Lamentations 4:1-12 NIV

1 How the gold has lost its luster, the fine gold become dull! The sacred gems are scattered at the head of every street.1

References for Lamentations 4:1

2 How the precious sons of Zion,2 once worth their weight in gold, are now considered as pots of clay, the work of a potter's hands!

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3 Even jackals offer their breasts to nurse their young, but my people have become heartless like ostriches in the desert.3

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4 Because of thirst4 the infant's tongue sticks to the roof of its mouth;5 the children beg for bread, but no one gives it to them.6

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5 Those who once ate delicacies are destitute in the streets. Those nurtured in purple7 now lie on ash heaps.8

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6 The punishment of my people is greater than that of Sodom,9 which was overthrown in a moment without a hand turned to help her.

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7 Their princes were brighter than snow and whiter than milk, their bodies more ruddy than rubies, their appearance like sapphires.a

References for Lamentations 4:7

    • a 4:7 - Or "lapis lazuli"
      8 But now they are blacker10 than soot; they are not recognized in the streets. Their skin has shriveled on their bones;11 it has become as dry as a stick.

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      9 Those killed by the sword are better off than those who die of famine;12 racked with hunger, they waste away for lack of food from the field.13

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      10 With their own hands compassionate women have cooked their own children,14 who became their food when my people were destroyed.

      References for Lamentations 4:10

      11 The LORD has given full vent to his wrath;15 he has poured out16 his fierce anger.17 He kindled a fire18 in Zion that consumed her foundations.19

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      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.20

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