֽהּ׃ ס

5 הָי֨וּ צָרֶ֤יהָ לְרֹאשׁ֙ אֹיְבֶ֣יהָ שָׁל֔וּ
כִּֽי־יְהוָ֥ה הוֹגָ֖הּ עַ֣ל רֹב־פְּשָׁעֶ֑יהָ
עוֹלָלֶ֛יהָ
הָלְכ֥וּ שְׁבִ֖י לִפְנֵי־צָֽר׃ ס

6 וַיֵּצֵ֥א מן־בת־ מִבַּת־צִיּ֖וֹן כָּל־הֲדָרָ֑הּ
הָי֣וּ שָׂרֶ֗יהָ
כְּאַיָּלִים֙ לֹא־מָצְא֣וּ מִרְעֶ֔ה
וַיֵּלְכ֥וּ בְלֹא־כֹ֖חַ לִפְנֵ֥י רוֹדֵֽף׃ ס

7 זָֽכְרָ֣ה יְרוּשָׁלִַ֗ם
יְמֵ֤י עָנְיָהּ֙ וּמְרוּדֶ֔יהָ
כֹּ֚ל מַחֲמֻדֶ֔יהָ
אֲשֶׁ֥ר הָי֖וּ מִ֣ימֵי קֶ֑דֶם
בִּנְפֹ֧ל עַמָּ֣הּ בְּיַד־צָ֗ר
וְאֵ֤ין עוֹזֵר֙ לָ֔הּ
רָא֣וּהָ צָרִ֔ים
שָׂחֲק֖וּ עַ֥ל מִשְׁבַּתֶּֽהָ׃ ס

8 חֵ֤טְא חָֽטְאָה֙ יְר֣וּשָׁלִַ֔ם
עַל־כֵּ֖ן לְנִידָ֣ה הָיָ֑תָה
כָּֽל־מְכַבְּדֶ֤יהָ הִזִּיל֙וּהָ֙ כִּי־רָא֣וּ עֶרְוָתָ֔הּ
גַּם־הִ֥יא נֶאֶנְחָ֖ה וַתָּ֥שָׁב אָחֽוֹר׃ ס

9 טֻמְאָתָ֣הּ בְּשׁוּלֶ֗יהָ
לֹ֤א זָֽכְרָה֙ אַחֲרִיתָ֔הּ
וַתֵּ֣רֶד פְּלָאִ֔ים
אֵ֥ין מְנַחֵ֖ם לָ֑הּ
רְאֵ֤ה יְהוָה֙ אֶת־עָנְיִ֔י
כִּ֥י הִגְדִּ֖יל אוֹיֵֽב׃ ס

10 יָדוֹ֙ פָּ֣רַשׂ צָ֔ר
עַ֖ל כָּל־מַחֲמַדֶּ֑יהָ
כִּֽי־רָאֲתָ֤ה גוֹיִם֙ בָּ֣אוּ מִקְדָּשָׁ֔הּ
אֲשֶׁ֣ר צִוִּ֔יתָה
לֹא־יָבֹ֥אוּ בַקָּהָ֖ל לָֽךְ׃ ס

11 כָּל־עַמָּ֤הּ נֶאֱנָחִים֙ מְבַקְּשִׁ֣ים לֶ֔חֶם
נָתְנ֧וּ מחמודיהם מַחֲמַדֵּיהֶ֛ם בְּאֹ֖כֶל לְהָשִׁ֣יב נָ֑פֶשׁ
רְאֵ֤ה יְהוָה֙ וְֽהַבִּ֔יטָה
כִּ֥י הָיִ֖יתִי זוֹלֵלָֽה׃ ס

12 ל֣וֹא אֲלֵיכֶם֮ כָּל־עֹ֣בְרֵי דֶרֶךְ֒
הַבִּ֣יטוּ וּרְא֗וּ
אִם־יֵ֤שׁ מַכְאוֹב֙ כְּמַכְאֹבִ֔י
אֲשֶׁ֥ר עוֹלַ֖ל לִ֑י
אֲשֶׁר֙ הוֹגָ֣ה יְהוָ֔ה
בְּי֖וֹם חֲר֥וֹן אַפּֽוֹ׃ ס

13 מִמָּר֛וֹם
שָֽׁלַח־אֵ֥שׁ בְּעַצְמֹתַ֖י וַיִּרְדֶּ֑נָּה
פָּרַ֨שׂ רֶ֤שֶׁת לְרַגְלַי֙ הֱשִׁיבַ֣נִי אָח֔וֹר
נְתָנַ֙נִי֙ שֹֽׁמֵמָ֔ה
כָּל־הַיּ֖וֹם דָּוָֽה׃ ס

14 נִשְׂקַד֩ עֹ֨ל פְּשָׁעַ֜י בְּיָד֗וֹ
יִשְׂתָּֽרְג֛וּ
עָל֥וּ עַל־צַוָּארִ֖י הִכְשִׁ֣יל כֹּחִ֑י
נְתָנַ֣נִי אֲדֹנָ֔י
בִּידֵ֖י לֹא־אוּכַ֥ל קֽוּם׃ ס

15 סִלָּ֨ה כָל־אַבִּירַ֤י ׀ אֲדֹנָי֙ בְּקִרְבִּ֔י
קָרָ֥א עָלַ֛י
מוֹעֵ֖ד לִשְׁבֹּ֣ר בַּחוּרָ֑י
גַּ֚ת דָּרַ֣ךְ אֲדֹנָ֔י
לִבְתוּלַ֖ת בַּת־יְהוּדָֽה׃ ס

16 עַל־אֵ֣לֶּה ׀ אֲנִ֣י בוֹכִיָּ֗ה
עֵינִ֤י ׀ עֵינִי֙ יֹ֣רְדָה מַּ֔יִם
כִּֽי־רָחַ֥ק מִמֶּ֛נִּי
מְנַחֵ֖ם מֵשִׁ֣יב נַפְשִׁ֑י
הָי֤וּ בָנַי֙ שֽׁוֹמֵמִ֔ים
כִּ֥י גָבַ֖ר אוֹיֵֽב׃ ס

17 פֵּֽרְשָׂ֨ה צִיּ֜וֹן בְּיָדֶ֗יהָ
אֵ֤ין מְנַחֵם֙ לָ֔הּ
צִוָּ֧ה יְהוָ֛ה
לְיַעֲקֹ֖ב סְבִיבָ֣יו צָרָ֑יו
הָיְתָ֧ה יְרוּשָׁלִַ֛ם
לְנִדָּ֖ה בֵּינֵיהֶֽם׃ ס

18 צַדִּ֥יק ה֛וּא
יְהוָ֖ה כִּ֣י פִ֣יהוּ מָרִ֑יתִי
שִׁמְעוּ־נָ֣א כָל־עמים הָֽעַמִּ֗ים וּרְאוּ֙ מַכְאֹבִ֔י
בְּתוּלֹתַ֥י וּבַחוּרַ֖י הָלְכ֥וּ בַשֶּֽׁבִי׃ ס

19 קָרָ֤אתִי לַֽמְאַהֲבַי֙ הֵ֣מָּה רִמּ֔וּנִי
כֹּהֲנַ֥י וּזְקֵנַ֖י בָּעִ֣יר גָּוָ֑עוּ
כִּֽי־בִקְשׁ֥וּ אֹ֙כֶל֙ לָ֔מוֹ
וְיָשִׁ֖יבוּ אֶת־נַפְשָֽׁם׃ ס

20 רְאֵ֨ה יְהוָ֤ה כִּֽי־צַר־לִי֙ מֵעַ֣י חֳמַרְמָ֔רוּ
נֶהְפַּ֤ךְ לִבִּי֙ בְּקִרְבִּ֔י
כִּ֥י מָר֖וֹ מָרִ֑יתִי
מִח֥וּץ שִׁכְּלָה־חֶ֖רֶב בַּבַּ֥יִת כַּמָּֽוֶת׃ ס

