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Lamentations 2

God’s Anger over Jerusalem

1 How a the Lord has covered the Daughter of Zion

with the cloud of His anger!

He has cast the glory of Israel

from heaven to earth.

He has abandoned His footstool

in the day of His anger.

2 Without pity the Lord has swallowed up

all the dwellings of Jacob.

In His wrath He has demolished

the fortified cities of the Daughter of Judah.

He brought to the ground and defiled

her kingdom and its princes.

3 In fierce anger He has cut off

every horn b of Israel

and withdrawn His right hand

at the approach of the enemy.

He has burned in Jacob like a flaming fire

that consumes everything around it.

4 He has bent His bow like an enemy;

His right hand is positioned.

Like a foe He has killed

all who were pleasing to the eye;

He has poured out His wrath like fire

on the tent of the Daughter of Zion.

5 The Lord is like an enemy;

He has swallowed up Israel.

He has swallowed up all her palaces

and destroyed her strongholds.

He has multiplied mourning and lamentation

for the Daughter of Judah.

6 He has laid waste His tabernacle like a garden booth;

He has destroyed His place of meeting.

The LORD has made Zion forget

her appointed feasts and Sabbaths.

In His fierce anger

He has despised both king and priest.

7 The Lord has rejected His altar;

He has abandoned His sanctuary;

He has delivered the walls of her palaces

into the hand of the enemy.

They have raised a shout in the house of the LORD

as on the day of an appointed feast.

8 The LORD determined to destroy

the wall of the Daughter of Zion.

He stretched out a measuring line

and did not withdraw His hand from destroying.

He made the ramparts and walls lament;

together they waste away.

9 Her gates have sunk into the ground;

He has destroyed and shattered their bars.

Her king and her princes are exiled among the nations,

the law is no more,

and even her prophets

find no vision from the LORD.

10 The elders of the Daughter of Zion

sit on the ground in silence.

They have thrown dust on their heads

and put on sackcloth.

The young women of Jerusalem

have bowed their heads to the ground.

11 My eyes fail from weeping;

I am churning within.

My heart is poured out in grief

over the destruction of the daughter of my people,

because children and infants faint

in the streets of the city.

12 They cry out to their mothers:

“Where is the grain and wine?”

as they faint like the wounded

in the streets of the city,

as their lives fade away

in the arms of their mothers.

13 What can I say for you?

To what can I compare you,

O Daughter of Jerusalem?

To what can I liken you,

that I may console you,

O Virgin Daughter of Zion?

For your wound is as deep as the sea.

Who can ever heal you?

14 The visions of your prophets

were empty and deceptive;

they did not expose your guilt

to ward off your captivity.

The burdens they envisioned for you

were empty and misleading.

15 All who pass by

clap their hands at you in scorn.

They hiss and shake their heads

at the Daughter of Jerusalem:

“Is this the city that was called

the perfection of beauty,

the joy of all the earth?”

16 All your enemies

open their mouths against you.

They hiss and gnash their teeth,

saying, “We have swallowed her up.

This is the day for which we have waited.

We have lived to see it!”

17 The LORD has done what He planned;

He has accomplished His decree,

which He ordained in days of old;

He has overthrown you without pity.

He has let the enemy gloat over you

and exalted the horn c of your foes.

18 The hearts of the people

cry out to the Lord. d 

O wall of the Daughter of Zion,

let your tears run down like a river

day and night.

Give yourself no relief,

and your eyes no rest.

19 Arise, cry out in the night

from the first watch of the night. e 

Pour out your heart like water

in the presence of the Lord.

Lift up your hands to Him

for the lives of your children

who are fainting from hunger

on the corner of every street.

20 Look, O LORD, and consider:

Whom have You ever treated like this?

Should women eat their offspring,

the infants they have nurtured?

Should priests and prophets be killed

in the sanctuary of the Lord?

21 Both young and old lie together

in the dust of the streets.

My young men and maidens

have fallen by the sword.

You have slain them in the day of Your anger;

You have slaughtered them without compassion.

22 You summoned my attackers on every side,

as for the day of an appointed feast.

In the day of the LORD’s anger

no one escaped or survived;

my enemy has destroyed

those I nurtured and reared.

 

Footnotes:

1 a This chapter is an acrostic poem, each verse beginning with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
3 b Or all the strength
17 c Or the strength
18 d Literally Their heart cries out to the Lord.
19 e That is, between six and nine at night

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