Lamentations 3:37-5:22 New American Standard Bible

37  Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass , Unless the Lord has commanded it? 38  Is it not from the mouth of the Most High That both good and ill go forth ? 39  Why should any living mortal , or any man , Offer complaint in view of his sins ? 40  Let us examine and probe our ways , And let us return to the Lord . 41  We lift up our heart and hands Toward God in heaven ;

42  We have transgressed and rebelled , You have not pardoned . 43  You have covered Yourself with anger And pursued us; You have slain and have not spared . 44  You have covered Yourself with a cloud So that no prayer can pass through . 45  You have made us mere offscouring and refuse In the midst of the peoples . 46  All our enemies have opened their mouths against us. 47  Panic and pitfall have befallen us, Devastation and destruction ; 48  My eyes run down with streams of water Because of the destruction of the daughter of my people . 49  My eyes pour down unceasingly e , Without stopping , 50  Until the Lord looks down And sees from heaven . 51  My eyes bring pain to my soul Because of all the daughters of my city . 52  My enemies without cause Hunted me down like a bird ; 53  They have silenced me in the pit And have placed a stone on me. 54  Waters flowed over my head ; I said , "I am cut off !"

55  I called on Your name , O Lord , Out of the lowest pit . 56  You have heard my voice , " Do not hide Your ear from my prayer for relief , From my cry for help ." 57  You drew near when I called on You; You said , " Do not fear !" 58  O Lord , You have pleaded my soul's cause ; You have redeemed my life . 59  O Lord , You have seen my oppression ; Judge my case . 60  You have seen all their vengeance , All their schemes against me. 61  You have heard their reproach , O Lord , All their schemes against me. 62  The lips of my assailants and their whispering Are against me all day long. 63  Look on their sitting and their rising ; I am their mocking song . 64  You will recompense e them, O Lord , According to the work of their hands . 65  You will give them hardness of heart , Your curse will be on them. 66  You will pursue them in anger and destroy them From under the heavens of the Lord !

The Punishment of Zion Accomplished

4 1  How dark the gold has become , How the pure gold has changed ! The sacred stones are poured out At the corner of every street . 2  The precious sons of Zion , Weighed against fine gold , How they are regarded as earthen jars , The work of a potter's hands ! 3  Even jackals offer the breast , They nurse their young ; But the daughter of my people has become cruel Like ostriches in the wilderness . 4  The tongue of the infant cleaves To the roof of its mouth because of thirst ; The little ones ask for bread , But no one breaks it for them. 5  Those who ate delicacies Are desolate in the streets ; Those reared in purple Embrace ash pits . 6  For the iniquity of the daughter of my people Is greater than the sin of Sodom , Which was overthrown as in a moment , And no hands were turned toward her. 7  Her consecrated ones were purer than snow , They were whiter than milk ; They were more ruddy in body than corals , Their polishing was like lapis lazuli . 8  Their appearance is blacker than soot , They are not recognized in the streets ; Their skin is shriveled on their bones , It is withered , it has become like wood . 9  Better are those slain with the sword Than those slain with hunger ; For they pine away , being stricken For lack of the fruits of the field . 10  The hands of compassionate women Boiled their own children ; They became food for them Because of the destruction of the daughter of my people . 11  The Lord has accomplished His wrath , He has poured out His fierce anger ; And He has kindled a fire in Zion Which has consumed its foundations . 12  The kings of the earth did not believe , Nor did any of the inhabitants of the world , That the adversary and the enemy Could enter the gates of Jerusalem .

13  Because of the sins of her prophets And the iniquities of her priests , Who have shed in her midst The blood of the righteous ; 14  They wandered , blind , in the streets ; They were defiled with blood So that no one could touch their garments . 15  "Depart ! Unclean !" they cried of themselves. "Depart , depart , do not touch !" So they fled and wandered ; Men among the nations said , "They shall not continue to dwell with us." 16  The presence of the Lord has scattered them, He will not continue to regard them; They did not honor e the priests , They did not favor the elders . 17  Yet our eyes failed , Looking for help was useless ; In our watching we have watched For a nation that could not save . 18  They hunted our steps So that we could not walk in our streets ; Our end drew near , Our days were finished For our end had come . 19  Our pursuers were swifter Than the eagles of the sky ; They chased us on the mountains , They waited in ambush for us in the wilderness . 20  The breath of our nostrils , the Lord'S anointed , Was captured in their pits , Of whom we had said , "Under his shadow We shall live among the nations ."

21  Rejoice and be glad , O daughter of Edom , Who dwells in the land of Uz ; But the cup will come around to you as well , You will become drunk and make yourself naked . 22  The punishment of your iniquity has been completed , O daughter of Zion ; He will exile you no longer . But He will punish your iniquity , O daughter of Edom ; He will expose your sins !

A Prayer for Mercy

5 1  Remember , O Lord , what has befallen us; Look , and see our reproach ! 2  Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers , Our houses to aliens . 3  We have become orphans without a father , Our mothers are like widows . 4  We have to pay for our drinking water , Our wood comes to us at a price . 5  Our pursuers are at our necks ; We are worn out, there is no rest for us. 6  We have submitted e to Egypt and Assyria to get enough bread . 7  Our fathers sinned , and are no more ; It is we who have borne their iniquities . 8  Slaves rule over us; There is no one to deliver us from their hand . 9  We get our bread at the risk of our lives Because e of the sword in the wilderness . 10  Our skin has become as hot as an oven , Because e of the burning heat of famine . 11  They ravished the women in Zion , The virgins in the cities of Judah . 12  Princes were hung by their hands ; Elders were not respected . 13  Young men worked at the grinding mill , And youths stumbled under loads of wood . 14  Elders are gone from the gate , Young men from their music . 15  The joy of our hearts has ceased ; Our dancing has been turned into mourning . 16  The crown has fallen from our head ; Woe to us, for we have sinned !

17  Because of this our heart is faint , Because of these things our eyes are dim ; 18  Because of Mount Zion which lies desolate , Foxes prowl in it. 19  You, O Lord , rule forever ; Your throne is from generation to generation . 20  Why do You forget us forever ? Why do You forsake us so e long e ? 21  Restore us to You, O Lord , that we may be restored ; Renew our days as of old , 22  Unless e You have utterly rejected us And are exceedingly e angry with us.

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