Lamentations 3; Lamentations 4; Lamentations 5

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Lamentations 3

1 I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of God's wrath.
2 He has driven me away and forced [me] to walk in darkness instead of light.
3 Yes, He repeatedly turns His hand against me all day long.
4 He has worn away my flesh and skin; He has shattered my bones.
5 He has laid siege against me, encircling me with bitterness and hardship.
6 He has made me dwell in darkness like those who have been dead for ages.
7 He has walled me in so I cannot escape; He has weighed me down with chains.
8 Even when I cry out and plead for help, He rejects my prayer.
9 He has walled in my ways with cut stones; He has made my paths crooked.
10 He is a bear waiting in ambush, a lion in hiding;
11 He forced me off my way and tore me to pieces; He left me desolate.
12 He bent His bow and set me as the target for His arrow.
13 He pierced my kidneys with His arrows.
14 I am a laughingstock to all my people, mocked by their songs all day long.
15 He filled me with bitterness, sated me with wormwood.
16 He ground my teeth on gravel and made me cower in the dust.
17 My soul has been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is.
18 Then I thought: My future is lost, as well as my hope from the Lord.
19 Remember my affliction and my homelessness, the wormwood and the poison.
20 I continually remember [them] and have become depressed.
21 Yet I call this to mind, and therefore I have hope:
22 [Because of] the Lord's faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end.
23 They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!
24 I say: The Lord is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in Him.
25 The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him.
26 It is good to wait quietly for deliverance from the Lord.
27 It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is [still] young.
28 Let him sit alone and be silent, for God has disciplined him.
29 Let him put his mouth in the dust- perhaps there is [still] hope.
30 Let him offer [his] cheek to the one who would strike him; let him be filled with shame.
31 For the Lord will not reject [us] forever.
32 Even if He causes suffering, He will show compassion according to His abundant, faithful love.
33 For He does not enjoy bringing affliction or suffering on mankind.
34 Crushing all the prisoners of the land beneath one's feet,
35 denying justice to a man in the presence of the Most High,
36 or suppressing a person's lawsuit- the Lord does not approve [of these things].
37 Who is there who speaks and it happens, unless the Lord has ordained [it]?
38 Do not both adversity and good come from the mouth of the Most High?
39 Why should [any] living person complain, [any] man, because of the punishment for his sins?
40 Let us search out and examine our ways, and turn back to the Lord.
41 Let us lift up our hearts and [our] hands to God in heaven:
42 We have sinned and rebelled; You have not forgiven.
43 You have covered Yourself in anger and pursued us; You have killed without compassion.
44 You have covered Yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can pass through.
45 You have made us disgusting filth among the peoples.
46 All our enemies open their mouths against us.
47 We have experienced panic and pitfall, devastation and destruction.
48 My eyes flow with streams of tears because of the destruction of my dear people.
49 My eyes overflow unceasingly, without end,
50 until the Lord looks down from heaven and sees.
51 My eyes bring me grief because of [the fate of] all the women in my city.
52 For no [apparent] reason, my enemies hunted me like a bird.
53 They dropped me alive into a pit and threw stones at me.
54 Water flooded over my head, and I thought: I'm going to die!
55 I called on Your name, Yahweh, from the depths of the Pit.
56 You hear my plea: Do not ignore my cry for relief.
57 You come near when I call on You; You say: "Do not be afraid."
58 You defend my cause, Lord; You redeem my life.
59 Lord, You see the wrong done to me; judge my case.
60 You see all their malice, all their plots against me.
61 Lord, You hear their insults, all their plots against me.
62 The slander and murmuring of my opponents attack me all day long.
63 When they sit and when they rise, look, I am mocked by their songs.
64 You will pay them back what they deserve, Lord, according to the work of their hands.
65 You will give them a heart filled with anguish. May Your curse be on them!
66 You will pursue [them] in anger and destroy them under Your heavens.
Holman Christian Standard Bible ® Copyright © 2003, 2002, 2000, 1999 by Holman Bible Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

