Christian Standard Bible
Terrors of the Besieged City
2 Zion’s precious children—
once worth their weight in pure gold(B)—
how they are regarded as clay jars,
the work of a potter’s hands!
3 Even jackals offer their breasts
to nurse their young,
but my dear people have become cruel
like ostriches(C) in the wilderness.
4 The nursing baby’s tongue
clings to the roof of his mouth from thirst.(D)
Infants beg for food,
but no one gives them any.
5 Those who used to eat delicacies
are destitute in the streets;
those who were reared in purple garments(E)
huddle in trash heaps.
6 The punishment of my dear people
is greater than that of Sodom,(F)
which was overthrown in an instant
without a hand laid on it.
7 Her dignitaries were brighter than snow,
whiter than milk;
their bodies[b] were more ruddy than coral,
their appearance like lapis lazuli.
8 Now they appear darker than soot;(G)
they are not recognized in the streets.
Their skin has shriveled on their bones;
it has become dry like wood.
9 Those slain by the sword are better off
than those slain by hunger,
who waste away, pierced with pain
because the fields lack produce.
11 The Lord has exhausted his wrath,
poured out his burning anger;
he has ignited a fire in Zion,
and it has consumed her foundations.(J)
12 The kings of the earth
and all the world’s inhabitants did not believe
that an enemy or adversary
could enter Jerusalem’s gates.(K)
13 Yet it happened because of the sins of her prophets
and the iniquities of her priests,
who shed the blood of the righteous within her.(L)
16 The Lord himself has scattered them;
he no longer watches over them.
The priests are not respected;
the elders find no favor.
17 All the while our eyes were failing
as we looked in vain for help;(Q)
we watched from our towers
for a nation that would not save us.
18 Our steps were closely followed
so that we could not walk in our streets.
Our end approached;(R) our time ran out.
Our end had come!
19 Those who chased us were swifter
than eagles in the sky;(S)
they relentlessly pursued us over the mountains
and ambushed us in the wilderness.