Terrors of the Besieged City
1How the gold has become tarnished,
the fine gold become dull!
The stones of the temple4:1 Or The sacred gems lie scattered
at the head of every street.4:1 Ezk 7:19–20
2Zion’s precious children —
how they are regarded as clay jars,
the work of a potter’s hands!
3Even jackals offer their breasts
to nurse their young,
but my dear people have become cruel
like ostriches4:3 Jb 39:13–18 in the wilderness.
4The nursing baby’s tongue
clings to the roof of his mouth from thirst.4:4 Ps 22:15
Infants beg for food,
but no one gives them any.
5Those who used to eat delicacies
are destitute in the streets;
huddle in trash heaps.
6The punishment of my dear people
which was overthrown in an instant
without a hand laid on it.
7Her dignitaries were brighter than snow,
whiter than milk;
their bodies4:7 Lit bones were more ruddy than coral,
their appearance like lapis lazuli.
they are not recognized in the streets.
Their skin has shriveled on their bones;
it has become dry like wood.
9Those slain by the sword are better off
than those slain by hunger,
who waste away, pierced with pain
because the fields lack produce.
10The hands of compassionate women
they became their food
11The Lord has exhausted his wrath,
poured out his burning anger;
he has ignited a fire in Zion,
and it has consumed her foundations.4:11 Lm 2:3–4
12The kings of the earth
and all the world’s inhabitants did not believe
that an enemy or adversary
13Yet it happened because of the sins of her prophets
and the iniquities of her priests,
defiled by this blood,4:14 Lv 21:11
so that no one dared
to touch their garments.
15“Stay away! Unclean!” people shouted at them.
“Away, away! Don’t touch us!” 4:15 Lv 13:45–46
So they wandered aimlessly.4:15 Gn 4:12
It was said among the nations,
“They can stay here no longer.”
16The Lord himself has scattered them;
he no longer watches over them.
The priests are not respected;
the elders find no favor.
17All the while our eyes were failing
as we looked in vain for help;4:17 Jr 37:7–8
we watched from our towers
for a nation that would not save us.
18Our steps were closely followed
so that we could not walk in our streets.
Our end had come!
19Those who chased us were swifter
they relentlessly pursued us over the mountains
and ambushed us in the wilderness.
was captured in their traps.
We had said about him,
“We will live under his protection among the nations.”
you resident of the land of Uz!4:21 Jr 25:20
you will get drunk and expose yourself.
22Daughter Zion, your punishment is complete;
he will not lengthen your exile.4:22 Or not deport you again
But he will punish your iniquity, Daughter Edom,
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