Lamentations 1–3; Proverbs 31

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.

The Lord Has Destroyed Without Pity

How the Lord in his anger

has set the daughter of Zion junder a cloud!

kHe has cast down from heaven to earth

the splendor of Israel;

he has not remembered lhis footstool

in the day of his anger.

The Lord mhas swallowed up nwithout mercy

all the habitations of Jacob;

in his wrath ohe has broken down

the strongholds of the daughter of Judah;

he has brought pdown to the ground pin dishonor

the kingdom qand its rulers.

He has cut down in rfierce anger

all sthe might of Israel;

the has withdrawn from them his right hand

in the face of the enemy;

uhe has burned like a flaming fire in Jacob,

consuming all around.

vHe has bent his bow like an enemy,

with his right hand set wlike a foe;

and he has killed all who were delightful in our eyes

in the tent of the daughter of Zion;

he has poured out his fury like fire.

wThe Lord has become like an enemy;

xhe has swallowed up Israel;

yhe has swallowed up all its palaces;

he has laid in ruins its strongholds,

and he has multiplied in the daughter of Judah

zmourning and lamentation.

He has laid waste his booth like a garden,

laid in ruins ahis meeting place;

athe Lord has made Zion forget

festival and bSabbath,

and in his fierce indignation has spurned king and priest.

cThe Lord has scorned his altar,

ddisowned his sanctuary;

ehe has delivered into the hand of the enemy

the walls of her palaces;

fthey raised a clamor in the house of the Lord

as on the day of festival.

gThe Lord determined to lay in ruins

hthe wall of the daughter of Zion;

ihe stretched out the measuring line;

he did not restrain his hand from destroying;

jhe caused rampart and wall to lament;

jthey languished together.

Her gates have sunk into the ground;

khe has ruined kand broken her bars;

lher king and princes are among the nations;

the law is no more,

and mher prophets find

no vision from the Lord.

10  The elders of the daughter of Zion

nsit on the ground oin silence;

pthey have thrown dust on their heads

and qput on sackcloth;

the young women of Jerusalem

have bowed their heads to the ground.

11  rMy eyes are spent with weeping;

smy stomach churns;

tmy bile is poured out to the ground

ubecause of the destruction of the daughter of my people,

vbecause infants and babies wfaint

in the streets of the city.

12  They cry to their mothers,

xWhere is bread and wine?

was they faint like a wounded man

in the streets of the city,

as their life is poured out

on their mothers’ bosom.

13  What can I say for you, yto what compare you,

O daughter of Jerusalem?

yWhat can I liken to you, that I may comfort you,

O virgin daughter of Zion?

zFor your ruin is vast as the sea;

who can heal you?

14  aYour prophets have seen for you

false and deceptive visions;

bthey have not exposed your iniquity

to crestore your fortunes,

dbut have seen for you eoracles

that are false and misleading.

15  All who pass along the way

clap their hands at you;

fthey hiss and wag their heads

at the daughter of Jerusalem:

Is this the city that was called

gthe perfection of beauty,

gthe joy of all the earth?

16  hAll your enemies

rail against you;

they hiss, they gnash their teeth,

they cry: We ihave swallowed her!

Ah, this is the day we longed for;

now we have it; jwe see it!

17  The Lord has done what he purposed;

he has carried out khis word,

which he commanded llong ago;

mhe has thrown down nwithout pity;

ohe has made the enemy rejoice over you

and exalted the pmight of your foes.

18  Their heart cried to the Lord.

O qwall of the daughter of Zion,

rlet tears stream down like a torrent

sday and night!

tGive yourself no rest,

uyour eyes no respite!

19  Arise, vcry out in the night,

at the beginning of the night watches!

wPour out your heart like water

before the presence of the Lord!

xLift your hands to him

for the lives of your children,

ywho faint for hunger

at the head of every street.

20  Look, O Lord, and see!

zWith whom have you dealt thus?

aShould women eat the fruit of their womb,

the children of btheir tender care?

Should cpriest and prophet be killed

in the sanctuary of the Lord?

21  In the dust of the streets

dlie the young and the old;

dmy young women and my young men

have fallen by the sword;

eyou have killed them in the day of your anger,

slaughtering fwithout pity.

22  You summoned as if to ga festival day

hmy terrors on every side,

iand on the day of the anger of the Lord

no one escaped or survived;

jthose whom I held and raised

my enemy destroyed.

Great Is Your Faithfulness

kI am the man who has seen affliction

under the lrod of his wrath;

he has driven and brought me

minto darkness without any light;

surely against me he turns his hand

again and again the whole day long.

He has made my flesh and my skin waste away;

nhe has broken my bones;

ohe has besieged and enveloped me

with pbitterness and tribulation;

qhe has made me dwell in darkness

like the dead of long ago.

rHe has walled me about so that sI cannot escape;

he has made my chains heavy;

though tI call and cry for help,

he shuts out my prayer;

rhe has blocked my ways with blocks of stones;

he has made my paths crooked.

10  uHe is a bear lying in wait for me,

a lion in hiding;

11  vhe turned aside my steps and utore me to pieces;

whe has made me desolate;

12  xhe bent his bow yand set me

as a target for his arrow.

13  He drove into my kidneys

zthe arrows of his quiver;

14  aI have become the laughingstock of all peoples,

bthe object of their taunts all day long.

15  cHe has filled me with bitterness;

he has sated me with dwormwood.

16  eHe has made my teeth grind on gravel,

and fmade me cower in ashes;

17  my soul is bereft of peace;

I have forgotten what happiness9 is;

18  gso I say, My endurance has perished;

so has my hope from the Lord.