21 שָׁמְע֞וּ כִּ֧י נֶאֱנָחָ֣ה אָ֗נִי
אֵ֤ין מְנַחֵם֙ לִ֔י
כָּל־אֹ֨יְבַ֜י שָׁמְע֤וּ רָֽעָתִי֙ שָׂ֔שׂוּ
כִּ֥י אַתָּ֖ה עָשִׂ֑יתָ
הֵבֵ֥אתָ יוֹם־קָרָ֖אתָ וְיִֽהְי֥וּ כָמֽוֹנִי׃ ס

22 תָּבֹ֨א כָל־רָעָתָ֤ם לְפָנֶ֙יךָ֙ וְעוֹלֵ֣ל לָ֔מוֹ
כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר עוֹלַ֛לְתָּ
לִ֖י עַ֣ל כָּל־פְּשָׁעָ֑י
כִּֽי־רַבּ֥וֹת אַנְחֹתַ֖י וְלִבִּ֥י דַוָּֽי׃ פ

CHAPTER 1

/1:1 Eikhah! How can it be –
that she sat alone,
the city so great / so swelled with people?
She was like a widow.
The one great among the nations,
ministering among the states,
became a slave caste.

/1:2 Crying, she will cry in the night,
her tear upon her cheek
There is none for her, no comforter,
from all her lovers.
All her companions
played traitor with her.
They became for her enemies.

/1:3 She, Judah, was exiled,
by poverty, and by (so) much hard labor
She sat among the nations,
not finding any rest;
All her pursuers caught up with her
between the confined places.

/1:4 Zion’s roads are mourning
from being without festival-goers,
all her gates desolated;
Her priests are moaning,
her girls grieving;
And she – it is bitterness for her.

/1:5 Her tormentors were at the head,
her enemies had ease
For YHVH aggrieved her
for the greatness of her sins.
Her babes walked captive before foe;

/1:6 and all her splendor went out from
daughter Zion!
Her ministers, like deer,
not finding a place to graze;
They walked, without strength,
before a pursuer.

/1:7 Jerusalem remembered
the days of her impoverishment
and her downsliding,
all her precious things
which were from early days,
while her people fell into a foe’s hand;
And there is no help for her.
They saw her, her tormentors,
laughing over her becoming stilled.

/1:8 Sinning she sinned, Jerusalem.
For this an outcast / nidah she became.
All who honor her despise her,
for they saw her nakedness.
Also her, she is moaning,
turned around backward.

/1:9 Her blood / tum’ah in her skirts,
she didn’t remember her end after,
she descended wondrously.
There is no comforter for her.
YHVH, see my poverty, my humiliation,
for an enemy became great.

/1:10 A foe / Trauma spread out his hand
over all her precious things;
She saw other nations
come within her holy place,
which you commanded her:
“They won’t come in with
the community to you.”

/1:11 All her people are moaning
seeking bread;
They gave up their precious things
for food to restore life.
See, YHVH!
Look (how much) I was despised.

/1:12 Never to you,
all who pass on the way.
Look, you must see –
Could there be pain like my pain
which was doled out to me,
which YHVH caused to grieve
in the day of his furious anger?

/1:13 From a height he sent fire in my bones
and he overwhelmed them.
He spread out a net for my feet;
He repelled me back;
he made me desolate,
all day – sickness.

/1:14 The harness of my sins lashed on,
they were tied down by his hand,
brought up onto my neck,
making my strength fail.
Adonai gave me over into (such) hands
that I am unable to stand up.

/1:15 Adonai spurned
all my mighty warriors within me,
he called out over me a feast
for breaking my boys;
a winepress—Adonai stomped—
for daughter Judah’s girl.

/1:16 Over these, I am crying;
My eye, my eye, she drops water.
For so far from me is any comforter,
a restorer for my life.
My children were decimated,
for an enemy overwhelmed / triumphed.

/1:17 Zion spread out with her hands,
there is no comforter for her.
YHVH commanded for Jacob,
surrounding him, his tormentors.
Jerusalem became
outcast / nidah between them.

/1:18 Righteous is YHVH,
for his mouth I rebelled (against).
Listen, please – all peoples –
and see my pain!
My girls and my boys
walked captive / into captivity.

/1:19 I called to my lovers.
Those deceived me.
My priests, and my elders,
they wasted away in the city,
seeking food for them,
and to bring back their life.

/1:20 See YHVH – for mine is torment,
my guts were churning,
my heart overturned within me,
for rebelling I rebelled.
From outside sword striking down;
In the house, like death itself.

/1:21 They listened. I am moaning,
there is no comforter for me.
All my enemies listened for my evil doom.
They rejoiced, for you did it,
you brought the day you called for –
and they will be(come) like me.

/1:22 All their evil will come before you
Treat them
like you treated me
for all my sins.
For so much are my sighs,
and my heart is sickened.


אֵיכָה ב

1 אֵיכָה֩ יָעִ֨יב בְּאַפּ֤וֹ ׀ אֲדֹנָי֙ אֶת־בַּת־צִיּ֔וֹן
הִשְׁלִ֤יךְ מִשָּׁמַ֙יִם֙ אֶ֔רֶץ
תִּפְאֶ֖רֶת יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל
וְלֹא־זָכַ֥ר הֲדֹם־רַגְלָ֖יו בְּי֥וֹם אַפּֽוֹ׃ ס

2 בִּלַּ֨ע אֲדֹנָ֜י לא וְלֹ֣א חָמַ֗ל
אֵ֚ת כָּל־נְא֣וֹת יַעֲקֹ֔ב
הָרַ֧ס בְּעֶבְרָת֛וֹ
מִבְצְרֵ֥י בַת־יְהוּדָ֖ה הִגִּ֣יעַ לָאָ֑רֶץ
חִלֵּ֥ל מַמְלָכָ֖ה וְשָׂרֶֽיהָ׃ ס

3 גָּדַ֣ע בָּֽחֳרִי אַ֗ף
כֹּ֚ל קֶ֣רֶן יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל
הֵשִׁ֥יב אָח֛וֹר
יְמִינ֖וֹ מִפְּנֵ֣י אוֹיֵ֑ב
וַיִּבְעַ֤ר בְּיַעֲקֹב֙ כְּאֵ֣שׁ לֶֽהָבָ֔ה
אָכְלָ֖ה סָבִֽיב׃ ס

4 דָּרַ֨ךְ קַשְׁתּ֜וֹ כְּאוֹיֵ֗ב
נִצָּ֤ב יְמִינוֹ֙ כְּצָ֔ר
וַֽיַּהֲרֹ֔ג
כֹּ֖ל מַחֲמַדֵּי־עָ֑יִן
בְּאֹ֙הֶל֙ בַּת־צִיּ֔וֹן
שָׁפַ֥ךְ כָּאֵ֖שׁ חֲמָתֽוֹ׃ ס

5 הָיָ֨ה אֲדֹנָ֤י ׀ כְּאוֹיֵב֙ בִּלַּ֣ע יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל
בִּלַּע֙ כָּל־אַרְמְנוֹתֶ֔יהָ
שִׁחֵ֖ת מִבְצָרָ֑יו
וַיֶּ֙רֶב֙ בְּבַת־יְהוּדָ֔ה
תַּאֲנִיָּ֖ה וַאֲנִיָּֽה׃ ס

6 וַיַּחְמֹ֤ס כַּגַּן֙ שֻׂכּ֔וֹ
שִׁחֵ֖ת מוֹעֲד֑וֹ
שִׁכַּ֨ח יְהוָ֤ה ׀ בְּצִיּוֹן֙ מוֹעֵ֣ד וְשַׁבָּ֔ת
וַיִּנְאַ֥ץ בְּזַֽעַם־אַפּ֖וֹ מֶ֥לֶךְ וְכֹהֵֽן׃ ס

