1 And so the Lord has carried out the sentence which he passed on us, on our judges who governed Israel, on our kings and leaders and on the people of Israel and of Judah;
2 what he did to Jerusalem has never been paralleled under the wide heavens -- in conformity with what was written in the Law of Moses;
3 we were each reduced to eating the flesh of our own sons and daughters.
4 Furthermore, he has handed them over into the power of all the kingdoms that surround us, to be the contempt and execration of all the neighbouring peoples among whom the Lord scattered them.
5 Instead of being masters, they found themselves enslaved, because we had sinned against the Lord our God by not listening to his voice.
6 Saving justice is the Lord's; we and our ancestors have only the look of shame we bear today.
7 All those disasters which the Lord pronounced against us have now befallen us.
8 And yet we have not tried to win the favour of the Lord by each of us renouncing the dictates of our own wicked heart;
9 so the Lord has been alert to our misdeeds and has brought disaster down on us, since the Lord is upright in everything he had commanded us to do,
10 and we have not listened to his voice so as to follow the commandments which the Lord had ordained for us.
11 And now, Lord, God of Israel, who brought your people out of Egypt with a mighty hand, with signs and wonders, with great power and with outstretched arm, to win yourself a name such as you have today,
12 we have sinned, we have committed sacrilege; Lord our God, we have broken all your precepts.
13 Let your anger turn from us since we are no more than a little remnant among the nations where you have dispersed us.
14 Listen, Lord, to our prayers and our entreaties; deliver us for your own sake and let us win the favour of the people who have deported us,
15 so that the whole world may know that you are the Lord our God, since Israel and his descendants bear your name.
16 Look down, Lord, from your holy dwelling-place and think of us, bow your ear and listen,
17 open your eyes, Lord, and look; the dead down in Sheol, whose breath has been taken from their bodies, are not the ones to give glory and due recognition to the Lord;
18 whoever is overcome with affliction, who goes along bowed down and frail, with failing eyes and hungering soul, that is the one to give you glory and due recognition, Lord.
19 We do not rely on the merits of our ancestors and of our kings to offer you our humble plea, Lord our God.
20 No, you have sent down your anger and your fury on us, as you threatened through your servants the prophets when they said,
21 'The Lord says this: Bend your necks and serve the king of Babylon, and you will remain in the country which I gave to your ancestors.
22 But if you do not listen to the voice of the Lord and serve the king of Babylon
23 then I shall silence the shouts of rejoicing and mirth and the voices of bridegroom and bride in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem, and the whole country will be reduced to desert, with no inhabitants.'
24 But we would not listen to your voice and serve the king of Babylon, and so you carried out what you had threatened through your servants the prophets: that the bones of our kings and of our ancestors would be dragged from their resting places.
25 They were indeed tossed out to the heat of the day and the frost of the night. And people died in dreadful agony, from famine, sword and plague.
26 And so, because of the wickedness of the House of Israel and the House of Judah, you have made this House, that bears your name, what it is today.
27 And yet, Lord our God, you have treated us in a way worthy of all your goodness and boundless tenderness,
28 just as you had promised through your servant Moses, the day you told him to write your Law in the presence of the Israelites, and said,
29 'If you do not listen to my voice, this great and innumerable multitude will certainly be reduced to a tiny few among the nations where I shall scatter them-
30 for I knew that, being an obstinate people, they would not listen to me. But in the country of their exile, they will come to themselves
31 and acknowledge that I am the Lord their God. I shall give them a heart and an attentive ear,
32 and they will sing my praises in the country of their exile, they will remember my name;
33 they will stop being obstinate and, remembering what became of their ancestors who sinned before the Lord, will turn from their evil deeds.
34 Then I shall bring them back to the country which I promised on oath to their ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and make them masters in it. I shall make their numbers grow; they will not dwindle again.
35 And I shall make an everlasting covenant with them; so that I am their God and they are my people. And never again shall I drive my people Israel out of the country which I have given them.'