Lamentations, CHAPTER 2
THE LORD’S WRATH AND ZION’S RUIN
How the Lord in his wrath
has abhorred daughter Zion,
Casting down from heaven to earth
the glory of Israel,
Not remembering his footstool
on the day of his wrath!
The Lord has devoured without pity
all of Jacob’s dwellings;
In his fury he has razed
daughter Judah’s defenses,
Has brought to the ground in dishonor
a kingdom and its princes.
In blazing wrath, he cut down entirely
the horn of Israel;
He withdrew the support of his right hand
when the enemy approached;
He burned against Jacob like a blazing fire
that consumes everything in its path.
He bent his bow like an enemy;
the arrow in his right hand
Like a foe, he killed
all those held precious;
On the tent of daughter Zion
he poured out his wrath like fire.
The Lord has become the enemy,
he has devoured Israel:
Devoured all its strongholds,
destroyed its defenses,
Multiplied moaning and groaning
throughout daughter Judah.
He laid waste his booth like a garden,
destroyed his shrine;
The LORD has blotted out in Zion
feast day and sabbath,
Has scorned in fierce wrath
king and priest.
The Lord has rejected his altar,
spurned his sanctuary;
He has handed over to the enemy
the walls of its strongholds.
They shout in the house of the LORD
as on a feast day.
The LORD was bent on destroying
the wall of daughter Zion:
He stretched out the measuring line;
did not hesitate to devour,
Brought grief on rampart and wall
till both succumbed.
Her gates sank into the ground;
he smashed her bars to bits.
Her king and her princes are among the nations;
instruction is wanting,
Even her prophets do not obtain
any vision from the LORD.
The elders of daughter Zion
sit silently on the ground;
They cast dust on their heads
and dress in sackcloth;
The young women of Jerusalem
bow their heads to the ground.
My eyes are spent with tears,
my stomach churns;
My bile is poured out on the ground
at the brokenness of the daughter of my people,
As children and infants collapse
in the streets of the town.
They cry out to their mothers,
“Where is bread and wine?”
As they faint away like the wounded
in the streets of the city,
As their life is poured out
in their mothers’ arms.
To what can I compare you―to what can I liken you―
O daughter Jerusalem?
What example can I give in order to comfort you,
virgin daughter Zion?
For your breach is vast as the sea;
who could heal you?
Your prophets provided you visions
of whitewashed illusion;
They did not lay bare your guilt,
in order to restore your fortunes;
They saw for you only oracles
of empty deceit.
All who pass by on the road,
clap their hands at you;
They hiss and wag their heads
over daughter Jerusalem:
“Is this the city they used to call
perfect in beauty and joy of all the earth?”
They open their mouths against you,
all your enemies;
They hiss and gnash their teeth,
saying, “We have devoured her!
How we have waited for this day―
we have lived to see it!”
The LORD has done what he planned.
He has fulfilled the threat
Decreed from days of old,
destroying without pity!
He let the enemy gloat over you
and exalted the horn of your foes.
Cry out to the Lord from your heart,
wall of daughter Zion!
Let your tears flow like a torrent
day and night;
Give yourself no rest,
no relief for your eyes.
Rise up! Wail in the night,
at the start of every watch;
Pour out your heart like water
before the Lord;
Lift up your hands to him
for the lives of your children,
Who collapse from hunger
at the corner of every street.
“Look, O LORD, and pay attention:
to whom have you been so ruthless?
Must women eat their own offspring,
the very children they have borne?
Are priest and prophet to be slain
in the sanctuary of the Lord?
They lie on the ground in the streets,
young and old alike;
Both my young women and young men
are cut down by the sword;
You killed them on the day of your wrath,
slaughtered without pity.
You summoned as to a feast day
terrors on every side;
On the day of the LORD’s wrath,
none survived or escaped.
Those I have borne and nurtured,
my enemy has utterly destroyed.”