Old Testament

Lamentations 4
Gloom Settles on the City[]
41How dull the gold has become! How the fine gold has lost its shimmer!
Sacred stones are poured out at the corner of every street.
2The precious sons of Zion, who were worth their weight in gold,
now are treated like clay jars, the work of a potter's hands!
3Even jackals offer a breast and nurse their young,
but the daughter of my people has become cruel, like an ostrich in the wilderness.
4The baby's tongue sticks to the roof of its mouth because of thirst.
Children ask for bread, but no one shares with them.
5Those who ate delicacies have become desolate in the streets.
Those who were dressed in scarlet have embraced piles of trash.
6The guilt of the daughter of my people was greater than the sin of Sodom,
which was overthrown in a moment, though no hands turned against her.
7Her consecrated ones[] were brighter than snow. They were whiter than milk.
Their bones were redder than rubies. Their facets shined like sapphires.
8Now their faces have become the darkest black.
They cannot be recognized in the streets.
Their skin has shriveled on their bones. It is as dry as a stick of wood.
9Those cut down by the sword are better off than those cut down by hunger,
those who waste away, pierced with pain, with no crops to eat from the field.
10The hands of compassionate women boiled their children.
Their children became their food when the daughter of my people was broken.
11The Lord carried out his wrath. He poured out his burning anger.
He kindled a fire in Zion, and it consumed her foundations.
12The kings of the earth and the world's inhabitants never believed
that foe and enemy would enter the gates of Jerusalem.
13The reason this happened was the sin of her prophets and the guilt of her priests,
who shed the blood of the righteous in her midst.
14Those blind men staggered in the streets. They were defiled with blood,
so people could not touch their garments.
15“Go away! Unclean!” people shouted to them.
“Go away! Go away! Do not touch us!”
When they fled, when they staggered, people among the nations said,
“They may not stay here anymore.”
16The face of the Lord scattered them. He has no regard for them anymore.
Priests were shown no consideration. Elders were shown no favor.
17Our eyes are still worn out, looking in vain for our help.
In our watchtowers we watched for a nation that could not save us.
18They hunted our steps,
preventing us from going into the public squares of our city.
Our end has drawn near. Our days are finished, for our end has come.
19Our pursuers were faster than eagles in the sky.
On the mountains they were in hot pursuit of us.
In the wilderness they waited to ambush us.
20The life breath for our nostrils, the anointed[] of the Lord, was caught in their pits.
We had said of him, “In his shadow we will live among the nations.”
21Rejoice and be glad, daughter of Edom, who dwells in the land of Uz.
A cup will also come to you. You will become drunk and naked.
22The punishment for your guilt is finished, daughter of Zion.
He will not send you into exile again.
Daughter of Edom, he punishes your guilt. He reveals your sins.


  • 4:1 This chapter is an alphabetic acrostic. There are 22 verses in the chapter, and there are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet. Each verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
  • 4:7 Or Nazirites
  • 4:20 That is, the king