Jeremiah 52; Psalm 74; Lamentations 1

The Fall of Jerusalem Recounted

52 cZedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, daccording to all that Jehoiakim had done. For because of the anger of the Lord it came to the point in Jerusalem and Judah that he cast them out from his presence.

And Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. eAnd in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came with all his army against Jerusalem, and laid siege to it. And they built siegeworks all around it. So the city was besieged till the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine was so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. Then a breach was made in the city, and all the men of war fled and went out from the city by night by the way of a gate between the two walls, by the king’s garden, and the Chaldeans were around the city. And they went in the direction of the Arabah. But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho, and all his army was scattered from him. Then they captured the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath, and he passed sentence on him. 10 The king of Babylon slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and also slaughtered all the officials of Judah at fRiblah. 11 gHe put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him in chains, and the king of Babylon took him to Babylon, and put him in prison gtill the day of his death.

The Temple Burned

12 hIn the fifth month, on ithe tenth day of the monththat was jthe nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of BabylonNebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard, who kserved the king of Babylon, entered Jerusalem. 13 And he burned the house of the Lord, and the king’s house and all the houses of Jerusalem; every great house he burned down. 14 And all the army of the Chaldeans, who were with the captain of the guard, broke down all the walls around Jerusalem. 15 And Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive some of the poorest of the people and the rest of the people who were left in the city and lthe deserters who had deserted to the king of Babylon, together with the rest of the artisans. 16 But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left some of the poorest of the land to be vinedressers and plowmen.

17 And the mpillars of bronze that were in the house of the Lord, and the stands and the nbronze sea that were in the house of the Lord, the Chaldeans broke in pieces, and ocarried all the bronze to Babylon. 18 And they took away pthe pots and the shovels and the snuffers and the basins and the dishes for incense and all the vessels of bronze used in the temple service; 19 qalso the small bowls and the fire pans and the basins and the pots and rthe lampstands and sthe dishes for incense sand the bowls for drink offerings. What was of gold the captain of the guard took away as gold, and what was of silver, as silver. 20 As for the two pillars, the one sea, tthe twelve bronze bulls that were under the sea,1 and the stands, which Solomon the king had made for the house of the Lord, the bronze of all these things was beyond weight. 21 As for the pillars, the height of the one pillar was eighteen cubits,2 uits circumference was twelve cubits, and its thickness was four fingers, and it was hollow. 22 On it was a capital of bronze. The height of the one capital was vfive cubits. A network and pomegranates, all of bronze, were around the capital. And the second pillar had the same, with pomegranates. 23 There were ninety-six pomegranates on the sides; all the pomegranates were a hundred upon the network all around.

The People Exiled to Babylon

24 And the captain of the guard took wSeraiah the chief priest, and xZephaniah the second priest and the three keepers of the threshold; 25 and from the city he took an officer who had been in command of the men of war, and yseven men of the king’s council, who were found in the city; and the secretary of the commander of the army, who mustered the people of the land; and sixty men of the people of the land, who were found in the midst of the city. 26 And Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at zRiblah. 27 And the king of Babylon struck them down and put them to death at zRiblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was taken into exile out of its land.

28 This is the number of the people whom Nebuchadnezzar carried away captive: ain the seventh year, 3,023 Judeans; 29 bin the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar he carried away captive from Jerusalem 832 persons; 30 in the twenty-third year of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive of the Judeans 745 persons; all the persons were 4,600.

Jehoiachin Released from Prison

31 cAnd in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-fifth day of the month, Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the year that he began to reign, graciously freed3 dJehoiachin king of Judah and brought him out of prison. 32 And he spoke kindly to him and gave him a seat above the seats of ethe kings who were with him in Babylon. 33 So Jehoiachin put off his prison garments. And every day of his life he dined regularly at the king’s table, 34 and for his allowance, a regular allowance was given him by the king, according to his daily needs, until the day of his death, as long as he lived.


Arise, O God, Defend Your Cause

A Maskil1 of rAsaph.

74  O God, why do you scast us off forever?

Why does your anger tsmoke against uthe sheep of your pasture?

vRemember your congregation, which you have wpurchased of old,

which you have xredeemed to be ythe tribe of your heritage!

Remember Mount Zion, zwhere you have dwelt.

Direct your steps to athe perpetual ruins;

the enemy has destroyed everything in the sanctuary!

Your foes have broared in the midst of your meeting place;

cthey set up their down signs for esigns.

They were like those who swing faxes

in a forest of trees.2

And all its gcarved wood

they broke down with hatchets and hammers.

They hset your sanctuary on fire;

they iprofaned jthe dwelling place of your name,

bringing it down to the ground.

They ksaid to themselves, We will utterly subdue them;

they burned all the meeting places of God in the land.

We do not see our lsigns;

mthere is no longer any prophet,

and there is none among us who knows how long.

10  How long, O God, nis the foe to scoff?

Is the enemy to revile your name forever?

