The elders have ceased from the city gate,
the young men from their music. Bible see other translations

“elders have ceased from the city gate.” In the biblical culture of the Old Testament it was the custom that the elders of a city would sit at the city gate (Gen. 19:1, 9; Deut. 21:19; 22:15; 25:7; Josh. 20:4; Ruth 4:11; 1 Sam. 4:18; Esther 2:19, 21; 3:2; Lam. 5:14; Dan. 2:49). The Hebrew word translated as “ceased” is related to the word “Sabbath,” and during the Babylonian Captivity the land would get a chance to rest and have a “Sabbath” (cp. 2 Chron. 36:21). So during the “Sabbath” for the land, normal activity ceased, like elders judging in the gates and young men playing music for weddings, celebrations, and funerals.

[For more on the elders at the gate, see commentary on Ruth 4:11; and for Wisdom being at the city gate, see commentary on Prov. 1:21.]

Commentary for: Lamentations 5:14