7 זָנַ֨ח אֲדֹנָ֤י ׀ מִזְבְּחוֹ֙ נִאֵ֣ר מִקְדָּשׁ֔וֹ
הִסְגִּיר֙ בְּיַד־אוֹיֵ֔ב
חוֹמֹ֖ת אַרְמְנוֹתֶ֑יהָ
ק֛וֹל
נָתְנ֥וּ בְּבֵית־יְהוָ֖ה כְּי֥וֹם מוֹעֵֽד׃ ס

8 חָשַׁ֨ב יְהוָ֤ה ׀ לְהַשְׁחִית֙ חוֹמַ֣ת בַּת־צִיּ֔וֹן
נָ֣טָה קָ֔ו
לֹא־הֵשִׁ֥יב יָד֖וֹ מִבַּלֵּ֑עַ
וַיַּֽאֲבֶל־חֵ֥ל וְחוֹמָ֖ה יַחְדָּ֥ו אֻמְלָֽלוּ׃ ס

9 טָבְע֤וּ בָאָ֙רֶץ֙ שְׁעָרֶ֔יהָ
אִבַּ֥ד וְשִׁבַּ֖ר בְּרִיחֶ֑יהָ
מַלְכָּ֨הּ וְשָׂרֶ֤יהָ בַגּוֹיִם֙ אֵ֣ין תּוֹרָ֔ה
גַּם־נְבִיאֶ֕יהָ
לֹא־מָצְא֥וּ חָז֖וֹן מֵיְהוָֽה׃ ס

10 יֵשְׁב֨וּ לָאָ֤רֶץ יִדְּמוּ֙ זִקְנֵ֣י בַת־צִיּ֔וֹן
הֶֽעֱל֤וּ עָפָר֙ עַל־רֹאשָׁ֔ם
חָגְר֖וּ שַׂקִּ֑ים
הוֹרִ֤ידוּ לָאָ֙רֶץ֙ רֹאשָׁ֔ן
בְּתוּלֹ֖ת יְרוּשָׁלִָֽם׃ ס

11 כָּל֨וּ בַדְּמָע֤וֹת עֵינַי֙ חֳמַרְמְר֣וּ מֵעַ֔י
נִשְׁפַּ֤ךְ לָאָ֙רֶץ֙ כְּבֵדִ֔י
עַל־שֶׁ֖בֶר בַּת־עַמִּ֑י
בֵּֽעָטֵ֤ף עוֹלֵל֙ וְיוֹנֵ֔ק
בִּרְחֹב֖וֹת קִרְיָֽה׃ ס

12 לְאִמֹּתָם֙ יֹֽאמְר֔וּ
אַיֵּ֖ה דָּגָ֣ן וָיָ֑יִן
בְּהִֽתְעַטְּפָ֤ם כֶּֽחָלָל֙ בִּרְחֹב֣וֹת עִ֔יר
בְּהִשְׁתַּפֵּ֣ךְ נַפְשָׁ֔ם
אֶל־חֵ֖יק אִמֹּתָֽם׃ ס

13 מָֽה־אֲעִידֵ֞ךְ מָ֣ה אֲדַמֶּה־לָּ֗ךְ
הַבַּת֙ יְר֣וּשָׁלִַ֔ם
מָ֤ה אַשְׁוֶה־לָּךְ֙ וַאֲנַֽחֲמֵ֔ךְ
בְּתוּלַ֖ת בַּת־צִיּ֑וֹן
כִּֽי־גָד֥וֹל כַּיָּ֛ם
שִׁבְרֵ֖ךְ מִ֥י יִרְפָּא־לָֽךְ׃ ס

14 נְבִיאַ֗יִךְ
חָ֤זוּ לָךְ֙ שָׁ֣וְא וְתָפֵ֔ל
וְלֹֽא־גִלּ֥וּ עַל־עֲוֺנֵ֖ךְ לְהָשִׁ֣יב
שביתך שְׁבוּתֵ֑ךְ וַיֶּ֣חֱזוּ לָ֔ךְ
מַשְׂא֥וֹת שָׁ֖וְא וּמַדּוּחִֽים׃ ס

15 סָֽפְק֨וּ עָלַ֤יִךְ כַּפַּ֙יִם֙ כָּל־עֹ֣בְרֵי דֶ֔רֶךְ
שָֽׁרְקוּ֙ וַיָּנִ֣עוּ רֹאשָׁ֔ם
עַל־בַּ֖ת יְרוּשָׁלִָ֑ם
הֲזֹ֣את הָעִ֗יר
שֶׁיֹּֽאמְרוּ֙ כְּלִ֣ילַת יֹ֔פִי
מָשׂ֖וֹשׂ לְכָל־הָאָֽרֶץ׃ ס

16 פָּצ֨וּ עָלַ֤יִךְ פִּיהֶם֙ כָּל־א֣וֹיְבַ֔יִךְ
שָֽׁרְקוּ֙ וַיַּֽחַרְקוּ־שֵׁ֔ן
אָמְר֖וּ בִּלָּ֑עְנוּ
אַ֣ךְ זֶ֥ה הַיּ֛וֹם
שֶׁקִּוִּינֻ֖הוּ מָצָ֥אנוּ רָאִֽינוּ׃ ס

17 עָשָׂ֨ה יְהוָ֜ה אֲשֶׁ֣ר זָמָ֗ם
בִּצַּ֤ע אֶמְרָתוֹ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר צִוָּ֣ה מִֽימֵי־קֶ֔דֶם
הָרַ֖ס וְלֹ֣א חָמָ֑ל
וַיְשַׂמַּ֤ח עָלַ֙יִךְ֙ אוֹיֵ֔ב
הֵרִ֖ים קֶ֥רֶן צָרָֽיִךְ׃ ס

18 צָעַ֥ק לִבָּ֖ם אֶל־אֲדֹנָ֑י
חוֹמַ֣ת בַּת־צִ֠יּוֹן הוֹרִ֨ידִי כַנַּ֤חַל דִּמְעָה֙ יוֹמָ֣ם וָלַ֔יְלָה
אַֽל־תִּתְּנִ֤י פוּגַת֙ לָ֔ךְ
אַל־תִּדֹּ֖ם בַּת־עֵינֵֽךְ׃ ס

19 ק֣וּמִי ׀ רֹ֣נִּי בליל בַלַּ֗יְלָה לְרֹאשׁ֙ אַשְׁמֻר֔וֹת
שִׁפְכִ֤י כַמַּ֙יִם֙ לִבֵּ֔ךְ
נֹ֖כַח פְּנֵ֣י אֲדֹנָ֑י
שְׂאִ֧י אֵלָ֣יו כַּפַּ֗יִךְ
עַל־נֶ֙פֶשׁ֙ עֽוֹלָלַ֔יִךְ
הָעֲטוּפִ֥ים בְּרָעָ֖ב בְּרֹ֥אשׁ כָּל־חוּצֽוֹת׃ ס

20 רְאֵ֤ה יְהוָה֙ וְֽהַבִּ֔יטָה
לְמִ֖י עוֹלַ֣לְתָּ כֹּ֑ה
אִם־תֹּאכַ֨לְנָה נָשִׁ֤ים פִּרְיָם֙ עֹלֲלֵ֣י טִפֻּחִ֔ים
אִם־יֵהָרֵ֛ג
בְּמִקְדַּ֥שׁ אֲדֹנָ֖י כֹּהֵ֥ן וְנָבִֽיא׃ ס

21 שָׁכְב֨וּ לָאָ֤רֶץ חוּצוֹת֙ נַ֣עַר וְזָקֵ֔ן
בְּתוּלֹתַ֥י וּבַחוּרַ֖י נָפְל֣וּ בֶחָ֑רֶב
הָרַ֙גְתָּ֙ בְּי֣וֹם אַפֶּ֔ךָ
טָבַ֖חְתָּ לֹ֥א חָמָֽלְתָּ׃ ס

22 תִּקְרָא֩ כְי֨וֹם מוֹעֵ֤ד מְגוּרַי֙ מִסָּבִ֔יב
וְלֹ֥א הָיָ֛ה
בְּי֥וֹם אַף־יְהוָ֖ה פָּלִ֣יט וְשָׂרִ֑יד
אֲשֶׁר־טִפַּ֥חְתִּי וְרִבִּ֖יתִי אֹיְבִ֥י כִלָּֽם׃ פ

CHAPTER 2

/2:1 Eikhah! How can it be!
In his anger
Adonai darkened daughter Zion.
He cast down, from skies (to) earth,
Israel’s glory,
and didn’t remember
his foot’s resting place
in his day of anger.

