Lamentations 4 (Holman Christian Standard)

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Terrors of the Besieged City

Alef

1 How the gold has become tarnished, the fine gold become dull! The stones of the templea lie scattered at the corner of every street.b

Bet

2 Zion's precious people- [once] worth their weight in pure goldc- how they are regarded as clay jars, the work of a potter's hands!

Gimel

3 Even jackals offer [their] breasts to nurse their young, but my dear people have become cruel like ostrichesd in the wilderness.

Dalet

4 The nursing infant's tongue clings to the roof of his mouth from thirst.e Little children beg for bread, but no one gives them [any].

He

5 Those who used to eat delicacies are destitute in the streets; those who were reared in purple [garments]f huddle in garbage heaps.

Vav

6 The punishment of my dear people is greater than that of Sodom,g which was overthrown in an instant without a hand laid on it.

Zayin

7 Her dignitaries were brighter than snow, whiter than milk; [their] bodiesh were more ruddy than coral, their appearance [like] sapphire.i

Khet

8 [Now] they appear darker than soot; they are not recognized in the streets. Their skin has shriveled on their bones; it has become dry like wood.

Tet

9 Those slain by the sword are better off than those slain by hunger, who waste away, pierced [with pain] because the fields lack produce.

Yod

10 The hands of compassionate women have cooked their own children;j they became their food during the destruction of my dear people.k

Kaf

11 The Lord has exhausted His wrath, poured out His burning anger; He has ignited a fire in Zion, and it has consumed her foundations.l

Lamed

12 The kings of the earth and all the world's inhabitants did not believe that an enemy or adversary could enter Jerusalem's gates.m

Mem

13 [Yet it happened] because of the sins of her prophets and the guilt of her priests, who shed the blood of the righteous within her.n

Nun

14 Blind, they stumbled in the streets,o defiled by this blood,p so that no one dared to touch their garments.

Samek

15 "Stay away! Unclean!" people shouted at them. "Away, away! Don't touch [us]!"q So they wandered aimlessly.r It was said among the nations, "They can stay here no longer."

Pe

16 The Lord Himself has scattered them; He regards them no more. The priests are not respected; the elders find no favor.

Ayin

17 All the while our eyes were failing [as we looked] in vain for assistance; we watched from our towers for a nations that refused to help.

Tsade

18 Our steps were closely followed, so that we could not walk in our streets. Our end drew near; our time ran out. Our end had come!

Qof

19 Those who chased us were swifter than eagles in the sky; they relentlessly pursued us over the mountains and ambushed us in the wilderness.

Resh

20 The Lord's anointed,t the breath of our life,u was captured in their traps; we had said about him: We will live under his protection among the nations.

Sin

21 So rejoice and be glad, Daughter Edom,v you resident of the land of Uz!w Yet the cupx will pass to you as well; you will get drunk and expose yourself.

Tav

22 Daughter Zion, your punishment is complete; He will not lengthen your exile.y But He will punish your iniquity, Daughter Edom, and will expose your sins.z
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