1And after seven days the word of God came to me and said to 2me, Tell Jeremiah to go to Babylon and support the people in their captivity there. 3But you must remain here to share in Zion's desolation; 1 Lit. ‘… here amid the desolation of Zion’. 4and I will show you afterwards what is to happen at the end of days. 5And I passed on to Jeremiah the Lord's commands. And he went away with the people; but I, Baruch, returned and sat in front of the gates of the temple and made this lament over Zion and said,6
Happy the man who was never born, Or the child who died at birth. 2 Lit. ‘Or he, who having been born, has died’. 7 But as for us who are alive, woe to us, Because we see the afflictions of Zion, And what has happened to Jerusalem. 8 I will summon the sirens from the sea, and say, Come you night-demons from the desert, And you, demons and jackals from the forests: Awake and prepare yourselves for mourning, And take up with me the dirges, And make lamentation with me. 9 Sow not again, you farmers; And why, earth, should you yield your crops at harvest? Keep to yourself your goodly fruits. 10 And why any longer, vine, should you produce your wine? For no offering of it will again be made in Zion, Nor again will they offer first-fruits from it. 11 And you, heavens, withhold your dew, And open not the treasuries of rain. And you, sun, withhold the brightness of your rays, 12 And you, moon, conceal the brilliance of your light; For why should any light again be seen Where the light of Zion is darkened? 13 And you, bridegrooms, go not into the bridal chamber, And let not the brides 3 Text ‘virgins’, who first (rightly) occur in verse 19. adorn themselves with garlands; And let not the married women pray for children, 14 For the barren shall rejoice above all, And those who have no sons will be glad, And those who do have sons will be in anguish. 15 For why should they bear children in pain, Only to bury them in grief? 16 Or why, again, should men have sons, Or why any more should a human infant 4 Lit. ‘the seed of their kind’. be given a name, Where this mother is desolate And her sons are carried away as captives? 17 Speak not henceforth of beauty, Nor talk of comeliness. 18 And you, priests, take the keys of the sanctuary, And throw them up to the heaven above, And give them to the Lord and say, Guard thy house thyself, For we have been found false stewards. 19 And you, virgins, who weave fine linen And silk with the gold of Ophir, Take quickly all these things and throw them into the fire, That it may bear them up to him who made them, And the flame carry them to him who created them, Lest the enemy get possession of them.