/2:2 Adonai devoured
—he had no pity—
all of Jacob’s pastures.
He tore down with his burning
daughter Judah’s fortifications;
he reached to the very ground.
He violated kingdom and her ministers.

/2:3 With ferocious anger he hacked off
all of Israel’s horn.
He turned his right hand backward
before the enemy.
Burning into Jacob, like fire flaming
consuming (all) around.

/2:4 He worked his bow like an enemy,
he stood his right hand firm
as a foe / a tormentor
and he murdered everything
precious to the eye;
In daughter Zion’s tent
he poured out his wrath like fire.

/2:5 Adonai was like an enemy;
he devoured Israel.
He devoured all her citadels,
undermined his fortifications;
And he multiplied in daughter Zion
grief and groaning.

/2:6 Like a garden, he tore apart his sukkah,
he destroyed his feast.
YHVH caused Shabbat and festival
to be forgotten in Zion,
by the rage of his anger, king and priest.

/2:7 Adonai abhorred his altar,
disdained his holy place.
He turned over to an enemy’s hand
the walls of her citadels.
They gave a shout in YHVH’s house
like a festival day.

/2:8 YHVH determined to ruin
daughter Zion’s wall.
He stretched a line,
he didn’t turn his hand back
from swallowing up,
and he made rampart and wall,
mourn together, wretched.

/2:9 They drowned in the earth, her gates.
He smashed and broke her bars.
Her king and her ministers in the nations,
there is no Torah / no teaching.
Also her prophets,
They found no vision from YHVH.

/2:10 They sat down to the earth, silenced,
daughter Zion’s elders,
they lifted dust over their head,
tied on sackcloth.
They let their head down to the earth,
Jerusalem’s girls.

/2:11 My eyes were used up by the tears,
my guts churned up,
my organs poured out to the ground
over the shattering of
my daughter people,
with exhaustion of babe and infant
in city squares.

/2:12 To their mothers they would say,
“Where is grain and wine?”,
stretching themselves out,
like a corpse, in city streets,
with their life force pouring out
onto their mothers’ chest.

/2:13 What can I make testify?
What will I liken to you?
O daughter Jerusalem!
What can I compare to you
(that) I may comfort you,
daughter Zion’s girl?
For great, like the sea,
is your shattering
– who will bring healing to you?

/2:14 For you did your prophets envision
deception, and irrelevance,
revealing nothing for your wrong
to turn back your destiny / your captivity,
and they envisioned for you
a burden of deceit and dejections.

/2:15 They struck their hands over you,
all who passed on the road,
they hissed and they shook their head
over daughter Jerusalem:
“Is this it?
The city they said (was)
beauty’s completion,
joy’s source for all the earth?”

/2:16 They crack open their mouth over you,
all your enemies.
They hissed, gritting teeth.
They said: We swallowed;
Akh! This day that we hoped for,
we found, we saw!

/2:17 YHVH did what he conspired;
He pushed through his saying
which he commanded from early days.
He tore down and showed no pity.
He made an enemy rejoice over you;
your tormentors’ horn was exalted.

/2:18 Their heart screamed out to Adonai.
Wall of daughter Zion,
let down a tear like a torrent,
day and night.
Don’t give yourself any break;
Don’t let your daughter eye fall silent.

/2:19 Get up! Sing out in the night
to the first of the nightwatches:
Pour out your heart like water
right before Adonai!
Lift your palms toward him –
for the life of your babies
stretched out by famine
at every street head!

/2:20 See YHVH and look:
Whom did you treat like this?
If women will eat their fruit,
coddled babies –;
If priest and prophet are murdered
in Adonai’s holy place –!

/2:21 Laid down to the earth (in the) streets,
young and old,
my girls and my boys,
they fell by sword;
You murdered in the day of your anger.
You slaughtered, you had no pity.

/2:22 You would call, like a festival day,
(for) my neighbors from all around;
and (so) in YHVH’s day of anger
there weren’t any escaped or remaining
which I had nursed and raised –
my enemy finished them all.