Lamentations 4

1 How the gold has become tarnished, the fine gold become dull! The stones of the temple lie scattered at the corner of every street.
2 Zion's precious people- [once] worth their weight in pure gold- how they are regarded as clay jars, the work of a potter's hands!
3 Even jackals offer [their] breasts to nurse their young, but my dear people have become cruel like ostriches in the wilderness.
4 The nursing infant's tongue clings to the roof of his mouth from thirst. Little children beg for bread, but no one gives them [any].
5 Those who used to eat delicacies are destitute in the streets; those who were reared in purple [garments] huddle in garbage heaps.
6 The punishment of my dear people is greater than that of Sodom, which was overthrown in an instant without a hand laid on it.
7 Her dignitaries were brighter than snow, whiter than milk; [their] bodies were more ruddy than coral, their appearance [like] sapphire.
8 [Now] they appear darker than soot; they are not recognized in the streets. Their skin has shriveled on their bones; it has become dry like wood.
9 Those slain by the sword are better off than those slain by hunger, who waste away, pierced [with pain] because the fields lack produce.
10 The hands of compassionate women have cooked their own children; they became their food during the destruction of my dear people.
11 The Lord has exhausted His wrath, poured out His burning anger; He has ignited a fire in Zion, and it has consumed her foundations.
12 The kings of the earth and all the world's inhabitants did not believe that an enemy or adversary could enter Jerusalem's gates.
13 [Yet it happened] because of the sins of her prophets and the guilt of her priests, who shed the blood of the righteous within her.
14 Blind, they stumbled in the streets, defiled by this blood, so that no one dared to touch their garments.
15 "Stay away! Unclean!" people shouted at them. "Away, away! Don't touch [us]!" So they wandered aimlessly. It was said among the nations, "They can stay here no longer."
16 The Lord Himself has scattered them; He regards them no more. The priests are not respected; the elders find no favor.
17 All the while our eyes were failing [as we looked] in vain for assistance; we watched from our towers for a nation that refused to help.
18 Our steps were closely followed, so that we could not walk in our streets. Our end drew near; our time ran out. Our end had come!
19 Those who chased us were swifter than eagles in the sky; they relentlessly pursued us over the mountains and ambushed us in the wilderness.
20 The Lord's anointed, the breath of our life, was captured in their traps; we had said about him: We will live under his protection among the nations.
21 So rejoice and be glad, Daughter Edom, you resident of the land of Uz! Yet the cup will pass to you as well; you will get drunk and expose yourself.
22 Daughter Zion, your punishment is complete; He will not lengthen your exile. But He will punish your iniquity, Daughter Edom, and will expose your sins.
Holman Christian Standard Bible ® Copyright © 2003, 2002, 2000, 1999 by Holman Bible Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

Lamentations 5

1 Yahweh, remember what has happened to us. Look, and see our disgrace!
2 Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers, our houses to foreigners.
3 We have become orphans, fatherless; our mothers are widows.
4 We must pay for the water we drink; our wood comes at a price.
5 We are closely pursued; we are tired, and no one offers us rest.
6 We made a treaty with Egypt and with Assyria, to get enough food.
7 Our fathers sinned; they no longer exist, but we bear their punishment.
8 Slaves rule over us; no one rescues [us] from their hands.
9 We secure our food at the risk of our lives because of the sword in the wilderness.
10 Our skin is as hot as an oven from the ravages of hunger.
11 Women are raped in Zion, virgins in the cities of Judah.
12 Princes are hung up by their hands; elders are shown no respect.
13 Young men labor at millstones; boys stumble under [loads of] wood.
14 The elders have left the city gate, the young men, their music.
15 Joy has left our hearts; our dancing has turned to mourning.
16 The crown has fallen from our head. Woe to us, for we have sinned.
17 Because of this, our heart is sick; because of these, our eyes grow dim:
18 because of Mount Zion, which lies desolate [and has] jackals prowling in it.
19 You, Lord, are enthroned forever; Your throne endures from generation to generation.
20 Why have You forgotten us forever, abandoned us for [our] entire lives?
21 Lord, restore us to Yourself, so we may return; renew our days as in former times,
22 unless You have completely rejected us and are intensely angry with us.
Holman Christian Standard Bible ® Copyright © 2003, 2002, 2000, 1999 by Holman Bible Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.