Lamentations 4

The Holy Stones Lie Scattered

1 aHow the gold has grown dim,
how the pure gold is changed!
The holy stones lie scattered
bat the head of every street.
2 The precious sons of Zion,
worth their weight in cfine gold,
how they are regarded as dearthen pots,
the work of a potter’s hands!
3 Even jackals offer the breast;
they nurse their young,
but the daughter of my people has become cruel,
like the ostriches in the wilderness.
4 The tongue of the nursing infant esticks
to the roof of its mouth for thirst;
fthe children beg for food,
but no one gives to them.
5 Those who once feasted on delicacies
perish in the streets;
gthose who were brought up in purple
embrace ash heaps.
6 hFor the chastisement
Or iniquity
of the daughter of my people has been greater
than the punishment
Or sin
of Sodom,
kwhich was overthrown in a moment,
and no hands were wrung for her.
The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain

7 Her princes were purer than snow,
whiter than milk;
their bodies were more ruddy than coral,
the beauty of their form
The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
was like sapphire.
Hebrew lapis lazuli

8 oNow their face is blacker than soot;
they are not recognized in the streets;
their skin has shriveled on their bones;
it has become as dry as wood.
9 Happier were the victims of the sword
than the victims of hunger,
who wasted away, pierced
by lack of the fruits of the field.
10 pThe hands of qcompassionate women
rhave boiled their own children;
sthey became their food
during the destruction of the daughter of my people.
11 tThe  Lord gave full vent to his wrath;
he poured out his hot anger,
and uhe kindled a fire in Zion
that consumed its foundations.
12 vThe kings of the earth did not believe,
nor any of the inhabitants of the world,
that foe or enemy could enter
the gates of Jerusalem.
13 This was for wthe sins of her prophets
and xthe iniquities of her priests,
who shed in the midst of her
the blood of the righteous.
14 yThey wandered, blind, through the streets;
they were so defiled with blood
zthat no one was able to touch
their garments.
15 Away! aaUnclean!” people cried at them.
Away! Away! Do not touch!”
So they became fugitives and wanderers;
people said among the nations,
“They shall stay with us no longer.”
16 abThe  Lord himself
Hebrew  The face of the  Lord
has scattered them;
he will regard them no more;
adno honor was shown to the priests,
aeno favor to the elders.
17 afOur eyes failed, ever watching
agvainly for help;
in our watching we watched
for aha nation which could not save.
18 aiThey dogged our steps
so that we could not walk in our streets;
ajour end drew near; our days were numbered,
for our end had come.
19 Our pursuers were akswifter
than the eagles in the heavens;
they chased us on the mountains;
they lay in wait for us in the wilderness.
20 alThe breath of our nostrils, amthe  Lord’s anointed,
was captured anin their pits,
of whom we said, ao“Under his shadow
we shall live among the nations.”
21 apRejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom,
you who dwell in aqthe land of Uz;
but to you also arthe cup shall pass;
you shall become drunk and strip yourself bare.
22 asThe punishment of your iniquity, O daughter of Zion, is accomplished;
he will keep you in exile no longer;
Or  he will not exile you again

but auyour iniquity, O daughter of Edom, he will punish;
he will uncover your sins.
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