11  Why odo you hold back your hand, your right hand?

Take it from the fold of your garment3 and destroy them!

12  Yet pGod my King is from of old,

working salvation in the midst of the earth.

13  You qdivided the sea by your might;

you rbroke the heads of sthe sea monsters4 on the waters.

14  You crushed the heads of tLeviathan;

you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.

15  You usplit open springs and brooks;

you vdried up ever-flowing streams.

16  Yours is the day, yours also the night;

you have established wthe heavenly lights and the sun.

17  You have xfixed all the boundaries of the earth;

you have made ysummer and winter.

18  zRemember this, O Lord, how the enemy scoffs,

and aa foolish people reviles your name.

19  Do not deliver the soul of your bdove to the wild beasts;

cdo not forget the life of your poor forever.

20  Have regard for dthe covenant,

for ethe dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence.

21  Let not fthe downtrodden gturn back in shame;

let hthe poor and needy praise your name.

22  Arise, O God, idefend your cause;

jremember how the foolish scoff at you all the day!

23  Do not forget the clamor of your foes,

kthe uproar of those who rise against you, which goes up continually!


Lamentations Illustration

Lamentations

How Lonely Sits the City

aHow lonely sits the city

that was full of people!

How like ba widow has she become,

she who was great among the nations!

She who was ca princess among the provinces

has become da slave.

eShe weeps bitterly in the night,

with tears on her cheeks;

famong all her lovers

she has gnone to comfort her;

hall her friends have dealt treacherously with her;

they have become her enemies.

iJudah has gone into exile because of affliction1

and hard servitude;

jshe dwells now among the nations,

kbut finds no resting place;

her pursuers have all overtaken her

in the midst of her distress.2

The roads to Zion mourn,

for none come to lthe festival;

mall her gates are desolate;

her priests ngroan;

her virgins have been afflicted,3

and she herself suffers bitterly.

oHer foes have become the head;

her penemies prosper,

because qthe Lord has afflicted her

rfor the multitude of her transgressions;

sher children have gone away,

captives before the foe.

From the daughter of Zion

all her majesty has departed.

Her princes have become like deer

tthat find no pasture;

they fled without strength

before the pursuer.

Jerusalem remembers

in the days of her affliction and wandering

uall the precious things

that were hers from vdays of old.

When her people fell into the hand of the foe,

and there was none to help her,

her foes gloated over her;

they wmocked at her downfall.

xJerusalem sinned grievously;

therefore she became filthy;

all who honored her despise her,

yfor they have seen her nakedness;

she herself zgroans

and turns her face away.

Her uncleanness was ain her skirts;

bshe took no thought of her future;4

therefore her fall is terrible;

cshe has no comforter.

O Lord, behold my affliction,

for the enemy has dtriumphed!

10  The enemy has stretched out his hands

over all her eprecious things;

for she has seen fthe nations

enter her sanctuary,

those whom you gforbade

to enter your congregation.

11  All her people zgroan

as hthey search for bread;

they trade their etreasures for ifood

to revive their strength.

Look, O Lord, and see,

for I am despised.

12  Is it nothing to you, all jyou who pass by?

kLook and see

if there is any sorrow like my sorrow,

which was brought upon me,

which lthe Lord inflicted

on mthe day of his fierce anger.

13  From on high he nsent fire;

into my bones5 he made it descend;

ohe spread a net for my feet;

he turned me back;

phe has left me stunned,

faint all the day long.

14  My transgressions were bound6 into qa yoke;

by his hand they were fastened together;

they were set upon my neck;

he caused my strength to fail;

the Lord gave me into the hands

of those whom I cannot withstand.

15  The Lord rejected

all my mighty men in my midst;

he summoned an assembly against me

to crush my young men;

rthe Lord has trodden as in a winepress

the virgin daughter of Judah.

16  For these things sI weep;

my eyes flow with tears;

for ta comforter is far from me,

one to urevive my spirit;

my children are desolate,

for the enemy has prevailed.

17  vZion stretches out her hands,

but tthere is none to comfort her;

the Lord has commanded against Jacob

that his neighbors should be his foes;

Jerusalem has become

a filthy thing among them.

18  wThe Lord is in the right,

xfor I have rebelled against his word;

but hear, all you peoples,

and see my suffering;

ymy young women and my young men

have gone into captivity.

19  I called to zmy lovers,

but they deceived me;

my priests and elders

perished in the city,

while athey sought food

to revive their strength.

20  Look, O Lord, for I am in distress;

bmy stomach churns;

my heart is wrung within me,

because I have been very rebellious.

cIn the street the sword bereaves;

in the house it is like death.

21  They heard7 dmy groaning,

yet ethere is no one to comfort me.

All my enemies have heard of my trouble;

fthey are glad that you have done it.

You have brought8 the day you announced;

fnow let them be as I am.

22  gLet all their evildoing come before you,

and deal with them

as hyou have dealt with me

because of all my transgressions;

for dmy groans are many,

and imy heart is faint.