אֵיכָה ג

1 אֲנִ֤י הַגֶּ֙בֶר֙ רָאָ֣ה עֳנִ֔י
בְּשֵׁ֖בֶט עֶבְרָתֽוֹ׃

2 אוֹתִ֥י נָהַ֛ג
וַיֹּלַ֖ךְ חֹ֥שֶׁךְ וְלֹא־אֽוֹר׃

3 אַ֣ךְ בִּ֥י יָשֻׁ֛ב
יַהֲפֹ֥ךְ יָד֖וֹ כָּל־הַיּֽוֹם׃ ס

4 בִּלָּ֤ה בְשָׂרִי֙ וְעוֹרִ֔י
שִׁבַּ֖ר עַצְמוֹתָֽי׃

5 בָּנָ֥ה עָלַ֛י
וַיַּקַּ֖ף רֹ֥אשׁ וּתְלָאָֽה׃

6 בְּמַחֲשַׁכִּ֥ים הוֹשִׁיבַ֖נִי כְּמֵתֵ֥י עוֹלָֽם׃ ס

7 גָּדַ֧ר בַּעֲדִ֛י
וְלֹ֥א אֵצֵ֖א הִכְבִּ֥יד נְחָשְׁתִּֽי׃

8 גַּ֣ם כִּ֤י אֶזְעַק֙ וַאֲשַׁוֵּ֔עַ
שָׂתַ֖ם תְּפִלָּתִֽי׃

9 גָּדַ֤ר דְּרָכַי֙ בְּגָזִ֔ית
נְתִיבֹתַ֖י עִוָּֽה׃ ס

10 דֹּ֣ב אֹרֵ֥ב הוּא֙ לִ֔י
אריה אֲרִ֖י בְּמִסְתָּרִֽים׃

11 דְּרָכַ֥י סוֹרֵ֛ר
וַֽיְפַשְּׁחֵ֖נִי שָׂמַ֥נִי שֹׁמֵֽם׃

12 דָּרַ֤ךְ קַשְׁתוֹ֙ וַיַּצִּיבֵ֔נִי
כַּמַּטָּרָ֖א לַחֵֽץ׃ ס

13 הֵבִיא֙ בְּכִלְיוֹתָ֔י
בְּנֵ֖י אַשְׁפָּתֽוֹ׃

14 הָיִ֤יתִי שְּׂחֹק֙ לְכָל־עַמִּ֔י
נְגִינָתָ֖ם כָּל־הַיּֽוֹם׃

15 הִשְׂבִּיעַ֥נִי בַמְּרוֹרִ֖ים הִרְוַ֥נִי לַעֲנָֽה׃ ס

16 וַיַּגְרֵ֤ס בֶּֽחָצָץ֙ שִׁנָּ֔י
הִכְפִּישַׁ֖נִי בָּאֵֽפֶר׃

17 וַתִּזְנַ֧ח מִשָּׁל֛וֹם
נַפְשִׁ֖י נָשִׁ֥יתִי טוֹבָֽה׃

18 וָאֹמַר֙ אָבַ֣ד נִצְחִ֔י
וְתוֹחַלְתִּ֖י מֵיְהוָֽה׃ ס

19 זְכָר־עָנְיִ֥י וּמְרוּדִ֖י לַעֲנָ֥ה וָרֹֽאשׁ׃

20 זָכ֣וֹר תִּזְכּ֔וֹר
ותשיח וְתָשׁ֥וֹחַ עָלַ֖י נַפְשִֽׁי׃

21 זֹ֛את
אָשִׁ֥יב אֶל־לִבִּ֖י עַל־כֵּ֥ן אוֹחִֽיל׃ ס

22 חַֽסְדֵ֤י יְהוָה֙ כִּ֣י לֹא־תָ֔מְנוּ
כִּ֥י לֹא־כָל֖וּ רַחֲמָֽיו׃

23 חֲדָשִׁים֙ לַבְּקָרִ֔ים
רַבָּ֖ה אֱמוּנָתֶֽךָ׃

24 חֶלְקִ֤י יְהוָה֙ אָמְרָ֣ה נַפְשִׁ֔י
עַל־כֵּ֖ן אוֹחִ֥יל לֽוֹ׃ ס

25 ט֤וֹב יְהוָה֙ לְקֹוָ֔ו
לְנֶ֖פֶשׁ תִּדְרְשֶֽׁנּוּ׃

26 ט֤וֹב וְיָחִיל֙ וְדוּמָ֔ם
לִתְשׁוּעַ֖ת יְהוָֽה׃

27 ט֣וֹב לַגֶּ֔בֶר
כִּֽי־יִשָּׂ֥א עֹ֖ל בִּנְעוּרָֽיו׃ ס

28 יֵשֵׁ֤ב בָּדָד֙ וְיִדֹּ֔ם
כִּ֥י נָטַ֖ל עָלָֽיו׃

29 יִתֵּ֤ן בֶּֽעָפָר֙ פִּ֔יהוּ
אוּלַ֖י יֵ֥שׁ תִּקְוָֽה׃

30 יִתֵּ֧ן לְמַכֵּ֛הוּ
לֶ֖חִי יִשְׂבַּ֥ע בְּחֶרְפָּֽה׃ ס

31 כִּ֣י לֹ֥א יִזְנַ֛ח
לְעוֹלָ֖ם אֲדֹנָֽי׃

32 כִּ֣י אִם־הוֹגָ֔ה
וְרִחַ֖ם כְּרֹ֥ב חסדו חֲסָדָֽיו׃

33 כִּ֣י לֹ֤א עִנָּה֙ מִלִּבּ֔וֹ
וַיַּגֶּ֖ה בְנֵי־אִֽישׁ׃ ס

34 לְדַכֵּא֙ תַּ֣חַת רַגְלָ֔יו
כֹּ֖ל אֲסִ֥ירֵי אָֽרֶץ׃

35 לְהַטּוֹת֙ מִשְׁפַּט־גָּ֔בֶר
נֶ֖גֶד פְּנֵ֥י עֶלְיֽוֹן׃

36 לְעַוֵּ֤ת אָדָם֙ בְּרִיב֔וֹ
אֲדֹנָ֖י לֹ֥א רָאָֽה׃ ס

37 מִ֣י זֶ֤ה אָמַר֙ וַתֶּ֔הִי
אֲדֹנָ֖י לֹ֥א צִוָּֽה׃

38 מִפִּ֤י עֶלְיוֹן֙ לֹ֣א תֵצֵ֔א
הָרָע֖וֹת וְהַטּֽוֹב׃

39 מַה־יִּתְאוֹנֵן֙ אָדָ֣ם חָ֔י
גֶּ֖בֶר עַל־חטאו חֲטָאָֽיו׃ ס

40 נַחְפְּשָׂ֤ה דְרָכֵ֙ינוּ֙ וְֽנַחְקֹ֔רָה
וְנָשׁ֖וּבָה עַד־יְהוָֽה׃

41 נִשָּׂ֤א לְבָבֵ֙נוּ֙ אֶל־כַּפָּ֔יִם
אֶל־אֵ֖ל בַּשָּׁמָֽיִם׃

42 נַ֤חְנוּ פָשַׁ֙עְנוּ֙ וּמָרִ֔ינוּ
אַתָּ֖ה לֹ֥א סָלָֽחְתָּ׃ ס

43 סַכֹּ֤תָה בָאַף֙ וַֽתִּרְדְּפֵ֔נוּ
הָרַ֖גְתָּ לֹ֥א חָמָֽלְתָּ׃

44 סַכּ֤וֹתָה בֶֽעָנָן֙ לָ֔ךְ
מֵעֲב֖וֹר תְּפִלָּֽה׃

45 סְחִ֧י וּמָא֛וֹס
תְּשִׂימֵ֖נוּ בְּקֶ֥רֶב הָעַמִּֽים׃ ס

46 פָּצ֥וּ עָלֵ֛ינוּ
פִּיהֶ֖ם כָּל־אֹיְבֵֽינוּ׃

47 פַּ֧חַד וָפַ֛חַת
הָ֥יָה לָ֖נוּ הַשֵּׁ֥את וְהַשָּֽׁבֶר׃

48 פַּלְגֵי־מַ֙יִם֙ תֵּרַ֣ד עֵינִ֔י
עַל־שֶׁ֖בֶר בַּת־עַמִּֽי׃ ס

49 עֵינִ֧י נִגְּרָ֛ה
וְלֹ֥א תִדְמֶ֖ה מֵאֵ֥ין הֲפֻגֽוֹת׃

50 עַד־יַשְׁקִ֣יף וְיֵ֔רֶא
יְהוָ֖ה מִשָּׁמָֽיִם׃

51 עֵינִי֙ עֽוֹלְלָ֣ה לְנַפְשִׁ֔י
מִכֹּ֖ל בְּנ֥וֹת עִירִֽי׃ ס

52 צ֥וֹד צָד֛וּנִי
כַּצִּפּ֖וֹר אֹיְבַ֥י חִנָּֽם׃

53 צָֽמְת֤וּ בַבּוֹר֙ חַיָּ֔י
וַיַּדּוּ־אֶ֖בֶן בִּֽי׃

54 צָֽפוּ־מַ֥יִם עַל־רֹאשִׁ֖י אָמַ֥רְתִּי נִגְזָֽרְתִּי׃ ס

55 קָרָ֤אתִי שִׁמְךָ֙ יְהוָ֔ה
מִבּ֖וֹר תַּחְתִּיּֽוֹת׃

56 קוֹלִ֖י שָׁמָ֑עְתָּ
אַל־תַּעְלֵ֧ם אָזְנְךָ֛
לְרַוְחָתִ֖י לְשַׁוְעָתִֽי׃

57 קָרַ֙בְתָּ֙ בְּי֣וֹם אֶקְרָאֶ֔ךָּ
אָמַ֖רְתָּ אַל־תִּירָֽא׃ ס

58 רַ֧בְתָּ אֲדֹנָ֛י
רִיבֵ֥י נַפְשִׁ֖י גָּאַ֥לְתָּ חַיָּֽי׃

59 רָאִ֤יתָה יְהוָה֙ עַוָּ֣תָתִ֔י
שָׁפְטָ֖ה מִשְׁפָּטִֽי׃

60 רָאִ֙יתָה֙ כָּל־נִקְמָתָ֔ם
כָּל־מַחְשְׁבֹתָ֖ם לִֽי׃ ס

61 שָׁמַ֤עְתָּ חֶרְפָּתָם֙ יְהוָ֔ה
כָּל־מַחְשְׁבֹתָ֖ם עָלָֽי׃

62 שִׂפְתֵ֤י קָמַי֙ וְהֶגְיוֹנָ֔ם
עָלַ֖י כָּל־הַיּֽוֹם׃

63 שִׁבְתָּ֤ם וְקִֽימָתָם֙ הַבִּ֔יטָה
אֲנִ֖י מַנְגִּינָתָֽם׃ ס

64 תָּשִׁ֨יב לָהֶ֥ם גְּמ֛וּל
יְהוָ֖ה כְּמַעֲשֵׂ֥ה יְדֵיהֶֽם׃

65 תִּתֵּ֤ן לָהֶם֙ מְגִנַּת־לֵ֔ב
תַּאֲלָֽתְךָ֖ לָהֶֽם׃

66 תִּרְדֹּ֤ף בְּאַף֙ וְתַשְׁמִידֵ֔ם
מִתַּ֖חַת שְׁמֵ֥י יְהוָֽה׃ פ

CHAPTER 3 [James Moffat’s translation continues from here until the end of chapter 4.]

