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The Lord Destroyed Jerusalem

Look how the Lord in his anger
    has brought Jerusalem to shame.
He has thrown down the greatness of Israel
    from the sky to the earth;
he did not remember the Temple, his footstool,
    on the day of his anger.

The Lord swallowed up without mercy
    all the houses of the people of Jacob;
in his anger he pulled down
    the strong places of Judah.
He threw her kingdom and its rulers
    down to the ground in dishonor.

In his anger he has removed
    all the strength of Israel;
he took away his power from Israel
    when the enemy came.
He burned against the people of Jacob like a flaming fire
    that burns up everything around it.

Like an enemy, he prepared to shoot his bow,
    and his hand was against us.
Like an enemy, he killed
    all the good-looking people;
he poured out his anger like fire
    on the tents of Jerusalem.

The Lord was like an enemy;
    he swallowed up Israel.
He swallowed up all her palaces
    and destroyed all her strongholds.
He has caused more moaning and groaning
    for Judah.

He cut down his Temple like a garden;
    he destroyed the meeting place.
The Lord has made Jerusalem forget
    the set feasts and Sabbath days.
He has rejected the king and the priest
    in his great anger.

The Lord has rejected his altar
    and abandoned his Temple.
He has handed over to the enemy
    the walls of Jerusalem’s palaces.
Their uproar in the Lord’s Temple
    was like that of a feast day.

The Lord planned to destroy
    the wall around Jerusalem.
He measured the wall
    and did not stop himself from destroying it.
He made the walls and defenses sad;
    together they have fallen.

Jerusalem’s gates have fallen to the ground;
    he destroyed and smashed the bars of the gates.
Her king and her princes are among the nations.
    The teaching of the Lord has stopped,
and the prophets do not have
    visions from the Lord.

10 The elders of Jerusalem
    sit on the ground in silence.
They throw dust on their heads
    and put on rough cloth to show their sadness.
The young women of Jerusalem
    bow their heads to the ground in sorrow.

11 My eyes have no more tears,
    and I am sick to my stomach.
I feel empty inside,
    because my people have been destroyed.
Children and babies are fainting
    in the streets of the city.

12 They ask their mothers,
    “Where is the grain and wine?”
They faint like wounded soldiers
    in the streets of the city
    and die in their mothers’ arms.

13 What can I say about you, Jerusalem?
    What can I compare you to?
What can I say you are like?
    How can I comfort you, Jerusalem?
Your ruin is as deep as the sea.
    No one can heal you.

14 Your prophets saw visions,
    but they were false and worth nothing.
They did not point out your sins
    to keep you from being captured.
They preached what was false
    and led you wrongly.

15 All who pass by on the road
    clap their hands at you;
they make fun of Jerusalem
    and shake their heads.
They ask, “Is this the city that people called
    the most beautiful city,
    the happiest place on earth?”

16 All your enemies open their mouths
    to speak against you.
They make fun and grind their teeth in anger.
    They say, “We have swallowed you up.
This is the day we were waiting for!
    We have finally seen it happen.”

17 The Lord has done what he planned;
    he has kept his word
    that he commanded long ago.
He has destroyed without mercy,
    and he has let your enemies laugh at you.
    He has strengthened your enemies.

18 The people cry out to the Lord.
    Wall of Jerusalem,
let your tears flow
    like a river day and night.
Do not stop
    or let your eyes rest.

19 Get up, cry out in the night,
    even as the night begins.
Pour out your heart like water
    in prayer to the Lord.
Lift up your hands in prayer to him
    for the life of your children
who are fainting with hunger
    on every street corner.

20 Jerusalem says: “Look, Lord, and see
    to whom you have done this.
Women eat their own babies,
    the children they have cared for.
Priests and prophets are killed
    in the Temple of the Lord.

21 “People young and old
    lie outside on the ground.
My young women and young men
    have been killed by the sword.
You killed them on the day of your anger;
    you killed them without mercy.

22 “You invited terrors to come against me on every side,
    as if you were inviting them to a feast.
No one escaped or remained alive
    on the day of the Lord’s anger.
My enemy has killed
    those I cared for and brought up.”

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