Lamentations 4 (New Century Version)

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1 See how the gold has lost its shine, how the pure gold has dulled! at every street corner. 2 The precious people of Jerusalem were more valuable than gold, but now they are thought of as clay jars made by the hands of a potter. 3 Even wild dogs give their milk to feed their young, but my people are cruel like ostriches in the desert. 4 The babies are so thirsty their tongues stick to the roofs of their mouths. Children beg for bread, but no one gives them any. 5 Those who once ate fine foods are now starving in the streets. People who grew up wearing nice clothes now pick through trash piles. 6 My people have been punished more than Sodom was. Sodom was destroyed suddenly, and no hands reached out to help her. 7 Our princes were purer than snow, and whiter than milk. Their bodies were redder than rubies; they looked like sapphires. 8 But now they are blacker than coal, and no one recognizes them in the streets. Their skin hangs on their bones; it is as dry as wood. 9 Those who were killed in the war were better off than those killed by hunger. They starve in pain and die, because there is no food from the field. 10 With their own hands kind women cook their own children. They became food when my people were destroyed. 11 The Lord turned loose all of his anger; he poured out his strong anger. He set fire to Jerusalem, burning it down to the foundations. 12 Kings of the earth and people of the world could not believe that enemies and foes could enter the gates of Jerusalem. 13 It happened because her prophets sinned and her priests did evil. They killed in the city those who did what was right. 14 They wandered in the streets as if they were blind. They were dirty with blood, so no one would touch their clothes. 15 "Go away! You are unclean," people shouted at them. "Get away! Get away! Don't touch us!" So they ran away and wandered. Even the other nations said, "Don't stay here." 16 The Lord himself scattered them and did not look after them anymore. No one respects the priests or honors the older leaders. 17 Also, our eyes grew tired, looking for help that never came. We kept watch from our towers for a nation to save us. 18 Our enemies hunted us, so we could not even walk in the streets. Our end is near. Our time is up. Our end has come. 19 Those who chased us were faster than eagles in the sky. They ran us into the mountains and ambushed us in the desert. 20 The Lord's appointed king, who was our very breath, was caught in their traps. We had said about him, "We will be protected by him among the nations." 21 Be happy and glad, people of Edom, you who live in the land of Uz. The cup of God's anger will come to you; then you will get drunk and go naked. 22 Your punishment is complete, Jerusalem. He will not send you into captivity again. But the Lord will punish the sins of Edom; he will uncover your evil.
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