/3:1 I am the man who has suffered
under the rod of his anger:

/3:2 I am the man he has been leading
on a dark, unlighted road;

/3:3 he has baffled me over and again,
all the day long;

/3:4 he has worn away my skin and flesh,
and broken my bones;

/3:5 he has piled troubles up against me,
right round my head;

/3:6 he has made me dwell in the dark,
like those long dead;

/3:7 he has walled me round,
till I cannot go out,
He has loaded me with chains;

/3:8 and when I fain would cry for help,
He stops my prayer;

/3:9 He blocks my way with boulders,
till my course is twisted;

/3:10 He lurks for me like a bear,
like a lion in ambush;

/3:11 He has chased and mangled me
and left me all forlorn;

/3:12 He has bent his bow
and made me target for his arrows;

/3:13 he has driven his shafts home,
right into me;

/3:14 I am the butt of all nations,
burden of their satire all day long.

/3:15 He has filled me up with bitter herbs,
and sated me with wormwood;

/3:16 He has broken my teeth with gravel,
and covered me with ashes.

/3:17 He has bereft me of all bliss,
I forget what it is to prosper,

/3:18 I said, “My strength is gone,
and my hope in the Eternal [YHVH]!”

/3:19 The thought of my stress and scattering
is bitter gall to me;

/3:20 my soul is always thinking of it,
and is crushed within me.

/3:21 But I will call to mind,
to give me hope,

/3:22 that YHVH’s love is lasting,
and will never fail.

/3:23 Fresh every morning is your kindness,
great is your faithfulness!

/3:24 YHVH is my allotted share,
I say,
therefore I will hope in him.

/3:25 YHVH is good
to those who wait for him,
to a soul that seeks him.

/3:26 It is good to wait in silence
for the help of YHVH;

/3:27 it is good for a man
to bear without a word
the rebuke of YHVH;

/3:28 Let him sit alone in silence,
since it is YHVH’s hand;

/3:29 let him lay his lips to the dust –
there may be hope for him;

/3:30 let him offer his cheek to the striker,
and suffer all taunts.

/3:31 For Adonai will not
always discard life;

/3:32 he wounds, but he has pity,
so rich is his love;

/3:33 he is loathe to cause pain
to grieve the sons of men.

/3:34 When a whole people is taken
prisoner and downtrodden,

/3:35 when a man
is deprived of his rights,
under the eyes of the Most High,

/3:36 when a person does not get justice,
does Adonai not see it?

/3:37 Who can carry out his will,
unless it is Adonai’s order?

/3:38 Are not weal and woe alike
decreed by the Most High?

/3:39 Then why should mortal men complain,
when they are punished for their sins?

/3:40 Let us scan and search our lives,
let us return to YHVH,

/3:41 lifting our hearts up with our hands
to God in heaven;

/3:42 The sin is ours, we have rebelled,
and you – you have not pardoned;

/3:43 You have veiled your face in anger,
pursuing us,
killing without pity;

/3:44 you have covered
yourself with a cloud
no prayer can pierce;

/3:45 you have made us
mere scum and refuse
in the world.

/3:46 Our foes all yell
against us;

/3:47 dismay and destruction befall us,
ravage and ruin.

/3:48 Tears are flooding from my eyes
for the ruin of my people;

/3:49 My eyes stream without ceasing,
without rest,

/3:50 till YHVH will look down
from heaven above,

/3:51 my eyes are sore with sorrow
for all the woes of my city.

/3:52 They have hunted me like a bird,
with no reason for their hate;

/3:53 they dropped me
to die in a dungeon,
flinging stones at me;

/3:54 waters flowed over my head,
“I am lost,” I said.

/3:55 From the depth of the dungeon
I called, O Eternal, to you;

/3:56 you did hear me crying
“Give ear, don’t hide
from my plea and cry”;

/3:57 you came at my call,
bidding me, “Fear not.”

/3:58 O Adonai, you did take my part
and save my life.

/3:59 And now you see my wrongs;
Oh vindicate me!

/3:60 You have seen all the revenge
they have plotted against me.

/3:61 You have heard all the insults
they plotted against me,

/3:62 the talk of the ones who attack me,
their muttering all the day long.

/3:63 Look at them, sitting or rising –
I am the burden of their satire!

/3:64 You will requite them, O Eternal,
for all they have done;

/3:65 you will blind their vision –
your curse be upon them!

/3:66 You will chase them angrily,
and crush them
out of life.


אֵיכָה ד

1 אֵיכָה֙ יוּעַ֣ם זָהָ֔ב
יִשְׁנֶ֖א הַכֶּ֣תֶם הַטּ֑וֹב
תִּשְׁתַּפֵּ֙כְנָה֙ אַבְנֵי־קֹ֔דֶשׁ
בְּרֹ֖אשׁ כָּל־חוּצֽוֹת׃ ס

2 בְּנֵ֤י צִיּוֹן֙ הַיְקָרִ֔ים
הַמְסֻלָּאִ֖ים בַּפָּ֑ז
אֵיכָ֤ה נֶחְשְׁבוּ֙ לְנִבְלֵי־חֶ֔רֶשׂ
מַעֲשֵׂ֖ה יְדֵ֥י יוֹצֵֽר׃ ס

3 גַּם־תנין תַּנִּים֙ חָ֣לְצוּ שַׁ֔ד
הֵינִ֖יקוּ גּוּרֵיהֶ֑ן
בַּת־עַמִּ֣י לְאַכְזָ֔ר
כי ענים כַּיְעֵנִ֖ים בַּמִּדְבָּֽר׃ ס

4 דָּבַ֨ק לְשׁ֥וֹן יוֹנֵ֛ק
אֶל־חכּ֖וֹ בַּצָּמָ֑א
עֽוֹלָלִים֙ שָׁ֣אֲלוּ לֶ֔חֶם
פֹּרֵ֖שׂ אֵ֥ין לָהֶֽם׃ ס

5 הָאֹֽכְלִים֙ לְמַ֣עֲדַנִּ֔ים
נָשַׁ֖מּוּ בַּחוּצ֑וֹת
הָאֱמֻנִים֙ עֲלֵ֣י תוֹלָ֔ע
חִבְּק֖וּ אַשְׁפַּתּֽוֹת׃ ס

6 וַיִּגְדַּל֙ עֲוֺ֣ן בַּת־עַמִּ֔י
מֵֽחַטַּ֖את סְדֹ֑ם
הַֽהֲפוּכָ֣ה כְמוֹ־רָ֔גַע
וְלֹא־חָ֥לוּ בָ֖הּ יָדָֽיִם׃ ס

