Lamentations 4

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the has withdrawn from them his right hand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.

Restore Us to Yourself, O Lord

cRemember, O Lord, what has befallen us;

look, and see dour disgrace!

eOur inheritance has been turned over to strangers,

our homes to foreigners.

We have become orphans, fatherless;

our mothers are like widows.

We must pay for the water we drink;

the wood we get must be bought.

fOur pursuers are at our necks;

we are weary; we are given no rest.

We have given the hand to gEgypt, and to gAssyria,

to get bread enough.

Our fathers sinned, and are no more;

hand we bear their iniquities.

iSlaves rule over us;

there is none to deliver us from their hand.

jWe get our bread at the peril of our lives,

because of the sword in the wilderness.

10  kOur skin is hot as an oven

with lthe burning heat of famine.

11  Women are raped in Zion,

young women in the towns of Judah.

12  mPrinces are hung up by their hands;

nno respect is shown to the elders.

13  Young men are compelled to ogrind at the mill,

and boys stagger punder loads of wood.

14  nThe old men have left the city gate,

the young men qtheir music.

15  qThe joy of our hearts has ceased;

rour dancing has been turned to mourning.

16  sThe crown has fallen from our head;

woe to us, for we have sinned!

17  For this tour heart has become sick,

for these things uour eyes have grown dim,

18  for Mount Zion which lies desolate;

vjackals prowl over it.

19  wBut you, O Lord, reign forever;

your throne endures to all generations.

20  xWhy do you forget us forever,

why do you forsake us for so many days?

21  yRestore us to yourself, O Lord, that we may be restored!

Renew our days as of old

22  zunless you have utterly rejected us,

and you remain exceedingly angry with us.

Ezekiel Illustration

Ezekiel

Ezekiel in Babylon

aIn the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the exiles by bthe Chebar canal, cthe heavens were opened, and I saw dvisions of God.1 On the fifth day of the month (it was ethe fifth year of fthe exile of King Jehoiachin), the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel gthe priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by bthe Chebar canal, and hthe hand of the Lord was upon him there.

The Glory of the Lord

As I looked, behold, ia stormy wind came jout of the north, and a great cloud, with kbrightness around it, and fire flashing forth continually, and in the midst of the fire, las it were gleaming metal.2 And from the midst of it came the likeness of mfour living creatures. nAnd this was their appearance: they had a human likeness, obut each had four faces, and each of them had four wings. Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the sole of a calf's foot. And they sparkled plike burnished bronze. Under their wings qon their four sides rthey had human hands. And the four had their faces and their wings thus: their wings touched one another. sEach one of them went straight forward, qwithout turning as they went. 10 As for the likeness of their faces, teach had a human face. The four had the face of a lion on the right side, the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four had the face of an eagle. 11 Such were their faces. And their wings were spread out above. Each creature had two wings, each of which touched the wing of another, while utwo covered their bodies. 12 sAnd each went straight forward. vWherever the spirit3 would go, they went, without turning as they went. 13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was wlike burning coals of fire, wlike the appearance of torches moving to and fro among the living creatures. xAnd the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. 14 And the living creatures ydarted to and fro, zlike the appearance of a flash of lightning.

15 aNow as I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the earth beside the living creatures, one for each of the four of them.4 16 aAs for the appearance of the wheels and their construction: their appearance was like bthe gleaming of beryl. cAnd the four had the same likeness, their appearance and construction being as it were a wheel within a wheel. 17 dWhen they went, they went ein any of their four directions5 fwithout turning as they went. 18 And their rims were tall and awesome, gand the rims of all four were full of eyes all around. 19 hAnd when the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; iand when the living creatures rose from the earth, the wheels rose. 20 jWherever the spirit wanted to go, they went, and the wheels rose along with them, jfor the spirit of the living creatures6 was in the wheels. 21 hWhen those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; iand when those rose from the earth, the wheels rose along with them, jfor the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.

22 Over the heads of the living creatures there was kthe likeness of an expanse, shining like awe-inspiring lcrystal, spread out above their heads. 23 And under the expanse their wings were mstretched out straight, one toward another. nAnd each creature had two wings covering its body. 24 And when they went, I heard the sound of their wings olike the sound of many waters, like pthe sound of the qAlmighty, a sound of tumult rlike the sound of an army. When they stood still, they let down their wings. 25 And there came a voice from above sthe expanse over their heads. When they stood still, they let down their wings.

26 And above the expanse over their heads there was tthe likeness of a throne, tin appearance ulike sapphire;7 and seated above the likeness of a throne was va likeness with a human appearance. 27 And wupward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were xgleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and ythere was brightness around him.8 28 Like the appearance of zthe bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around.

Such was the appearance of the likeness of athe glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, bI fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking.