The person who lives in Zion says, “May Babylon pay for the violence done to me and to my relatives.” Jerusalem says, “May those living in Babylonia pay for the bloodshed of my people.” 1
א (Alef) Alas! 1 The Lord 2 has covered Daughter Zion 3 with his anger. 4 He has thrown down the splendor of Israel from heaven to earth; he did not protect 5 his temple 6 when he displayed his anger. 7
“Get up and thresh, Daughter Zion! For I will give you iron horns; 1 I will give you bronze hooves, and you will crush many nations.” 2 You will devote to the Lord the spoils you take from them, and dedicate their wealth to the sovereign Ruler 3 of the whole earth. 4
Go up on a high mountain, O herald Zion! Shout out loudly, O herald Jerusalem! 1 Shout, don’t be afraid! Say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!”
Come out, O maidens of Zion, and gaze upon King Solomon! He is wearing the crown with which his mother crowned him on his wedding day, on the most joyous day of his life! 1
Indeed, this is what the Lord says to me: “The Lord will be like a growling lion, like a young lion growling over its prey. 1 Though a whole group of shepherds gathers against it, it is not afraid of their shouts or intimidated by their yelling. 2 In this same way the Lord who commands armies will descend to do battle on Mount Zion and on its hill. 3
“Micah from Moresheth 1 prophesied during the time Hezekiah was king of Judah. 2 He told all the people of Judah, ‘The Lord who rules over all 3 says, “Zion 4 will become a plowed field. Jerusalem 5 will become a pile of rubble. The temple mount will become a mere wooded ridge.”’ 6
many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the Lord’s mountain, to the temple of the God of Jacob, so 1 he can teach us his requirements, 2 and 3 we can follow his standards.” 4 For Zion will be the center for moral instruction; 5 the Lord will issue edicts from Jerusalem. 6
At that time tribute will be brought to the Lord who commands armies, by a people that are tall and smooth-skinned, a people that are feared far and wide, a nation strong and victorious, whose land rivers divide. 1 The tribute 2 will be brought to the place where the Lord who commands armies has chosen to reside, on Mount Zion. 3
It will be like a hungry man dreaming that he is eating, only to awaken and find that his stomach is empty. 1 It will be like a thirsty man dreaming that he is drinking, only to awaken and find that he is still weak and his thirst unquenched. 2 So it will be for the horde from all the nations that fight against Mount Zion.
In fact, 1 I hear a cry like that of a woman in labor, a cry of anguish like that of a woman giving birth to her first baby. It is the cry of Daughter Zion 2 gasping for breath, reaching out for help, 3 saying, “I am done in! 4 My life is ebbing away before these murderers!”
Then I said, “Lord, 1 have you completely rejected the nation of Judah? Do you despise 2 the city of Zion? Why have you struck us with such force that we are beyond recovery? 3 We hope for peace, but nothing good has come of it. We hope for a time of relief from our troubles, but experience terror. 4
ד (Dalet) He prepared his bow 1 like an enemy; his right hand was ready to shoot. 2 Like a foe he killed everyone, even our strong young men; 3 he has poured out his anger like fire on the tent 4 of Daughter Zion.
ו (Vav) He destroyed his temple 1 as if it were a vineyard; 2 he destroyed his appointed meeting place. The Lord has made those in Zion forget both the festivals and the Sabbaths. 3 In his fierce anger 4 he has spurned 5 both king and priest.
Citizens of Zion, 1 rejoice! Be glad because of what the Lord your God has done! 2 For he has given to you the early rains 3 as vindication. He has sent 4 to you the rains – both the early and the late rains 5 as formerly.
Many nations will come, saying, “Come on! Let’s go up to the Lord’s mountain, to the temple 1 of Jacob’s God, so he can teach us his commands 2 and we can live by his laws.” 3 For Zion will be the source of instruction; the Lord’s teachings will proceed from Jerusalem. 4