Lamentations, CHAPTER 4
MISERIES OF THE BESIEGED CITY
How the gold has lost its luster,
the noble metal changed;
Jewels lie scattered
at the corner of every street.
And Zion’s precious children,
worth their weight in gold―
How they are treated like clay jugs,
the work of any potter!
Even jackals offer their breasts
to nurse their young;
But the daughter of my people is as cruel
as the ostrich in the wilderness.
The tongue of the infant cleaves
to the roof of its mouth in thirst;
Children beg for bread,
but no one gives them a piece.
Those who feasted on delicacies
are abandoned in the streets;
Those who reclined on crimson
now embrace dung heaps.
The punishment of the daughter of my people
surpassed the penalty of Sodom,
Which was overthrown in an instant
with no hand laid on it.
Her princes were brighter than snow,
whiter than milk,
Their bodies more ruddy than coral,
their beauty like the sapphire.
Now their appearance is blacker than soot,
they go unrecognized in the streets;
Their skin has shrunk on their bones,
and become dry as wood.
Better for those pierced by the sword
than for those pierced by hunger,
Better for those who bleed from wounds
than for those who lack food.
The hands of compassionate women
have boiled their own children!
They became their food
when the daughter of my people was shattered.
The LORD has exhausted his anger,
poured out his blazing wrath;
He has kindled a fire in Zion
that has consumed her foundations.
The kings of the earth did not believe,
nor any of the world’s inhabitants,
That foe or enemy could enter
the gates of Jerusalem.
Except for the sins of her prophets
and the crimes of her priests,
Who poured out in her midst
the blood of the just.
They staggered blindly in the streets,
defiled with blood,
So that people could not touch
even their garments:
“Go away! Unclean!” they cried to them,
“Away, away, do not touch!”
If they went away and wandered,
it would be said among the nations,
“They can no longer live here!
The presence of the LORD was their portion,
but he no longer looks upon them.
The priests are shown no regard,
the elders, no mercy.
Even now our eyes are worn out,
searching in vain for help;
From our watchtower we have watched
for a nation unable to save.
They dogged our every step,
we could not walk in our squares;
Our end drew near, our time was up;
yes, our end had come.
Our pursuers were swifter
than eagles in the sky,
In the mountains they were hot on our trail,
they ambushed us in the wilderness.
The LORD’s anointed―our very lifebreath!―
was caught in their snares,
He in whose shade we thought
to live among the nations.
Rejoice and gloat, daughter Edom,
dwelling in the land of Uz,
The cup will pass to you as well;
you shall become drunk and strip yourself naked!
Your punishment is completed, daughter Zion,
the Lord will not prolong your exile;
The Lord will punish your iniquity, daughter Edom,
will lay bare your sins.