5
A prayer for God's mercy
Yahweh, think about what has happened to us.
See that we have been disgraced.
Foreigners have seized our property,
and now they live in our homes.
Our enemies have killed our fathers,
and caused our mothers to become widows.
Now we are required to pay for water to drink,
and we must pay a lot of money for firewood.
It is as though those who pursue us have put their feet on our necks;
we are exhausted, but they do not allow us to rest.
In order to get enough food to remain alive,
we went to Egypt and Assyria and offered to work for the people there.
Our ancestors sinned, and now they are dead,
but we are being punished for the sins that they committed.
 
Officials from Babylon who were previously slaves now rule over us,
and there is no one who can rescue us from their power.
When we roam around in the desert searching for food, we are in danger of being killed,
because people there kill strangers with their swords.
10 Our skin has become hot like [SIM] an oven,
and we have a very high fever because we are extremely hungry.
11  Our enemies have raped the women in Jerusalem,
and they have done that to the young women in all the towns of Judea.
12  Our enemies have hanged our leaders,
and they do not respect our elders.
13 They force our young men to grind flour with millstones,
and boys stagger while they are forced to carry heavy loads of firewood.
14  Our elders no longer sit at the city gates to make important decisions;
the young men no longer play their musical instruments.
15 We [SYN] are no longer joyful;
instead of dancing joyfully, we now mourn.
16 The wreaths of flowers have fallen off our heads.
Terrible things have happened to us because of the sins that we committed.
17 We [SYN] are tired and discouraged [IDI],
and we cannot see well because our eyes are full of tears.
18 Jerusalem is completely deserted,
and jackals/wolves prowl around it.
19 But Yahweh, you rule forever!
You continue to rule [MTY] from one generation to the next generation.
20  So why [RHQ] have you forgotten us?
Why [RHQ] have you abandoned us for a very long time?
21  Please enable us to return to you,
and enable us to prosper [MTY] as we did previously.
22 Please do that, because we hope that [RHQ] you have not rejected us forever
and that [RHQ] you do not continue to be extremely angry with us!