Who ever spoke and it happened if my Lord hadn't commanded the same?
From the mouth of the Most High evil things don't come, but rather good!
Why then does any living person complain; why should anyone complain about their sins?
We must search and examine our ways; we must return to the LORD.
We should lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven.
We are the ones who did wrong; we rebelled. But you, God, have not forgiven.
You wrapped yourself up in wrath and hunted us; you killed, showing no compassion.
You wrapped yourself up in a cloud; prayers can't make it through!
You made us trash and garbage in front of all other people.
All our enemies have opened their mouths against us.
Terror and trap have come upon us, catastrophe and collapse!
Streams of water pour from my eyes because of the destruction of the daughter of my people.
My eyes flow and don't stop. There is no relief
until the LORD looks down from the heavens and notices.
My eyes hurt me because of what's happened to my city's daughters.
My enemies hunted me down like a bird, relentlessly, for no reason.
They caught me alive in a pit and threw stones at me;
water flowed over my head. I thought: I'm finished.
I call on your name, LORD, from the depths of the pit.
Hear my voice. Don't close your ear to my need for relief, to my cry for help.
Come near to me on the day I call to you. Say to me, "Don't be afraid."
My Lord! Plead my desperate case; redeem my life.
LORD, look at my mistreatment; judge my cause.
Look at all of my enemies' vengeance, all of their scheming against me.
Hear their jeering, LORD, all of their scheming against me,
the speech of those who rise up against me, their incessant gossiping about me.
Whether sitting or standing, look at how I am the object of their song of ridicule.
Pay them back fully, LORD, according to what they have done.
Give them a tortured mind—put your curse on them!
Angrily hunt them down; wipe them out from under the LORD's heaven.
Oh, no! Gold is tarnished; even the purest gold is changed. Sacred jewels are scattered on every street corner.
Zion's precious children, once valued as pure gold— oh no!—now they are worth no more than clay pots made by a potter.
Even jackals offer the breast; they nurse their young. But the daughter of my people has become cruel, like desert ostriches.
The baby's tongue sticks to the roof of its mouth, thirsty. Children ask for bread, beg for it—but there is no bread.
Those who once ate gourmet food now tremble in the streets. Those who wore the finest purple clothes now cling to piles of garbage.
Greater was the punishment of the daughter of my people than Sodom's penalty, which was quickly overthrown without any hand-wringing.
Her nazirites were purer than snow; they were more dazzling than milk. Their limbs were redder than coral; their bodies were sapphire.
But their appearance grew darker than soot; they weren't recognized in the streets. Their skin shriveled on their bones; it became dry like wood.
Things were better for those stabbed by the sword than for those stabbed by famine— those who bled away, pierced, lacking food from the field.
The hands of loving women boiled their own children to become their food during the destruction of the daughter of my people.
The LORD let loose his fury; he poured out his fierce anger. He started a fire in Zion; it licked up its foundations.
The earth's rulers didn't believe it—neither did any who inhabit the world— that either enemy or adversary could enter Jerusalem's gates.
It was because of her prophets' sins, her priests' iniquities, those who shed righteous blood in the middle of the city.
People wandered blindly in the streets, polluted with blood. No one would even touch their clothing.
"Go away! Unclean!" was shouted at them, "Go away! Away! Don't touch!" So they fled and wandered around. The nations said, "They can't stay here anymore."
It was the LORD's presence that scattered them; he no longer notices them. They didn't honor the priests' presence; they didn't favor the elders.
Our eyes continually failed, looking for some help, but for nothing. From our watchtower we watched for a nation that doesn't save.
Our steps were tracked; we could no longer walk in our streets. Our end had drawn near; our days were done—our end had definitely come.
Our hunters were faster than airborne eagles. They chased us up the mountains; they ambushed us in the wilderness.
The LORD's chosen one, the very breath in our lungs, was caught in their traps— the one we used to talk about, saying, Under his protection we will live among the nations."
Rejoice and be happy, Daughter Edom, you who live in the land of Uz. But this cup will pass over to you too. You will get drunk on it. You will be stripped naked.
Your punishment is over, Daughter Zion; God won't expose you anymore. But he will attend to your punishment, Daughter Edom; he will expose your sins.
LORD, consider what has become of us; take notice of our disgrace. Look at it!
Our property has been turned over to strangers; our houses belong to foreigners.
We have become orphans, having no father; our mothers are like widows.
We drink our own water—but for a price; we gather our own wood—but pay for it.
Our hunters have been at our necks; we are worn out, but have no rest.
We held out a hand to Egypt and to Assyria, to get sufficient food.
Our fathers have sinned and are gone, but we are burdened with their iniquities.
Slaves rule over us; there is no one to rescue us from their power.
We get our bread at the risk of our lives because of the desert heat.
Our skin is as hot as an oven because of the burning heat of famine.
Women have been raped in Zion, young women in Judah's cities.
Officials have been hung up by their hands; elders have been shown no respect.
Young men have carried grinding stones; boys have stumbled under loads of wood.
Elders have left the city gate; young people stop their music.
Joy has left our heart; our dancing has changed into lamentation.
The crown has fallen off our head. We are doomed because we have sinned.
Because of all this our heart is sick; because of these things our glance is dark.
Mount Zion, now deserted— only jackals walk on it now!
But you, LORD, will rule forever; your throne lasts from one generation to the next.
Why do you forget us continually; why do you abandon us for such a long time?
Return us, LORD, to yourself. Please let us return! Give us new days, like those long ago—
unless you have completely rejected us, or have become too angry with us.