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Lamentations 2Revised Standard Version (RSV)

God’s Warnings Fulfilled

How the Lord in his anger
has set the daughter of Zion under a cloud!
He has cast down from heaven to earth
    the splendor of Israel;
he has not remembered his footstool
    in the day of his anger.

The Lord has destroyed without mercy
    all the habitations of Jacob;
in his wrath he has broken down
    the strongholds of the daughter of Judah;
he has brought down to the ground in dishonor
    the kingdom and its rulers.

He has cut down in fierce anger
    all the might of Israel;
he has withdrawn from them his right hand
    in the face of the enemy;
he has burned like a flaming fire in Jacob,
    consuming all around.

He has bent his bow like an enemy,
    with his right hand set like a foe;
and he has slain all the pride of our eyes
    in the tent of the daughter of Zion;
he has poured out his fury like fire.

The Lord has become like an enemy,
    he has destroyed Israel;
he has destroyed all its palaces,
    laid in ruins its strongholds;
and he has multiplied in the daughter of Judah
    mourning and lamentation.

He has broken down his booth like that of a garden,
    laid in ruins the place of his appointed feasts;
the Lord has brought to an end in Zion
    appointed feast and sabbath,
and in his fierce indignation has spurned
    king and priest.

The Lord has scorned his altar,
    disowned his sanctuary;
he has delivered into the hand of the enemy
    the walls of her palaces;
a clamor was raised in the house of the Lord
    as on the day of an appointed feast.

The Lord determined to lay in ruins
    the wall of the daughter of Zion;
he marked it off by the line;
    he restrained not his hand from destroying;
he caused rampart and wall to lament,
    they languish together.

Her gates have sunk into the ground;
    he has ruined and broken her bars;
her king and princes are among the nations;
    the law is no more,
and her prophets obtain
    no vision from the Lord.

10 The elders of the daughter of Zion
    sit on the ground in silence;
they have cast dust on their heads
    and put on sackcloth;
the maidens of Jerusalem
    have bowed their heads to the ground.

11 My eyes are spent with weeping;
    my soul is in tumult;
my heart is poured out in grief[a]
    because of the destruction of the daughter of my people,
because infants and babes faint
    in the streets of the city.

12 They cry to their mothers,
    “Where is bread and wine?”
as they faint like wounded men
    in the streets of the city,
as their life is poured out
    on their mothers’ bosom.

13 What can I say for you, to what compare you,
    O daughter of Jerusalem?
What can I liken to you, that I may comfort you,
    O virgin daughter of Zion?
For vast as the sea is your ruin;
    who can restore you?

14 Your prophets have seen for you
    false and deceptive visions;
they have not exposed your iniquity
    to restore your fortunes,
but have seen for you oracles
    false and misleading.

15 All who pass along the way
    clap their hands at you;
they hiss and wag their heads
    at the daughter of Jerusalem;
“Is this the city which was called
    the perfection of beauty,
    the joy of all the earth?”

16 All your enemies
    rail against you;
they hiss, they gnash their teeth,
    they cry: “We have destroyed her!
Ah, this is the day we longed for;
    now we have it; we see it!”

17 The Lord has done what he purposed,
    has carried out his threat;
as he ordained long ago,
    he has demolished without pity;
he has made the enemy rejoice over you,
    and exalted the might of your foes.

18 Cry aloud[b] to the Lord!
    O[c] daughter of Zion!
Let tears stream down like a torrent
    day and night!
Give yourself no rest,
    your eyes no respite!

19 Arise, cry out in the night,
    at the beginning of the watches!
Pour out your heart like water
    before the presence of the Lord!
Lift your hands to him
    for the lives of your children,
who faint for hunger
    at the head of every street.

20 Look, O Lord, and see!
    With whom hast thou dealt thus?
Should women eat their offspring,
    the children of their tender care?
Should priest and prophet be slain
    in the sanctuary of the Lord?

21 In the dust of the streets
    lie the young and the old;
my maidens and my young men
    have fallen by the sword;
in the day of thy anger thou hast slain them,
    slaughtering without mercy.

22 Thou didst invite as to the day of an appointed feast
    my terrors on every side;
and on the day of the anger of the Lord
    none escaped or survived;
those whom I dandled and reared
    my enemy destroyed.


  1. Lamentations 2:11 Heb to the ground
  2. Lamentations 2:18 Cn: Heb Their heart cried
  3. Lamentations 2:18 Cn: Heb O wall of
Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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