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The Attack on Jerusalem

See how the gold has lost its shine,
    how the pure gold has dulled!
The stones of the Temple are scattered
    at every street corner.

The precious people of Jerusalem
    were more valuable than gold,
but now they are thought of as clay jars
    made by the hands of a potter.

Even wild dogs give their milk
    to feed their young,
but my people are cruel
    like ostriches in the desert.

The babies are so thirsty
    their tongues stick to the roofs of their mouths.
Children beg for bread,
    but no one gives them any.

Those who once ate fine foods
    are now starving in the streets.
People who grew up wearing nice clothes
    now pick through trash piles.

My people have been punished
    more than Sodom was.
Sodom was destroyed suddenly,
    and no hands reached out to help her.

Our princes were purer than snow,
    and whiter than milk.
Their bodies were redder than rubies;
    they looked like sapphires.

But now they are blacker than coal,
    and no one recognizes them in the streets.
Their skin hangs on their bones;
    it is as dry as wood.

Those who were killed in the war were better off
    than those killed by hunger.
They starve in pain and die,
    because there is no food from the field.

10 With their own hands kind women
    cook their own children.
They became food
    when my people were destroyed.

11 The Lord turned loose all of his anger;
    he poured out his strong anger.
He set fire to Jerusalem,
    burning it down to the foundations.

12 Kings of the earth and people of the world
    could not believe
that enemies and foes
    could enter the gates of Jerusalem.

13 It happened because her prophets sinned
    and her priests did evil.
They killed in the city
    those who did what was right.

14 They wandered in the streets
    as if they were blind.
They were dirty with blood,
    so no one would touch their clothes.

15 “Go away! You are unclean,” people shouted at them.
    “Get away! Get away! Don’t touch us!”
So they ran away and wandered.
    Even the other nations said, “Don’t stay here.”

16 The Lord himself scattered them
    and did not look after them anymore.
No one respects the priests
    or honors the elders.

17 Also, our eyes grew tired,
    looking for help that never came.
We kept watch from our towers
    for a nation to save us.

18 Our enemies hunted us,
    so we could not even walk in the streets.
Our end is near. Our time is up.
    Our end has come.

19 Those who chased us
    were faster than eagles in the sky.
They ran us into the mountains
    and ambushed us in the desert.

20 The Lord’s appointed king, who was our very breath,
    was caught in their traps.
We had said about him, “We will be protected by him
    among the nations.”

21 Be happy and glad, people of Edom,
    you who live in the land of Uz.
The cup of God’s anger will come to you;
    then you will get drunk and go naked.

22 Your punishment is complete, Jerusalem.
    He will not send you into captivity again.
But the Lord will punish the sins of Edom;
    he will uncover your evil.

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