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Lamentations 2 (New International Reader's Version)

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1 See how the Lord covered the city of Zion with the cloud of his anger! He threw Israel's glory down from heaven to earth. When he was angry, he turned his back on his own city. 2 Without pity the Lord swallowed up all of the homes of Jacob's people. When he was angry, he tore down the forts of the people of Judah. He brought their kingdom and its princes down to the ground in dishonor. 3 When he burned with anger, he took away Israel's power. He pulled back his powerful right hand as the enemy approached. His burning anger blazed out in Jacob's land. It burned up everything that was near it. 4 Like an enemy the Lord got his bow ready to use. He had a sword in his right hand. Like an enemy he destroyed everything that used to be pleasing to him. His anger blazed out like fire. It burned up the homes in the city of Zion. 5 The Lord was like an enemy. He swallowed up Israel. He swallowed up all of its palaces. He destroyed its forts. He filled the people of Judah with sorrow and sadness. 6 The LORD's temple was like a garden. But he completely destroyed it. He destroyed the place where he used to meet with his people. He made Zion's people forget their appointed feasts and Sabbath days. When he was very angry, he turned his back on king and priest alike. 7 The Lord deserted his altar. He left his temple. He handed the walls of Jerusalem's palaces over to its enemies. They shouted loudly in the house of the Lord. You would have thought it was the day of an appointed feast. 8 The LORD decided to tear down the walls around the city of Zion. He measured out what he wanted to destroy. Then he destroyed it with his powerful hand. He made even its towers and walls sing songs of sadness. All of them fell down. 9 Its gates sank down into the ground. He broke their metal bars and destroyed them. Its king and princes were taken away to other nations. There is no law anymore. Jerusalem's prophets no longer receive visions from the Lord. 10 The elders of the city of Zion sit silently on the ground. They have sprinkled dust on their heads. They've put on black clothes to show how sad they are. The young women of Jerusalem have bowed their heads toward the ground. 11 I've cried so much I can't see very well. I'm suffering deep down inside. My heart is broken because my people are destroyed. Children and babies are fainting in the streets of the city. 12 They say to their mothers, "Where can we find something to eat and drink?" They faint like wounded soldiers in the streets of the city. Their lives are slipping away in their mothers' arms. 13 City of Jerusalem, what can I say about you? What can I compare you to? People of Zion, what are you like? I want to comfort you. Your wound is as deep as the ocean. Who can heal you? 14 The visions of your prophets were lies. They weren't worth anything. They didn't show you the sins you had committed. So that's why you were captured. The messages they gave you were lies. They led you down the wrong path. 15 All those who pass by clap their hands and make fun of you. They laugh at you and shake their heads at the city of Jerusalem. They say, "Could that be the city that was called perfect and beautiful? Is that the city that brought joy to everyone on earth?" 16 All of your enemies open their mouths wide against you. They laugh at you and grind their teeth. They say, "We have swallowed Jerusalem's people up. This is the day we've waited for. And we've lived to see it." 17 The LORD has done what he planned to do. He has made what he said come true. He gave the command long ago. He has destroyed you without pity. He has let your enemies laugh at you. He has made them stronger than you are. 18 People in the city of Zion, cry out from your heart to the Lord. Let your tears flow like a river day and night. Don't stop at all. Don't give your eyes any rest. 19 Get up. Cry out as the night begins. Tell the Lord all of your troubles. Lift up your hands to him. Pray that the lives of your children will be spared. At every street corner they faint because they are so hungry. 20 Jerusalem says, "Lord, look at me. Think about my condition. Have you ever treated anyone else like this? Should women have to eat their babies? Should they eat the children they've taken care of? Should priests and prophets be killed in your own temple? 21 "Young people and old people alike lie dead in the dust of my streets. My young women and young men have been killed with swords. You killed them when you were angry. You put them to death without pity. 22 "You sent for terrors to come against me on every side. It was as if you were inviting people to enjoy a feast day. Because you were angry, no one escaped. No one was left alive. I took good care of my children and brought them up. But my enemies have destroyed them."
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