Lamentations 4
New American Standard Bible►► 

Distress of the Siege Described

1How dark the gold has become,

How the pure gold has changed!

The sacred stones are spilled out

At the [a]corner of every street.

2The precious sons of Zion,

Weighed against pure gold,

How they are regarded as earthenware jars,

The work of a potter’s hands!

3Even jackals offer the breast,

They nurse their young;

But the daughter of my people has proved herself cruel,

Like ostriches in the wilderness.

4The tongue of the infant clings

To the roof of its mouth because of thirst;

The children ask for bread,

But no one breaks it for them.

5Those who used to eat delicacies

Are made to tremble in the streets;

Those who were raised in crimson clothing

Embrace garbage heaps.

6For the [b]wrongdoing of the daughter of my people

Is greater than the [c]sin of Sodom,

Which was overthrown as in a moment,

[d]And no hands were turned toward her.

7Her [e]consecrated ones were purer than snow,

They shined more than milk;

They were more ruddy in [f]body than pearls of coral,

Their form was like [g]lapis lazuli.

8Their appearance is darker than soot,

They are not recognized in the streets;

Their skin is shriveled on their bones,

It is dry, it has become like wood.

9Better off are those killed by the sword

Than those killed by hunger;

For they [h]waste away, [i]stricken

By the lack of the produce of the field.

10The hands of compassionate women

Boiled their own children;

They became food for them

Due to the destruction of the daughter of my people.

11The LORD has expended His wrath,

He has poured out His fierce anger;

And He has kindled a fire in Zion,

And it has consumed its foundations.

12The kings of the earth did not believe,

Nor did any of the inhabitants of the world,

That the adversary and the enemy

Would enter the gates of Jerusalem.

13Because of the sins of her prophets

And the wrongdoings of her priests,

Who have shed in her midst

The blood of the righteous,

14They wandered, blind, in the streets;

They were defiled with blood,

Such that no one could touch their garments.

15“Keep away! Unclean!” [j]they cried out of themselves.

“Keep away, keep away, do not touch!”

For they distanced themselves as well as wandered;

People among the nations said,

“They shall not continue to reside with us.

16The presence of the LORD has scattered them,

He will not continue to look at them;

They did not [k]honor the priests,

They did not favor the elders.

17Yet our eyes failed,

Looking for [l]help was useless;

At our observation point we have watched

For a nation that could not save.

18They hunted our steps

So that we could not walk in our streets;

Our end drew near,

Our days were [m]finished

For our end had come.

19Our pursuers were swifter

Than the eagles of the sky;

They chased us on the mountains,

They waited in ambush for us in the wilderness.

20The breath of our nostrils, the LORD’S anointed,

Was captured in their pits,

Of whom we had said, “[n]In his shadow

We shall live among the nations.”

21Rejoice and be joyful, daughter of Edom,

Who lives in the land of Uz;

But the cup will pass to you as well,

You will become drunk and expose yourself.

22The punishment of your wrongdoing has been completed, daughter of Zion;

He will no longer exile you.

But He will punish your wrongdoing, daughter of Edom;

He will expose your sins!

[a] 1 Lit head
[b] 6 Or punishment for wrongdoing
[c] 6 Or punishment for sin
[d] 6 I.e., without human intervention
[e] 7 Or Nazirites
[f] 7 Lit bones
[g] 7 Heb sappir
[h] 9 Lit flow away
[i] 9 Lit pierced through
[j] 15 Or they (other people) cried to them
[k] 16 Lit lift up the faces of
[l] 17 Lit our help
[m] 18 Lit full
[n] 20 I.e., under his protection

New American Standard Bible
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by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved.
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