1 How the gold has tarnished, how the fine gold has changed! The sacred stones lie scattered at the corner of every street.
2 The children of Zion, as precious as finest gold -- to think that they should now be reckoned like crockery made by a potter!
3 The very jackals give the breast, and suckle their young: but the daughter of my people is as cruel as the ostriches of the desert.
4 The tongue of the baby at the breast sticks to its palate for thirst; little children ask for bread, no one gives them any.
5 Those who used to eat only the best, now lie dying in the streets; those who were reared in the purple claw at the rubbish heaps,
6 for the wickedness of the daughter of my people exceeded the sins of Sodom, which was overthrown in a moment without a hand being laid on it.
7 Once her young people were brighter than snow, whiter than milk; rosier than coral their bodies, their hue like sapphire.
8 Now their faces are blacker than soot, they are not recognised in the streets, the skin has shrunk over their bones, as dry as a stick.
9 Happier those killed by the sword than those killed by famine: they waste away, sunken for lack of the fruits of the earth.
10 With their own hands, kindly women cooked their children; this was their food when the daughter of my people was ruined.
11 Yahweh indulged his fury, he vented his fierce anger, he lit a fire in Zion which devoured her foundations.
12 The kings of the earth never believed, nor did any of the inhabitants of the world, that foe or enemy would ever penetrate the gates of Jerusalem.
13 Owing to the sins of her prophets and the crimes of her priests, who had shed the blood of the upright, in the heart of the city,
14 they wandered blindly through the streets, polluted with blood, so that no one dared to touch their clothes.
15 'Keep away! Unclean!' people shouted, 'Keep away! Keep away! Don't touch!' If they left and fled to the nations, they were not allowed to stay there either.
16 The face of Yahweh destroyed them, he will look on them no more. There was no respect for the priests, no deference for the elders.
17 Continually we were wearing out our eyes, watching for help -- in vain. From our towers we watched for a nation which could not save us anyway.
18 Men dogged our steps, to keep us out of our streets. Our end was near, our days were done, our end had come.
19 Our pursuers were swifter than eagles in the sky; they hounded our steps through the mountains, they lay in ambush for us in the wilds.
20 The breath of our nostrils, Yahweh's anointed, was caught in their traps, he of whom we said, 'In his shadow we shall live among the nations.'
21 Rejoice, exult, daughter of Edom, you who reside in Uz! To you in turn the cup will pass; you will get drunk and strip yourself naked!
22 Your wickedness is atoned for, daughter of Zion, he will never banish you again. But your wickedness, daughter of Edom, will he punish, your sins he will lay bare!