Lamentations 4

1See how the gold has grown dark. See how the good gold is changed. There are jewels scattered all around. They are scattered at every street corner. 2The people of Zion were worth a lot. They were worth their weight in gold. But now the enemy treats those people like old clay jars. The enemy treats them like clay jars made by a potter. 3Even a wild dog feeds her babies. Even the jackal lets her pups suck at her breast. But the daughter of my people is cruel. She is like the ostrich that lives in the desert. 4The little baby’s tongue sticks to the roof of its mouth from thirst. Young children ask for bread. But no one gives any bread to them. 5The people that at one time ate rich food now are dying in the streets. The people that grew up wearing nice red clothes now pick through garbage piles. 6The sin of the daughter of my people was very great. Their sin was greater than the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed suddenly. No human hand caused that destruction. 7Some of the men of Judah were dedicated to God in a special way. Those men were very pure. They were whiter than snow. They were whiter than milk. Their bodies were red like coral. Their beards were sapphire stones. 8But now their faces are blacker than soot. No one even recognizes them in the streets. Their skin is wrinkled over their bones. Their skin is like wood. 9The people that were killed by the sword had it better than the people that were killed by famine. The starving people were very sad. They were hurt. They died because they got no food from the field. 10At that time, even very nice women cooked their own children. Those children became food for their mothers. This happened when my people were destroyed. 11The Lord used all of his anger. He poured out all his anger. He made a fire in Zion. That fire burned down Zion to its foundations. 12The kings of the earth could not believe what had happened. The people of the world could not believe what had happened. They could not believe that enemies would be able to come through the city gates of Jerusalem. 13This happened because the prophets of Jerusalem sinned. This happened because the priests of Jerusalem did evil things. Those people were shedding blood in the city of Jerusalem. They were shedding the blood of good people. 14The prophets and priests walked around like blind men in the streets. They had become dirty with blood. No one could even touch their clothes because they were dirty. 15People shouted, ”Go away! Go away! Don’t touch us.” Those people wandered around and had no home. People in other nations said, ”We don’t want them to live with us.” 16The Lord himself destroyed those people. He didn’t look after them anymore. He didn’t respect the priests. He was not friendly to the elders of Judah. 17We have worn out our eyes looking for help. But no help comes. We kept on looking for a nation to save us. We kept watch from our watchtower, But no nation came to us. 18Our enemies hunted us all the time. We could not even go out into the streets. Our end came near. Our time was up. Our end came! 19The men that chased us were faster than eagles in the sky. Those men chased us into the mountains. They hid in the desert to catch us. 20The king was very important to us. He was like the breath we breathe. But the king was trapped by them. The king was chosen by the Lord himself. We had said about the king, ”We will live in his shadow. He protects us from the nations.” 21Be happy, people of Edom. Be happy, you people that live in the land of Uz. But remember, the cup of the Lord’s anger will come around to you, too. When you drink from that cup ˻(punishment)˼, you will get drunk and will make yourselves naked. 22Your punishment is complete, Zion. You will not go into captivity again. But the Lord will punish your sins, people of Edom. He will uncover your sins.

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