7 זַכּ֤וּ נְזִירֶ֙יהָ֙ מִשֶּׁ֔לֶג
צַח֖וּ מֵחָלָ֑ב
אָ֤דְמוּ עֶ֙צֶם֙ מִפְּנִינִ֔ים
סַפִּ֖יר גִּזְרָתָֽם׃ ס

8 חָשַׁ֤ךְ מִשְּׁחוֹר֙ תָּֽאֳרָ֔ם
לֹ֥א נִכְּר֖וּ בַּחוּצ֑וֹת
צָפַ֤ד עוֹרָם֙ עַל־עַצְמָ֔ם
יָבֵ֖שׁ הָיָ֥ה כָעֵֽץ׃ ס

9 טוֹבִ֤ים הָיוּ֙ חַלְלֵי־חֶ֔רֶב
מֵֽחַלְלֵ֖י רָעָ֑ב
שֶׁ֣הֵ֤ם יָז֙וּבוּ֙ מְדֻקָּרִ֔ים
מִתְּנוּבֹ֖ת שָׂדָֽי׃ ס

10 יְדֵ֗י
נָשִׁים֙ רַחֲמָ֣נִיּ֔וֹת
בִּשְּׁל֖וּ יַלְדֵיהֶ֑ן
הָי֤וּ לְבָרוֹת֙ לָ֔מוֹ
בְּשֶׁ֖בֶר בַּת־עַמִּֽי׃ ס

11 כִּלָּ֤ה יְהוָה֙ אֶת־חֲמָת֔וֹ
שָׁפַ֖ךְ חֲר֣וֹן אַפּ֑וֹ
וַיַּצֶּת־אֵ֣שׁ בְּצִיּ֔וֹן
וַתֹּ֖אכַל יְסוֹדֹתֶֽיהָ׃ ס

12 לֹ֤א הֶאֱמִ֙ינוּ֙ מַלְכֵי־אֶ֔רֶץ
וכל כֹּ֖ל יֹשְׁבֵ֣י תֵבֵ֑ל
כִּ֤י יָבֹא֙ צַ֣ר וְאוֹיֵ֔ב
בְּשַׁעֲרֵ֖י יְרוּשָׁלִָֽם׃ ס

13 מֵֽחַטֹּ֣את נְבִיאֶ֔יהָ
עֲוֺנ֖וֹת כֹּהֲנֶ֑יהָ
הַשֹּׁפְכִ֥ים בְּקִרְבָּ֖הּ דַּ֥ם צַדִּיקִֽים׃ ס

14 נָע֤וּ עִוְרִים֙ בַּֽחוּצ֔וֹת
נְגֹֽאֲל֖וּ בַּדָּ֑ם
בְּלֹ֣א יֽוּכְל֔וּ
יִגְּע֖וּ בִּלְבֻשֵׁיהֶֽם׃ ס

15 ס֣וּרוּ טָמֵ֞א קָ֣רְאוּ לָ֗מוֹ
ס֤וּרוּ ס֙וּרוּ֙ אַל־תִּגָּ֔עוּ
כִּ֥י נָצ֖וּ גַּם־נָ֑עוּ
אָֽמְרוּ֙ בַּגּוֹיִ֔ם
לֹ֥א יוֹסִ֖יפוּ לָגֽוּר׃ ס

16 פְּנֵ֤י יְהוָה֙ חִלְּקָ֔ם
לֹ֥א יוֹסִ֖יף לְהַבִּיטָ֑ם
פְּנֵ֤י כֹהֲנִים֙ לֹ֣א נָשָׂ֔אוּ
זקנים וּזְקֵנִ֖ים לֹ֥א חָנָֽנוּ׃ ס

17 עודינה
עוֹדֵ֙ינוּ֙
תִּכְלֶ֣ינָה עֵינֵ֔ינוּ
אֶל־עֶזְרָתֵ֖נוּ הָ֑בֶל
בְּצִפִּיָּתֵ֣נוּ צִפִּ֔ינוּ
אֶל־גּ֖וֹי לֹ֥א יוֹשִֽׁעַ׃ ס

18 צָד֣וּ צְעָדֵ֔ינוּ
מִלֶּ֖כֶת בִּרְחֹבֹתֵ֑ינוּ
קָרַ֥ב קִצֵּ֛ינוּ
מָלְא֥וּ יָמֵ֖ינוּ כִּי־בָ֥א קִצֵּֽינוּ׃ ס

19 קַלִּ֤ים הָיוּ֙ רֹדְפֵ֔ינוּ
מִנִּשְׁרֵ֖י שָׁמָ֑יִם
עַל־הֶהָרִ֣ים דְּלָקֻ֔נוּ
בַּמִּדְבָּ֖ר אָ֥רְבוּ לָֽנוּ׃ ס

20 ר֤וּחַ אַפֵּ֙ינוּ֙ מְשִׁ֣יחַ יְהוָ֔ה
נִלְכַּ֖ד בִּשְׁחִיתוֹתָ֑ם
אֲשֶׁ֣ר אָמַ֔רְנוּ
בְּצִלּ֖וֹ נִֽחְיֶ֥ה בַגּוֹיִֽם׃ ס

21 שִׂ֤ישִׂי וְשִׂמְחִי֙ בַּת־אֱד֔וֹם
יושבתי יוֹשֶׁ֖בֶת בְּאֶ֣רֶץ ע֑וּץ
גַּם־עָלַ֙יִךְ֙ תַּעֲבָר־כּ֔וֹס
תִּשְׁכְּרִ֖י וְתִתְעָרִֽי׃ ס

22 תַּם־עֲוֺנֵךְ֙ בַּת־צִיּ֔וֹן
לֹ֥א יוֹסִ֖יף לְהַגְלוֹתֵ֑ךְ
פָּקַ֤ד עֲוֺנֵךְ֙ בַּת־אֱד֔וֹם
גִּלָּ֖ה עַל־חַטֹּאתָֽיִךְ׃ פ

CHAPTER 4

/4:1 Eikhah! Ah!
how the gold is dimmed,
how changed the gold so pure!
the sacred gems are scattered
over every street;

/4:2 the priceless sons of Zion,
worth their weight in gold,
count no more than crockery,
mere pots of clay!

/4:3 Even jackals give the breast
and suckle their whelps;
but the women of my people are cruel
as the ostrich wild;

/4:4 For the tongue of the nursling cleaves
for thirst to the roof of its mouth,
the children beg for food,
and no one gives it.

/4:5 Those who fared on dainties
rot upon the street;
those who lay on scarlet rugs
huddle on an ash-heap.

/4:6 The guilt of my people was greater
than even the sin of Sodom,
Sodom that fell in a flash,
before any could wring his hands.

/4:7 Her headmen were brighter
than snow,
and whiter than milk,
ruddier than rubies,
their bodies veined like sapphires;

/4:8 and now they look
more darksome than the night –
none knows them as they pass –
their skin drawn tight over the bone,
dry as a stick.

/4:9 Better to die by the sword
than by starving,
stabbed to death by hunger
suddenly in the field!

/4:10 The hands of tender women
have cooked their own children,
making that their food,
amid the wreck.

/4:11 YHVH has carried out his fury,
vented his hot anger,
lit a fire in Zion
that burns her to the base.

/4:12 None could believe, no king,
no one in all the world,
that foe or enemy could ever enter
inside Jerusalem.

/4:13 It was all for the sin of her prophets,
for the crime of her priests,
who shed in her
the blood of the just.

/4:14 Now, stained with blood,
they wander blindly about the streets,
brushing against men they once avoided.

/4:15 “Begone! You are unclean!”
men shout at them,
“Begone! Avoid us.”
So they stagger and wander,
finding no more shelter abroad.

/4:16 YHVH himself
has scattered them,
caring no more for them,
disregarding the priests,
and heedless of the prophets.

