A pun encourages daughter Zion that she will no longer be exiled or “uncovered,” but the same idiom condemns daughter Edom, for she will be “uncovered.”
5 Remember, Eternal One; don’t forget what happened. Just look at how we are demeaned, disgraced. 2 All that You gave to us has been handed over to strangers. Even our houses foreigners have taken for their own. 3 Abandoned too early and on our own, we are like fatherless children; and our mothers, now widows, have nothing either. 4 The most basic necessities, food and water, shelter and warmth, we must pay dearly for. 5 Those pursuing us breathe down the backs of our heavily-yoked necks, driving us relentlessly. Like overworked oxen, we are exhausted and without rest. 6 So what else could we do? We succumbed to agreements with Egypt and Assyria just so we could get enough to eat and survive. 7 Our fathers sinned and got us into this. Now they’ve passed on, and we suffer for it and bear their deeds. 8 Those less capable and less deserving slaves rule; they are actually in charge of us— Your chosen ones—and nobody sets it right. Nobody comes to rescue us from their cruel hand. 9 At risk of life and limb, we seek our daily food despite threats of sword and danger in the wild places. 10 We are feverish with hunger. Famine’s scorching heat burns our flesh like an oven. 11 In the place where God should be— Zion and the surrounding towns of Judah— Women, young and old alike, are brutally raped and violated. 12 Our leaders are made an example, hung by their hands, and our elders are treated with contempt. 13 Our best youths are forced to grind grain relentlessly; and boys stagger, bent under burdens of wood too heavy. 14 Gone from the gates are debate, trade, and the wisdom of sages. The streets, too, are silent—the young neglect their music. 15 The joy from our hearts is gone, utterly gone. Our once-dancing feet now plod along mournfully. 16 The wreath that crowned our head has slipped and fallen; now it’s crushed. O how we’ve sinned! Pity us for the punishment we brought on ourselves. 17 We’re sick at heart about it all, blind with the sorrow and grief we caused. 18 God’s heaven on earth, our Mount Zion, is desolate except for the jackals who haunt only ruins.
19 But You, Eternal One, despite all this, You will abide and rule forever, from generation to generation. 20 Why, then, have You completely forgotten about us? Why have You turned Your back on us through so many dark days? 21 We are so sorry and have suffered for it. Eternal One, take us back again, That we may be restored to You and You to us, just as it used to be. 22 Or are You so very angry that You’ve rejected us, that You’ve given up on us completely?
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