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Lamentations: 2

The LORD's punishment of Jerusalem.  Lm.2.1-22

1How the Lord in his anger has set the daughter of Zion under a cloud!
He has cast down from heaven to earth the splendor of Israel;
he has not remembered his footstool in the day of his anger.

2The Lord has destroyed without mercy all the habitations of Jacob;
in his wrath he has broken down the strongholds of the daughter of Judah;
he has brought down to the ground in dishonor the kingdom and its rulers.

3He has cut down in fierce anger
all the might of Israel;
he has withdrawn from them his right hand
in the face of the enemy;
he has burned like a flaming fire in Jacob,
consuming all around.

4He has bent his bow like an enemy,
with his right hand set like a foe;
and he has slain all the pride of our eyes
in the tent of the daughter of Zion;
he has poured out his fury like fire.

5The Lord has become like an enemy,
he has destroyed Israel;
he has destroyed all its palaces,
laid in ruins its strongholds;
and he has multiplied in the daughter of Judah
mourning and lamentation.

6He has broken down his booth like that of a garden,
laid in ruins the place of his appointed feasts;
the LORD has brought to an end in Zion appointed feast and sabbath,
and in his fierce indignation has spurned king and priest.

7The Lord has scorned his altar,
disowned his sanctuary;
he has delivered into the hand of the enemy
the walls of her palaces;
a clamor was raised in the house of the LORD
as on the day of an appointed feast.

8The LORD determined to lay in ruins
the wall of the daughter of Zion;
he marked it off by the line;
he restrained not his hand from destroying;
he caused rampart and wall to lament,
they languish together.

9Her gates have sunk into the ground;
he has ruined and broken her bars;
her king and princes are among the nations;
the law is no more,
and her prophets obtain no vision from the LORD.

10The elders of the daughter of Zion sit on the ground in silence;
they have cast dust on their heads and put on sackcloth;
the maidens of Jerusalem have bowed their heads to the ground.

11My eyes are spent with weeping;
my soul is in tumult;
my heart is poured out in grief
because of the destruction of the daughter of my people,
because infants and babes faint in the streets of the city.

12They cry to their mothers,
"Where is bread and wine?"
as they faint like wounded men
in the streets of the city,
as their life is poured out
on their mothers' bosom.

13What can I say for you,
to what compare you,
O daughter of Jerusalem?
What can I liken to you,
that I may comfort you,
O virgin daughter of Zion?
For vast as the sea is your ruin;
who can restore you?

14Your prophets have seen for you false and deceptive visions;
they have not exposed your iniquity to restore your fortunes,
but have seen for you oracles false and misleading.

15All who pass along the way clap their hands at you;
they hiss and wag their heads at the daughter of Jerusalem;
"Is this the city which was called the perfection of beauty,
the joy of all the earth?"

16All your enemies rail against you;
they hiss, they gnash their teeth,
they cry: "We have destroyed her!
Ah, this is the day we longed for;
now we have it; we see it!"

17The LORD has done what he purposed,
has carried out his threat;
as he ordained long ago,
he has demolished without pity;
he has made the enemy rejoice over you,
and exalted the might of your foes.

18Cry aloud to the Lord!
O daughter of Zion!
Let tears stream down
like a torrent day and night!
Give yourself no rest,
your eyes no respite!

19Arise, cry out in the night,
at the beginning of the watches!
Pour out your heart like water
before the presence of the Lord!
Lift your hands to him
for the lives of your children,
who faint for hunger
at the head of every street.

20Look, O LORD, and see!
With whom hast thou dealt thus?
Should women eat their offspring,
the children of their tender care?
Should priest and prophet be slain
in the sanctuary of the Lord?

21In the dust of the streets
lie the young and the old;
my maidens and my young men
have fallen by the sword;
in the day of thy anger thou hast slain them,
slaughtering without mercy.

22Thou didst invite as to the day of an appointed feast my terrors on every side;
and on the day of the anger of the LORD none escaped or survived;
those whom I dandled and reared my enemy destroyed.


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