17 and he must wash in water any clothing or leather that has semen on it, and it will be unclean until evening. 18 As for a woman whom a man goes to bed with, then has a seminal emission, they must bathe in water and be unclean until evening. 19 “‘When a woman has a discharge and her discharge is blood from her body, she is to be in her menstruation seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean until evening. 20 Anything she lies on during her menstruation will be unclean, and anything she sits on will be unclean. 21 Anyone who touches her bed must wash his clothes, bathe in water, and be unclean until evening.
7 ז (Zayin) Jerusalem remembers, when she became a poor homeless person, all her treasures that she owned in days of old. When her people fell into an enemy’s grip, none of her allies came to her rescue. Her enemies gloated over her; they sneered at her downfall. 8 ח (Khet) Jerusalem committed terrible sin; therefore she became an object of scorn. All who admired her have despised her because they have seen her nakedness. She groans aloud and turns away in shame. 9 ט (Tet) Her menstrual flow has soiled her clothing; she did not consider the consequences of her sin. Her demise was astonishing, and there was no one to comfort her. She cried, “Look, O Lord, on my affliction because my enemy boasts!” 10 י (Yod) An enemy grabbed all her valuables. Indeed she watched in horror as Gentiles invaded her holy temple—those whom you had commanded: “They must not enter your assembly place.” 11 כ (Kaf) All her people groaned as they searched for a morsel of bread. They exchanged their valuables for just enough food to stay alive. “Look, O Lord! Consider that I have become worthless!”
Notes and References
"... Many commentators associate the reference to niddāh in verse 17, like nîdāh in verse 8, with the image of the menstruant, one of several female images used in Lamentations 1 to personify Jerusalem. There is a contrast, however, between the disparaging view of the nîdāh, translated here as “an object of scorn”, and the sympathy-evoking image of the menstruant in verse 17 - the city-woman who is hemorrhaging, bleeding to death inside and outside (verse 20c). There is ambivalence about the niddāh in verse 17, who is at once an object of pity but also one to avoid, because blood flowing out of Jerusalem renders the land and its inhabitants ritually impure and therefore restricted from social relations (verse 17b; compare Leviticus 15:19–24). Daughter Zion’s confessions of rebelliousness (verses 18, 20, 22) exacerbate the ambivalence of the image, by suggesting that her suffering is the result of her own misdeeds. Not only does the concluding section of Lamentations 1 repeat material from previous verses, but it also reflects strong parallels with other ancient Near Eastern laments ..."
Wilkins, Lauress L. The Book of Lamentations and the Social World of Judah in the Neo-Babylonian Era (pp. 52-53) Gorgias Press, 2010
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