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Lamentations 1:4 New English Translation (NET Bible)

ד (Dalet)

The roads to Zion[a] mourn[b]
because no one[c] travels to the festivals.[d]
All her city gates[e] are deserted;[f]
her priests groan.[g]
Her virgins grieve;[h]
she is in bitter anguish![i]


  1. Lamentations 1:4 tn Heb “roads of Zion.” The noun צִיּוֹן (tsiyyon, Zion) is a genitive of direction (termination) following the construct noun, meaning “roads to Zion.”sn The noun דַּרְכֵי (darkhe, “roads”) is normally masculine in gender, but here it is feminine (e.g., Exod 18:20) (BDB 202 s.v.), as indicated by the following feminine adjective אֲבֵּלּוֹת (ʾavelot, “mourning”). This rare feminine usage is probably due to the personification of Jerusalem as a bereaved woman throughout chap. 1.
  2. Lamentations 1:4 tn The adjective אֲבֵּלּוֹת (ʾavelot, “mourning”) functions as a predicate of state.sn The term אָבַּל (ʾaval, “mourn”) refers to the mourning rites for the dead or to those mourning the deceased (Gen 37:35; Job 29:25; Ps 35:14; Jer 16:7; Esth 6:12; Sir 7:34; 48:24). The prophets often use it figuratively to personify Jerusalem as a mourner, lamenting her deceased and exiled citizens (Isa 57:18; 61:2, 3) (BDB 5 s.v.; HALOT 7 s.v.).
  3. Lamentations 1:4 tn Heb “from lack of.” The construction מִבְּלִי (mibbeli) is composed of the preposition מִן (min), functioning in a causal sense (BDB 580 s.v. מִן 2.f), and the adverb of negation בְּלִי (beli) to denote the negative cause: “from want of” or “without” (HALOT 133 s.v. בְּלִי 4; BDB 115 s.v. בְּלִי 2.c) (Num 14:16; Deut 9:28; 28:55; Eccl 3:11; Isa 5:13; Jer 2:15; 9:11; Hos 4:6; Ezek 34:5).
  4. Lamentations 1:4 tn Heb “those coming of feast.” The construct chain בָּאֵי מוֹעֵד (baʾe moʿed) consists of (1) the substantival plural construct participle בָּאֵי (baʾe, “those who come”) and (2) the collective singular genitive of purpose מוֹעֵד (moʿed, “for the feasts”).
  5. Lamentations 1:4 tc The MT reads שְׁעָרֶיהָ (sheʿareha, “her gates”). The BHS editors suggest revocalizing the text to the participle שֹׁעֲרֶיהָ (shoʿareha, “her gatekeepers”) from שֹׁעֵר (shoʿer, “porter”; BDB 1045 s.v. שֹׁעֵר). The revocalization creates tight parallelism: “her gatekeepers”//“her priests,” but ruins the chiasm: (A) her gatekeepers, (B) her priests, (B’) her virgins, (A’) the city itself.
  6. Lamentations 1:4 tn The verb שָׁמֵם (shamem) normally means “to be desolated; to be appalled,” but when used in reference to land, it means “deserted” (Isa 49:8; Ezek 33:28; 35:12, 15; 36:4) (BDB 1030 s.v. 1).
  7. Lamentations 1:4 tn Heb “groan” or “sigh.” The verb אָנַח (ʾanakh) is an expression of grief (Prov 29:2; Isa 24:7; Lam 1:4, 8; Ezek 9:4; 21:11). BDB 58 s.v. 1 suggests that it means “sigh,” but HALOT 70-71 s.v. prefers “groan” here.
  8. Lamentations 1:4 tc The MT reads נּוּגוֹת (nugot, “are grieved”), Niphal participle feminine plural from יָגָה (yagah, “to grieve”). The LXX ἀγόμεναι (agomenai) reflects נָהוּגוֹת (nahugot, “are led away”), Qal passive participle feminine plural from נָהַג (nahag, “to lead away into exile”), also reflected in Aquila and Symmachus. The MT reading is an unusual form (see translator’s note below) and best explains the origin of the LXX, which is a more common root. It would be difficult to explain the origin of the MT reading if the LXX reflected the original. Therefore, the MT is probably the original reading.tn Heb “are grieved” or “are worried.” The unusual form נּוּגוֹת (nugot) is probably best explained as Niphal feminine plural participle (with dissimilated nun [ן]) from יָגָה (yagah, “to grieve”). The similarly formed Niphal participle masculine plural construct נוּגֵי (nuge) appears in Zeph 3:18 (GKC 421 §130.a). The Niphal of יָגָה (yagah, “to grieve”) appears only twice, both in contexts of sorrow: “to grieve, sorrow” (Lam 1:4; Zeph 3:18).
  9. Lamentations 1:4 tn Heb “and she is bitter to herself,” that is, “sick inside” (2 Kgs 4:27)
New English Translation (NET)

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