/4:17 Our eyes are strained and failing,
as we look for aid, empty of hope;
watching for a nation
that never brought salvation.

/4:18 Foes dog our steps,
till we dare not walk in the street,
our days are numbered and over,
for our end has come.

/4:19 More swift were our pursuers
than eagles of the air,
hunting us over the hills,
ambushing us on the wilds;

/4:20 They trapped the king, YHVH’s
choice, breath of our lives,
of whom we said, “Under his reign
we shall hold out among the nations!”

/4:21 Rejoice and be glad in your
home-land, O maiden Edom!
But the cup will come round to you,
and leave you drunk and disheveled.

/4:22 Zion, your guilt is over and gone,
no more exile for you!
But Edom,
your guilt shall be punished,
your sins laid bare!


אֵיכָה ה

1 זְכֹ֤ר יְהוָה֙ מֶֽה־הָ֣יָה לָ֔נוּ
הביט הַבִּ֖יטָה וּרְאֵ֥ה אֶת־חֶרְפָּתֵֽנוּ׃

2 נַחֲלָתֵ֙נוּ֙ נֶֽהֶפְכָ֣ה לְזָרִ֔ים
בָּתֵּ֖ינוּ לְנָכְרִֽים׃

3 יְתוֹמִ֤ים הָיִ֙ינוּ֙ אין וְאֵ֣ין אָ֔ב
אִמֹּתֵ֖ינוּ כְּאַלְמָנֽוֹת׃

4 מֵימֵ֙ינוּ֙ בְּכֶ֣סֶף שָׁתִ֔ינוּ
עֵצֵ֖ינוּ בִּמְחִ֥יר יָבֹֽאוּ׃

5 עַ֤ל צַוָּארֵ֙נוּ֙ נִרְדָּ֔פְנוּ
יָגַ֖עְנוּ לא וְלֹ֥א הֽוּנַ֖ח לָֽנוּ׃

6 מִצְרַ֙יִם֙ נָתַ֣נּוּ יָ֔ד
אַשּׁ֖וּר לִשְׂבֹּ֥עַֽ לָֽחֶם׃

7 אֲבֹתֵ֤ינוּ חָֽטְאוּ֙ אינם וְאֵינָ֔ם
אנחנו וַאֲנַ֖חְנוּ עֲוֺנֹתֵיהֶ֥ם סָבָֽלְנוּ׃

8 עֲבָדִים֙ מָ֣שְׁלוּ בָ֔נוּ
פֹּרֵ֖ק אֵ֥ין מִיָּדָֽם׃

9 בְּנַפְשֵׁ֙נוּ֙ נָבִ֣יא לַחְמֵ֔נוּ
מִפְּנֵ֖י חֶ֥רֶב הַמִּדְבָּֽר׃

10 עוֹרֵ֙נוּ֙ כְּתַנּ֣וּר נִכְמָ֔רוּ
מִפְּנֵ֖י זַלְעֲפ֥וֹת רָעָֽב׃

11 נָשִׁים֙ בְּצִיּ֣וֹן עִנּ֔וּ
בְּתֻלֹ֖ת בְּעָרֵ֥י יְהוּדָֽה׃

12 שָׂרִים֙ בְּיָדָ֣ם נִתְל֔וּ
פְּנֵ֥י זְקֵנִ֖ים לֹ֥א נֶהְדָּֽרוּ׃

13 בַּחוּרִים֙ טְח֣וֹן נָשָׂ֔אוּ
וּנְעָרִ֖ים בָּעֵ֥ץ כָּשָֽׁלוּ׃

14 זְקֵנִים֙ מִשַּׁ֣עַר שָׁבָ֔תוּ
בַּחוּרִ֖ים מִנְּגִינָתָֽם׃

15 שָׁבַת֙ מְשׂ֣וֹשׂ לִבֵּ֔נוּ
נֶהְפַּ֥ךְ לְאֵ֖בֶל מְחֹלֵֽנוּ׃

16 נָֽפְלָה֙ עֲטֶ֣רֶת רֹאשֵׁ֔נוּ
אֽוֹי־נָ֥א לָ֖נוּ כִּ֥י חָטָֽאנוּ׃

17 עַל־זֶ֗ה
הָיָ֤ה דָוֶה֙ לִבֵּ֔נוּ
עַל־אֵ֖לֶּה חָשְׁכ֥וּ עֵינֵֽינוּ׃

18 עַ֤ל הַר־צִיּוֹן֙ שֶׁשָּׁמֵ֔ם
שׁוּעָלִ֖ים הִלְּכוּ־בֽוֹ׃ פ

19 אַתָּ֤ה יְהוָה֙ לְעוֹלָ֣ם תֵּשֵׁ֔ב
כִּסְאֲךָ֖ לְדֹ֥ר וָדֽוֹר׃

20 לָ֤מָּה לָנֶ֙צַח֙ תִּשְׁכָּחֵ֔נוּ
תַּֽעַזְבֵ֖נוּ לְאֹ֥רֶךְ יָמִֽים׃

21 הֲשִׁיבֵ֨נוּ יְהוָ֤ה ׀ אֵלֶ֙יךָ֙
ונשוב וְֽנָשׁ֔וּבָה חַדֵּ֥שׁ יָמֵ֖ינוּ כְּקֶֽדֶם׃

22 כִּ֚י אִם־מָאֹ֣ס מְאַסְתָּ֔נוּ
קָצַ֥פְתָּ עָלֵ֖ינוּ עַד־מְאֹֽד׃

CHAPTER 5

/5:1 YHVH, remember what was ours.
Look, and see
our abuse / our shame!

/5:2 Our inheritance overturned,
to strangers
our houses to foreigners.

/5:3 We were orphans, there is no father,
our mothers like widows.

/5:4 Our water we drank for money;
our wood came (only) with a price.

/5:5 On our neck we were pursued,
tired out, without letting us rest.

/5:6 Egypt, we stretched a hand,
Assyria, to satisfy bread.

/5:7 Our fathers sinned and are not,
and we shouldered their evils.

/5:8 Slaves ruled us.
There is none to break us out
from their hand.

/5:9 For our lives we bring our bread,
from the wilderness’ sword.

/5:10 Our skin like a furnace, glowing,
from the delirium of hunger.

/5:11 Women in Zion were victimized,
girls, in Judah’s towns.

/5:12 Ministers by their hand hung.
Elders’ faces were void of majesty.

/5:13 Boys would carry a millstone,
and youths, stumbling with wood.

/5:14 Elders ceased from gate,
boys from their play.

/5:15 Our heart stopped any joy,
our dance overturned
into mourning.

/5:16 The crown on our head fell;
Oy for us! For we sinned.

/5:17 For this our heart was sickened.
For these our eyes darkened.

/5:18 For Mount Zion,
that was desolated,
foxes went through her.

/5:19 You, YHVH
will sit for all world-time,
your seat
through generations and generations.

/5:20 Why
would you forget us forever?
Abandon us
for the span of time’s days?

/5:21 Turn us, YHVH, toward you,
and we will turn.
Renew our days , like long before.

/5:22 For if loathing, you should loathe us,
be enraged over us, so very much—!
Turn us, YHVH, toward you,
and we will turn.
Make our days new again,
like dawn / long ago.

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This work contains portions derived from The holy Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments: A new translation by James Moffat (1924: Hodder & Stoughton), which is under copyright until 2019. The author believes that his use is consistent with the principles of fair use . If you redistribute this work, we recommend evaluating whether your use would fall under fair use exceptions. If you are the copyright owner and you believe this use is copyright infringement, please contact us and consider licensing this work with a CC-BY-SA 3.0 Unported license.
We have replaced Moffat’s translation of the Tetragrammaton, “the Eternal”, with “YHVH.”
The next 3 verses were reordered by Moffat: 51, 49, 50. They have been reset in their original order here.

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