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Lonely Jerusalem

The Prophet Speaks:

Jerusalem, once so crowded,
    lies deserted and lonely.
This city that was known
all over the world
    is now like a widow.
This queen of the nations
    has been made a slave.
Each night, bitter tears
    flood her cheeks.
None of her former lovers
    are there to offer comfort;
her friends[a] have betrayed her
    and are now her enemies.

The people of Judah are slaves,
suffering in a foreign land,
    with no rest from sorrow.
Their enemies captured them
    and were terribly cruel.[b]
The roads to Zion mourn
because no one travels there
    to celebrate the festivals.
The city gates are deserted;
    priests are weeping.
Young women are raped;[c]
    Zion is in sorrow!
Enemies now rule the city
    and live as they please.
The Lord has punished Jerusalem
    because of her awful sins;
he has let her people
    be dragged away.

Zion’s glory has disappeared.
Her leaders are like deer
    that cannot find pasture;
they are hunted down
    till their strength is gone.

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  1. 1.2 lovers. . . friends: Israel’s former allies.
  2. 1.3 Their. . . cruel: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  3. 1.4 raped: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

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