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Lam 2:1-22

Lamentations 1 2 3 4 5

2

God’s Anger at Sin

1The Lord in his anger

has cast a dark shadow over beautiful Jerusalem.*2:1a Hebrew the daughter of Zion; also in 2:8, 10, 18. 

The fairest of Israel’s cities lies in the dust,

thrown down from the heights of heaven.

In his day of great anger,

the Lord has shown no mercy even to his Temple.*2:1b Hebrew his footstool. 

2Without mercy the Lord has destroyed

every home in Israel.*2:2a Hebrew Jacob; also in 2:3b. See note on 1:17. 

In his anger he has broken down

the fortress walls of beautiful Jerusalem.*2:2b Hebrew the daughter of Judah; also in 2:5. 

He has brought them to the ground,

dishonoring the kingdom and its rulers.

3All the strength of Israel

vanishes beneath his fierce anger.

The Lord has withdrawn his protection

as the enemy attacks.

He consumes the whole land of Israel

like a raging fire.

4He bends his bow against his people,

as though he were their enemy.

His strength is used against them

to kill their finest youth.

His fury is poured out like fire

on beautiful Jerusalem.*2:4 Hebrew on the tent of the daughter of Zion. 

5Yes, the Lord has vanquished Israel

like an enemy.

He has destroyed her palaces

and demolished her fortresses.

He has brought unending sorrow and tears

upon beautiful Jerusalem.

6He has broken down his Temple

as though it were merely a garden shelter.

The Lord has blotted out all memory

of the holy festivals and Sabbath days.

Kings and priests fall together

before his fierce anger.

7The Lord has rejected his own altar;

he despises his own sanctuary.

He has given Jerusalem’s palaces

to her enemies.

They shout in the Lord’s Temple

as though it were a day of celebration.

8The Lord was determined

to destroy the walls of beautiful Jerusalem.

He made careful plans for their destruction,

then did what he had planned.

Therefore, the ramparts and walls

have fallen down before him.

9Jerusalem’s gates have sunk into the ground.

He has smashed their locks and bars.

Her kings and princes have been exiled to distant lands;

her law has ceased to exist.

Her prophets receive

no more visions from the Lord.

10The leaders of beautiful Jerusalem

sit on the ground in silence.

They are clothed in burlap

and throw dust on their heads.

The young women of Jerusalem

hang their heads in shame.

11I have cried until the tears no longer come;

my heart is broken.

My spirit is poured out in agony

as I see the desperate plight of my people.

Little children and tiny babies

are fainting and dying in the streets.

12They cry out to their mothers,

“We need food and drink!”

Their lives ebb away in the streets

like the life of a warrior wounded in battle.

They gasp for life

as they collapse in their mothers’ arms.

13What can I say about you?

Who has ever seen such sorrow?

O daughter of Jerusalem,

to what can I compare your anguish?

O virgin daughter of Zion,

how can I comfort you?

For your wound is as deep as the sea.

Who can heal you?

14Your prophets have said

so many foolish things, false to the core.

They did not save you from exile

by pointing out your sins.

Instead, they painted false pictures,

filling you with false hope.

15All who pass by jeer at you.

They scoff and insult beautiful Jerusalem,*2:15 Hebrew the daughter of Jerusalem.  saying,

“Is this the city called ‘Most Beautiful in All the World’

and ‘Joy of All the Earth’?”

16All your enemies mock you.

They scoff and snarl and say,

“We have destroyed her at last!

We have long waited for this day,

and it is finally here!”

17But it is the Lord who did just as he planned.

He has fulfilled the promises of disaster

he made long ago.

He has destroyed Jerusalem without mercy.

He has caused her enemies to gloat over her

and has given them power over her.

18Cry aloud*2:18 Hebrew Their heart cried.  before the Lord,

O walls of beautiful Jerusalem!

Let your tears flow like a river

day and night.

Give yourselves no rest;

give your eyes no relief.

19Rise during the night and cry out.

Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord.

Lift up your hands to him in prayer,

pleading for your children,

for in every street

they are faint with hunger.

20“O Lord, think about this!

Should you treat your own people this way?

Should mothers eat their own children,

those they once bounced on their knees?

Should priests and prophets be killed

within the Lord’s Temple?

21“See them lying in the streets—

young and old,

boys and girls,

killed by the swords of the enemy.

You have killed them in your anger,

slaughtering them without mercy.

22“You have invited terrors from all around,

as though you were calling them to a day of feasting.

In the day of the Lord’s anger,

no one has escaped or survived.

The enemy has killed all the children

whom I carried and raised.”