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Lamentations 4Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

How the gold has lost its luster!
How the fine gold has changed!
How the stones of the sanctuary
lie scattered at every streetcorner!

The precious sons of Tziyon,
as precious as fine gold —
to think they are now worth no more
than clay jars made by a potter!

Even jackals bare their breasts
in order to nurse their young,
but the daughters of my people have become as cruel
as ostriches in the desert.

The tongue of the baby at the breast
sticks to the roof of its mouth from thirst;
young children are begging for bread,
but no one is giving them any.

People who once ate only the best
lie dying in the streets;
those who were raised wearing purple
are clawing at piles of garbage.

For the offense of the daughter of my people
is greater than the sin of S’dom,
which was overthrown in an instant,
without a hand to help her.

Her princes were purer than snow;
they were whiter than milk,
their bodies more ruddy than pink pearls,
as beautiful as sapphires.

Now their faces are blacker than coal;
in the streets they go unrecognized.
Their skin has shriveled over their bones
and become as dry as a stick.

Those slain by the sword are better off
than those who are dying from hunger;
since these waste away as if pierced through,
for lack of food from the fields.
10 With their own hands compassionate women
have cooked their own children;
their children became their food
when the daughter of my people was destroyed.

11 Adonai has finished with his fury,
he has poured out his blazing wrath;
he kindled a fire in Tziyon
that consumed its very foundations.

12 The kings of the earth could not believe,
neither could anyone living in the world,
that enemy or foe would ever enter
the gates of Yerushalayim.

13 It happened because of the sins of her prophets
and the offenses of her cohanim,
who, within her walls,
shed the blood of the righteous.

14 They wander in the streets like the blind;
they are so polluted with blood
that nobody is able
even to touch their clothing.

15 “Keep away! Unclean!” people shout at them,
“Keep away! Away! Don’t touch us!”
They flee, to wander here and there;
but no nation allows them to stay.

16 Adonai himself scattered them;
he will no longer look after them;
they had no respect for cohanim
and showed no kindness to the leaders.

17 As for us, our eyes are worn out
from looking in vain for help;
we kept on watching and watching
for a nation that couldn’t save us.

18 They keep dogging our steps,
so that we can’t go out in our streets.
Our end is near, our time is up;
yes, our end has come.

19 Those who pursued us were swifter
than eagles in the sky.
They chased us over the mountains
and waylaid us in the desert.

20 Adonai’s anointed, our life-breath,
was caught in their pits;
though of him we had said, “Under his protection,
we can live among the nations.”

21 Rejoice, be glad, daughter of Edom,
who lives in the land of ‘Utz.
To you too the cup will pass;
you will get drunk and strip yourself naked!

22 Your offenses, daughter of Tziyon, are atoned for;
he will keep you in exile no longer.
Your offenses, daughter of Edom, he will punish;
he will expose your sins.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

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