Lamentations 4:1-11 (New Revised Standard)

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1 How the gold has grown dim, how the pure gold is changed! The sacred stones lie scattered at the head of every street. 2 The precious children of Zion, worth their weight in fine gold— how they are reckoned as earthen pots, the work of a potter's hands! 3 Even the jackals offer the breast and nurse their young, but my people has become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness. 4 The tongue of the infant sticks to the roof of its mouth for thirst; the children beg for food, but no one gives them anything. 5 Those who feasted on delicacies perish in the streets; those who were brought up in purple cling to ash heaps. 6 For the chastisement a of my people has been greater than the punishment b of Sodom, which was overthrown in a moment, though no hand was laid on it. c 7 Her princes were purer than snow, whiter than milk; their bodies were more ruddy than coral, their hair d like sapphire. e 8 Now their visage is blacker than soot; they are not recognized in the streets. Their skin has shriveled on their bones; it has become as dry as wood. 9 Happier were those pierced by the sword than those pierced by hunger, whose life drains away, deprived of the produce of the field. 10 The hands of compassionate women have boiled their own children; they became their food in the destruction of my people. 11 The Lord gave full vent to his wrath; he poured out his hot anger, and kindled a fire in Zion that consumed its foundations.
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