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The Punishment of Zion

How the gold has become dim!
    How the most fine gold has changed!
The stones of the sanctuary lie scattered
    at the head of every street.

The precious sons of Zion,
    comparable to fine gold,
how they are esteemed as earthen pots,
    the work of a potter’s hands!

Even the jackals offer the breast;
    they nurse their young,
yet the daughter of my people has become cruel,
    like ostriches in the wilderness.

The tongue of the infant cleaves
    to the roof of his mouth for thirst;
the children beg for bread,
    but no one divides it for them.

Those who once ate delicacies
    are desolate in the streets;
those who were brought up in scarlet
    embrace ash heaps.

For the iniquity of the daughter of my people
    is greater than the sin of Sodom,
which was overthrown in a moment,
    and no hands were wrung for her.

Her princes were purer than snow,
    whiter than milk;
their bodies were more ruddy than rubies,
    their appearance like sapphire.

Their form is blacker than coal;
    they are not recognized in the streets;
their skin cleaves to their bones,
    it has become as dry as wood.

Those killed by the sword
    are better off than those who die of hunger,
for they pine away,
    stricken for want of the fruits of the field.

10 The hands of compassionate women
    have boiled their own children;
they became their food in the destruction
    of the daughter of my people.

11 The Lord has fulfilled His fury,
    He has poured out His fierce anger.
He kindled a fire in Zion,
    and it has devoured its foundations.

12 The kings of the earth, and all the inhabitants of the world,
    would not have believed
that the adversary and the enemy could enter
    the gates of Jerusalem.

13 This was for the sins of her prophets
    and the iniquities of her priests,
who poured out in her midst the blood of the righteous.

14 They wandered,
    blind, in the streets;
they have defiled themselves with blood,
    so that no one could touch their garments.

15 They cried out to them, “Depart! Unclean!
    Depart, depart, do not touch us!”
Therefore they fled and wandered;
    men among the nations said,
    “They shall live with us no longer.”

16 The presence of the Lord scattered them;
    He will regard them no more;
they do not respect the priests,
    nor show favor to the elders.

17 Our eyes failed us,
    watching vainly for help;
in our watchtowers we watched
    for a nation that could not save us.

18 They tracked our steps
    so that we could not walk in our streets.
Our end drew near; our days were numbered,
    for our end had come.

19 Our pursuers were swifter
    than the eagles of the skies.
They pursued us on the mountains;
    they lay in wait for us in the wilderness.

20 The breath of our life, the anointed king of the Lord,
    was captured in their traps,
of whom we said, “Under his shadow
    we shall live among the nations.”

21 Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom,
    you who dwell in the land of Uz!
The cup shall also pass to you;
    you shall become drunk and strip yourself bare.

22 The punishment of your iniquity, O daughter of Zion, is accomplished;
    He shall exile you no longer.
He shall punish your iniquity, O daughter of Edom;
    He will expose your sins!