19  hRemember my affliction and my wanderings,

dthe wormwood and ithe gall!

20  My soul continually remembers it

jand is bowed down within me.

21  But this I call to mind,

and ktherefore I have hope:

22  lThe steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;10

lhis mercies never come to an end;

23  they are new mevery morning;

ngreat is your faithfulness.

24  oThe Lord is my portion, says my soul,

ktherefore I will hope in him.

25  The Lord is good to those who pwait for him,

to the soul who seeks him.

26  qIt is good that one should wait quietly

for the salvation of the Lord.

27  rIt is good for a man that he bear

the yoke sin his youth.

28  Let him tsit alone in silence

when it is laid on him;

29  ulet him put his mouth in the dust

there may yet be hope;

30  vlet him give his cheek to the one who strikes,

and let him be filled with insults.

31  wFor the Lord will not

cast off forever,

32  but, though he xcause grief, yhe will have compassion

zaccording to the abundance of his steadfast love;

33  afor he does not afflict from his heart

or bgrieve the children of men.

34  To crush underfoot

all cthe prisoners of the earth,

35  dto deny a man justice

in the presence of the Most High,

36  to subvert a man in his lawsuit,

dthe Lord does not approve.

37  eWho has spoken and it came to pass,

unless the Lord has commanded it?

38  fIs it not from the mouth of the Most High

that good and bad come?

39  gWhy should a living man complain,

a man, about the punishment of his sins?

40  Let us test and examine our ways,

hand return to the Lord!

41  iLet us lift up our hearts and hands

to God in heaven:

42  jWe have transgressed and krebelled,

and you have not forgiven.

43  You have wrapped yourself with anger and pursued us,

lkilling without pity;

44  myou have wrapped yourself with a cloud

so that no prayer can pass through.

45  nYou have made us scum and garbage

among the peoples.

46  oAll our enemies

open their mouths against us;

47  ppanic and pitfall have come upon us,

devastation and qdestruction;

48  rmy eyes flow with rivers of tears

because of the destruction of the daughter of my people.

49  rMy eyes will flow without ceasing,

without respite,

50  suntil the Lord from heaven

looks down and sees;

51  my eyes cause me grief

at the fate of all the daughters of my city.

52  tI have been hunted ulike a bird

by those who were my enemies vwithout cause;

53  wthey flung me alive into the pit

xand cast stones on me;

54  ywater closed over my head;

I said, zI am lost.

55  aI called on your name, O Lord,

from the depths of the pit;

56  byou heard my plea, Do not close

your ear to my cry for help!

57  cYou came near when I called on you;

you said, dDo not fear!

58  You have etaken up my cause, fO Lord;

you have eredeemed my life.

59  You have seen the wrong done to me, gO Lord;

judge my cause.

60  You have seen all their vengeance,

all htheir plots against me.

61  iYou have heard their taunts, O Lord,

all htheir plots against me.

62  The lips and thoughts jof my assailants

are against me all the day long.

63  kBehold their sitting and their rising;

lI am the object of their taunts.

64  mYou will repay them,11 O Lord,

naccording to the work of their hands.

65  You will give them12 dullness of heart;

your curse will be13 on them.

66  You will pursue them14 in anger and odestroy them

from under pyour heavens, O Lord.15


The Words of King Lemuel

31 The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him:

What are you doing, my son?1 What are you doing, fson of my womb?

What are you doing, gson of my vows?

Do hnot give your strength to women,

your ways to those iwho destroy kings.

jIt is not for kings, O Lemuel,

it is not for kings kto drink wine,

or for rulers to take lstrong drink,

lest they drink and forget what has been decreed

and mpervert the rights of all the afflicted.

Give strong drink to the one who nis perishing,

and wine to othose in bitter distress;2

plet them drink and forget their poverty

and remember their misery no more.

qOpen your mouth for the mute,

for the rights of all who are destitute.3

Open your mouth, rjudge righteously,

sdefend the rights of tthe poor and needy.

The Woman Who Fears the Lord

10  4 uAn excellent wife who can find?

She is far more precious than vjewels.

11  The heart of her husband trusts in her,

and he will have no lack of gain.

12  She does him good, and not harm,

all the days of her life.

13  She wseeks wool and flax,

and works with willing hands.

14  She is like the ships of the merchant;

she brings her food from afar.

15  She xrises while it is yet night

and yprovides food for her household

and portions for her maidens.

16  She considers a field and buys it;

with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.

17  She zdresses herself5 with strength

and makes her arms strong.

18  She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.

Her lamp does not go out at night.

19  She puts her hands to the distaff,

and her hands hold the spindle.

20  She aopens her hand to bthe poor

and reaches out her hands to bthe needy.

21  She is not afraid of snow for her household,

for all her household are clothed in cscarlet.6

22  She makes dbed coverings for herself;

her clothing is efine linen and fpurple.

23  Her husband is known in gthe gates

when he sits among the elders of the land.

24  She makes hlinen garments and sells them;

she delivers sashes to the merchant.

25  iStrength and dignity are her clothing,

and she laughs at the time to come.

26  She opens her mouth with wisdom,

and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

27  She looks well to the ways of her household

and does not eat the bread of idleness.

28  Her children rise up and call her blessed;

her husband also, and he praises her:

29  Many jwomen have done kexcellently,

but you surpass them all.

30  lCharm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,

but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

31  Give her of the fruit of her hands,

and let her works praise her in the gates.