Lamentations 2

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.

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 happiness1 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;2

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,3 O Lord,

naccording to the work of their hands.

65  You will give them4 dullness of heart;

your curse will be5 on them.

66  You will pursue them6 in anger and odestroy them

from under pyour heavens, O Lord.7

The Holy Stones Lie Scattered

qHow the gold has grown dim,

how the pure gold is changed!

The holy stones lie scattered

rat the head of every street.

The precious sons of Zion,

worth their weight in sfine gold,

how they are regarded as tearthen pots,

the work of a potter's hands!

Even jackals offer the breast;

they nurse their young;

but the daughter of my people has become cruel,

like the ostriches in the wilderness.

The tongue of the nursing infant usticks

to the roof of its mouth for thirst;

vthe children beg for food,

but no one gives to them.

Those who once feasted on delicacies

perish in the streets;

wthose who were brought up in purple

embrace ash heaps.

xFor the chastisement1 of the daughter of my people has been greater

than the punishment2 of Sodom,

ywhich was overthrown in a moment,

and no hands were wrung for her.3

Her princes were purer than snow,

whiter than milk;

their bodies were more ruddy than coral,

the beauty of their form4 was like sapphire.5

zNow their face is blacker than soot;

they are not recognized in the streets;

their skin has shriveled on their bones;

it has become as dry as wood.

Happier were the victims of the sword

than the victims of hunger,

who wasted away, pierced

by lack of the fruits of the field.

10  aThe hands of bcompassionate women

chave boiled their own children;

dthey became their food

during the destruction of the daughter of my people.

11  eThe Lord gave full vent to his wrath;

he poured out his hot anger,

and fhe kindled a fire in Zion

that consumed its foundations.

12  gThe kings of the earth did not believe,

nor any of the inhabitants of the world,

that foe or enemy could enter

the gates of Jerusalem.

13  This was for hthe sins of her prophets

and hthe iniquities of her priests,

who shed in the midst of her

the blood of the righteous.

14  iThey wandered, blind, through the streets;

they were so defiled with blood

jthat no one was able to touch

their garments.

15  Away! kUnclean! people cried at them.

Away! Away! Do not touch!

So they became fugitives and wanderers;

people said among the nations,

They shall stay with us no longer.

16  lThe Lord himself6 has scattered them;

he will regard them no more;

mno honor was shown to the priests,

nno favor to the elders.

17  oOur eyes failed, ever watching

ovainly for help;

in our watching we watched

for pa nation which could not save.

18  qThey dogged our steps

so that we could not walk in our streets;

rour end drew near; our days were numbered,

for our end had come.

19  Our pursuers were sswifter

than the eagles in the heavens;

they chased us on the mountains;

they lay in wait for us in the wilderness.

20  tThe breath of our nostrils, uthe Lord's anointed,

was captured vin their pits,

of whom we said, wUnder his shadow

we shall live among the nations.

21  xRejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom,

you who dwell in ythe land of Uz;

but to you also zthe cup shall pass;

you shall become drunk and strip yourself bare.

22  aThe punishment of your iniquity, O daughter of Zion, is accomplished;

he will keep you in exile no longer;7

but byour iniquity, O daughter of Edom, he will punish;

he will uncover your sins.