Lamentations 5
Contemporary English Version

A Prayer for Mercy

The People of Jerusalem Pray:+

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 mistreated;+

we are worn out

and can find no rest.

6We had to surrender

to+ 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.+

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 advisors

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 forever, 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?


5.1 The People of Jerusalem Pray: Or “The Prophet Prays.”
5.5 We … mistreated: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
5.6 surrender to: Or “make treaties with.”
5.9 crops: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 9.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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