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Lamentations 4 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 Oh, oh, oh . . . How gold is treated like dirt, the finest gold thrown out with the garbage, Priceless jewels scattered all over, jewels loose in the gutters. 1 How the gold has lost its luster, the fine gold become dull! The sacred gems are scattered at the head of every street.
2 And the people of Zion, once prized, far surpassing their weight in gold, Are now treated like cheap pottery, like everyday pots and bowls mass-produced by a potter. 2 How the precious sons of Zion, once worth their weight in gold, are now considered as pots of clay, the work of a potter's hands!
3 Even wild jackals nurture their babies, give them their breasts to suckle. But my people have turned cruel to their babies, like an ostrich in the wilderness. 3 Even jackals offer their breasts to nurse their young, but my people have become heartless like ostriches in the desert.
4 Babies have nothing to drink. Their tongues stick to the roofs of their mouths. Little children ask for bread but no one gives them so much as a crust. 4 Because of thirst the infant's tongue sticks to the roof of its mouth; the children beg for bread, but no one gives it to them.
5 People used to the finest cuisine forage for food in the streets. People used to the latest in fashions pick through the trash for something to wear. 5 Those who once ate delicacies are destitute in the streets. Those nurtured in purple now lie on ash heaps.
6 The evil guilt of my dear people was worse than the sin of Sodom - The city was destroyed in a flash, and no one around to help. 6 The punishment of my people is greater than that of Sodom, which was overthrown in a moment without a hand turned to help her.
7 The splendid and sacred nobles once glowed with health. Their bodies were robust and ruddy, their beards like carved stone. 7 Their princes were brighter than snow and whiter than milk, their bodies more ruddy than rubies, their appearance like sapphires.
8 But now they are smeared with soot, unrecognizable in the street, Their bones sticking out, their skin dried out like old leather. 8 But now they are blacker than soot; they are not recognized in the streets. Their skin has shriveled on their bones; it has become as dry as a stick.
9 Better to have been killed in battle than killed by starvation. Better to have died of battle wounds than to slowly starve to death. 9 Those killed by the sword are better off than those who die of famine; racked with hunger, they waste away for lack of food from the field.
10 Nice and kindly women boiled their own children for supper. This was the only food in town when my dear people were broken. 10 With their own hands compassionate women have cooked their own children, who became their food when my people were destroyed.
11 God let all his anger loose, held nothing back. He poured out his raging wrath. He set a fire in Zion that burned it to the ground. 11 The LORD has given full vent to his wrath; he has poured out his fierce anger. He kindled a fire in Zion that consumed her foundations.
12 The kings of the earth couldn't believe it. World rulers were in shock, Watching old enemies march in big as you please, right through Jerusalem's gates. 12 The kings of the earth did not believe, nor did any of the world's people, that enemies and foes could enter the gates of Jerusalem.
13 Because of the sins of her prophets and the evil of her priests, Who exploited good and trusting people, robbing them of their lives, 13 But it happened because of the sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests, who shed within her the blood of the righteous.
14 These prophets and priests blindly grope their way through the streets, grimy and stained from their dirty lives, Wasted by their wasted lives, shuffling from fatigue, dressed in rags. 14 Now they grope through the streets like men who are blind. They are so defiled with blood that no one dares to touch their garments.
15 People yell at them, "Get out of here, dirty old men! Get lost, don't touch us, don't infect us!" They have to leave town. They wander off. Nobody wants them to stay here. Everyone knows, wherever they wander, that they've been kicked out of their own hometown. 15 "Go away! You are unclean!" men cry to them. "Away! Away! Don't touch us!" When they flee and wander about, people among the nations say, "They can stay here no longer."
16 God himself scattered them. No longer does he look out for them. He has nothing to do with the priests; he cares nothing for the elders. 16 The LORD himself has scattered them; he no longer watches over them. The priests are shown no honor, the elders no favor.
17 We watched and watched, wore our eyes out looking for help. And nothing. We mounted our lookouts and looked for the help that never showed up. 17 Moreover, our eyes failed, looking in vain for help; from our towers we watched for a nation that could not save us.
18 They tracked us down, those hunters. It wasn't safe to go out in the street. Our end was near, our days numbered. We were doomed. 18 Men stalked us at every step, so we could not walk in our streets. Our end was near, our days were numbered, for our end had come.
19 They came after us faster than eagles in flight, pressed us hard in the mountains, ambushed us in the desert. 19 Our pursuers were swifter than eagles in the sky; they chased us over the mountains and lay in wait for us in the desert.
20 Our king, our life's breath, the anointed of God, was caught in their traps - Our king under whose protection we always said we'd live. 20 The LORD's anointed, our very life breath, was caught in their traps. We thought that under his shadow we would live among the nations.
21 Celebrate while you can, O Edom! Live it up in Uz! For it won't be long before you drink this cup, too. You'll find out what it's like to drink God's wrath, Get drunk on God's wrath and wake up with nothing, stripped naked. 21 Rejoice and be glad, O Daughter of Edom, you who live in the land of Uz. But to you also the cup will be passed; you will be drunk and stripped naked.
22 And that's it for you, Zion. The punishment's complete. You won't have to go through this exile again. But Edom, your time is coming: He'll punish your evil life, put all your sins on display. 22 O Daughter of Zion, your punishment will end; he will not prolong your exile. But, O Daughter of Edom, he will punish your sin and expose your wickedness.