Lamentations 4 New Life Version (NLV)
Jerusalem’s Sinful Leaders
4 How dark the gold has become! How the pure gold has changed! The stones from the house of God are poured out at the corner of every street. 2 The sons of Zion are worth their weight in fine gold. But they are thought of as clay pots, the work of a pot-maker’s hands! 3 Even wild dogs give their breast to feed their young, but my people show no pity. They are like ostriches in the desert. 4 The baby’s tongue sticks to the roof of its mouth because of thirst. The children beg for bread, but no one gives it to them. 5 Those who ate fine foods are dying in the streets. Those who were brought up dressed in purple now lie in ashes. 6 For the sin of the daughter of my people is worse than the sin of Sodom, which was destroyed all at once without a hand turned to help her. 7 Her religious leaders were more pure than snow. They were more white than milk. Their bodies were more red than coral. They were more beautiful than sapphire. 8 Now they look more black than dark ashes. No one knows who they are in the streets. Their skin has dried up on their bones. It has become as dry as wood. 9 Those who are killed with the sword are better off than those killed with hunger. For they waste away, suffering because they have no fruits of the field. 10 Women who had shown loving-kindness have boiled their own children for food, because my people are destroyed. 11 The Lord has acted in His anger. He has poured out His burning anger, and has set a fire in Zion which has burned it to the ground. 12 The kings of the earth and all the people of the world did not believe that those who hated them could come into the gates of Jerusalem. 13 This was because of the sins of her men who spoke in God’s name, and the sins of her religious leaders, who killed those within her who were right and good. 14 They walked as blind men through the streets. They were made unclean with blood so that no one could touch their clothing. 15 People cried to them, “Go away! You are unclean! Leave! Go away! Do not touch!” So they ran away and traveled from place to place. Men among the nations said, “They must not stay with us any longer.” 16 The Lord Himself has sent them everywhere. He will not care about them any more. They did not honor the religious leaders or favor the leaders of the people. 17 Our eyes have become weak in looking for help that did not come. In our watching we have waited for a nation that was not able to save us. 18 They kept following after our steps so that we could not walk in our streets. Our end came near. Our days were finished, for our end had come. 19 Those who came after us were faster than the eagles of the sky. They came after us on the mountains. They hid and waited for us in the desert. 20 The Lord’s chosen one, our very breath, was caught in their traps. We had said about him, “Under his shadow we will live among the nations.” 21 Be filled with joy and be glad, O people of Edom, who live in the land of Uz. But the cup will be passed to you also. You will become drunk and your shame will be seen. 22 The punishment of your sin is completed, O people of Zion. The Lord will not keep you away any longer. But He will punish your sin, Edom. He will let your sins be seen!