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Lamentations - Chapter 2

Lamentations Chapters

1 In his anger, with what darkness has the Lord enveloped the daughter of Zion! He has flung the beauty of Israel from heaven to the ground, without regard for his footstool on the day of his anger.

2 The Lord pitilessly engulfed all the homes of Jacob; in his fury he tore down the fortresses of the daughter of Judah; he threw to the ground, he desecrated the kingdom and its princes.

3 In his burning anger he broke all the might of Israel, withdrew his protecting right hand at the coming of the enemy, and blazed against Jacob like a fire that burns up everything near it.

4 Like an enemy he bent his bow, and his right hand held firm; like a foe he slaughtered all those who were a delight to see; on the tent of the daughter of Zion he poured out his fury like fire.

5 The Lord behaved like an enemy; he engulfed Israel, he engulfed all its citadels, he destroyed its fortresses and for the daughter of Judah multiplied weeping on wailing.

6 He wrecked his domain like a garden, destroyed his assembly-points, Yahweh erased the memory of festivals and Sabbaths in Zion; in the heat of his anger he treated king and priest with contempt.

7 The Lord has rejected his altar, he has come to loathe his sanctuary and has given her palace walls into the clutches of the enemy; from the uproar they made in Yahweh's temple it might have been a festival day!

8 Yahweh has resolved to destroy the walls of the daughter of Zion, stretching out the line, not staying his hand until he has engulfed everything, thus bringing mourning on wall and rampart; alike they crumbled.

9 Her gates have sunk into the ground; he has broken and shattered their bars. Her king and her princes are among the gentiles, there is no instruction, furthermore her prophets cannot find any vision from Yahweh.

10 Mute, they sit on the ground, the elders of the daughter of Zion; they have put dust on their heads and wrapped themselves in sackcloth. The young girls of Jerusalem bow their heads to the ground.

11 My eyes are worn out with weeping, my inmost being is in ferment, my heart plummets at the destruction of my young people, as the children and babies grow faint in the streets of the city.

12 They keep saying to their mothers, 'Where is some food?' as they faint like wounded men in the streets of the city, as they breathe their last on their mothers' breasts.

13 To what can I compare or liken you, daughter of Jerusalem? Who can rescue and comfort you, young daughter of Zion? For huge as the sea is your ruin: who can heal you?

14 The visions your prophets had for you were deceptive whitewash; they did not lay bare your guilt so as to change your fortunes: the visions they told you were deceptive.

15 All who pass your way clap their hands at the sight; they whistle and shake their heads over the daughter of Jerusalem, 'Is this the city they call Perfection of Beauty, the joy of the whole world?'

16 Your enemies open their mouths in chorus against you; they whistle and grind their teeth; they say, 'We have swallowed her up. This is the day we were waiting for; at last we have seen it!'

17 Yahweh has done what he planned, has carried out his threat, as he ordained long ago: he has destroyed without pity, increasing the might of your foes -- and letting your foes get the credit.

18 Cry then to the Lord, rampart of the daughter of Zion; let your tears flow like a torrent, day and night; allow yourself no respite, give your eyes no rest!

19 Up, cry out in the night-time as each watch begins! Pour your heart out like water in Yahweh's presence! Raise your hands to him for the lives of your children (who faint with hunger at the end of every street)!

20 Look, Yahweh, and consider: whom have you ever treated like this? Should women eat their little ones, the children they have nursed? Should priest and prophet be slaughtered in the Lord's sanctuary?

21 Children and old people are lying on the ground in the streets; my young men and young girls have fallen by the sword; you have killed them, on the day of your anger, you have slaughtered them pitilessly.

22 As though to a festival you called together terrors from all sides, so that, on the day of Yahweh's anger, none escaped and none survived. Those whom I had nursed and reared, my enemy has annihilated them all.


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