Lamentations 4:1-22

Lamentations 4:1-22 The Message (MSG)

Oh, oh, oh . . .  How gold is treated like dirt, the finest gold thrown out with the garbage, Priceless jewels scattered all over, jewels loose in the gutters. And the people of Zion, once prized, far surpassing their weight in gold, Are now treated like cheap pottery, like everyday pots and bowls mass-produced by a potter. Even wild jackals nurture their babies, give them their breasts to suckle. But my people have turned cruel to their babies, like an ostrich in the wilderness. Babies have nothing to drink. Their tongues stick to the roofs of their mouths. Little children ask for bread but no one gives them so much as a crust. People used to the finest cuisine forage for food in the streets. People used to the latest in fashions pick through the trash for something to wear. The evil guilt of my dear people was worse than the sin of Sodom— The city was destroyed in a flash, and no one around to help. The splendid and sacred nobles once glowed with health. Their bodies were robust and ruddy, their beards like carved stone. But now they are smeared with soot, unrecognizable in the street, Their bones sticking out, their skin dried out like old leather. Better to have been killed in battle than killed by starvation. Better to have died of battle wounds than to slowly starve to death. Nice and kindly women boiled their own children for supper. This was the only food in town when my dear people were broken. GOD let all his anger loose, held nothing back. He poured out his raging wrath. He set a fire in Zion that burned it to the ground. The kings of the earth couldn’t believe it. World rulers were in shock, Watching old enemies march in big as you please, right through Jerusalem’s gates. Because of the sins of her prophets and the evil of her priests, Who exploited good and trusting people, robbing them of their lives, These prophets and priests blindly grope their way through the streets, grimy and stained from their dirty lives, Wasted by their wasted lives, shuffling from fatigue, dressed in rags. People yell at them, “Get out of here, dirty old men! Get lost, don’t touch us, don’t infect us!” They have to leave town. They wander off. Nobody wants them to stay here. Everyone knows, wherever they wander, that they’ve been kicked out of their own hometown. GOD himself scattered them. No longer does he look out for them. He has nothing to do with the priests; he cares nothing for the elders. We watched and watched, wore our eyes out looking for help. And nothing. We mounted our lookouts and looked for the help that never showed up. They tracked us down, those hunters. It wasn’t safe to go out in the street. Our end was near, our days numbered. We were doomed. They came after us faster than eagles in flight, pressed us hard in the mountains, ambushed us in the desert. Our king, our life’s breath, the anointed of GOD, was caught in their traps— Our king under whose protection we always said we’d live. Celebrate while you can, O Edom! Live it up in Uz! For it won’t be long before you drink this cup, too. You’ll find out what it’s like to drink God’s wrath, Get drunk on God’s wrath and wake up with nothing, stripped naked. And that’s it for you, Zion. The punishment’s complete. You won’t have to go through this exile again. But Edom, your time is coming: He’ll punish your evil life, put all your sins on display.

Lamentations 4:1-22 New American Standard Bible - NASB 1995 (NASB1995)

How dark the gold has become, How the pure gold has changed! The sacred stones are poured out At the corner of every street. The precious sons of Zion, Weighed against fine gold, How they are regarded as earthen jars, The work of a potter’s hands! Even jackals offer the breast, They nurse their young; But the daughter of my people has become cruel Like ostriches in the wilderness. 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. Those who ate delicacies Are desolate in the streets; Those reared in purple Embrace ash pits. 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. 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. 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. 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. The hands of compassionate women Boiled their own children; They became food for them Because of the destruction of the daughter of my people. 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. 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. Because of the sins of her prophets And the iniquities of her priests, Who have shed in her midst The blood of the righteous; They wandered, blind, in the streets; They were defiled with blood So that no one could touch their garments. “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.” The presence of the LORD has scattered them, He will not continue to regard them; They did not honor the priests, They did not favor the elders. Yet our eyes failed, Looking for help was useless; In our watching we have watched For a nation that could not save. 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. 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. 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.” 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. 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!

Lamentations 4:1-22 New Living Translation (NLT)

How the gold has lost its luster! Even the finest gold has become dull. The sacred gemstones lie scattered in the streets! See how the precious children of Jerusalem, worth their weight in fine gold, are now treated like pots of clay made by a common potter. Even the jackals feed their young, but not my people Israel. They ignore their children’s cries, like ostriches in the desert. The parched tongues of their little ones stick to the roofs of their mouths in thirst. The children cry for bread, but no one has any to give them. The people who once ate the richest foods now beg in the streets for anything they can get. Those who once wore the finest clothes now search the garbage dumps for food. The guilt of my people is greater than that of Sodom, where utter disaster struck in a moment and no hand offered help. Our princes once glowed with health— brighter than snow, whiter than milk. Their faces were as ruddy as rubies, their appearance like fine jewels. But now their faces are blacker than soot. No one recognizes them in the streets. Their skin sticks to their bones; it is as dry and hard as wood. Those killed by the sword are better off than those who die of hunger. Starving, they waste away for lack of food from the fields. Tenderhearted women have cooked their own children. They have eaten them to survive the siege. But now the anger of the LORD is satisfied. His fierce anger has been poured out. He started a fire in Jerusalem that burned the city to its foundations. Not a king in all the earth— no one in all the world— would have believed that an enemy could march through the gates of Jerusalem. Yet it happened because of the sins of her prophets and the sins of her priests, who defiled the city by shedding innocent blood. They wandered blindly through the streets, so defiled by blood that no one dared touch them. “Get away!” the people shouted at them. “You’re defiled! Don’t touch us!” So they fled to distant lands and wandered among foreign nations, but none would let them stay. The LORD himself has scattered them, and he no longer helps them. People show no respect for the priests and no longer honor the leaders. We looked in vain for our allies to come and save us, but we were looking to nations that could not help us. We couldn’t go into the streets without danger to our lives. Our end was near; our days were numbered. We were doomed! Our enemies were swifter than eagles in flight. If we fled to the mountains, they found us. If we hid in the wilderness, they were waiting for us there. Our king—the LORD’s anointed, the very life of our nation— was caught in their snares. We had thought that his shadow would protect us against any nation on earth! Are you rejoicing in the land of Uz, O people of Edom? But you, too, must drink from the cup of the LORD’s anger. You, too, will be stripped naked in your drunkenness. O beautiful Jerusalem, your punishment will end; you will soon return from exile. But Edom, your punishment is just beginning; soon your many sins will be exposed.

Lamentations 4:1-22 King James Version (KJV)

How is the gold become dim! How is the most fine gold changed! The stones of the sanctuary are poured out In the top of every street. The precious sons of Zion, Comparable to fine gold, How are they esteemed as earthen pitchers, The work of the hands of the potter! Even the sea monsters draw out the breast, They give suck to their young ones: The daughter of my people is become cruel, Like the ostriches in the wilderness. The tongue of the sucking child cleaveth To the roof of his mouth for thirst: The young children ask bread, And no man breaketh it unto them. They that did feed delicately Are desolate in the streets: They that were brought up In scarlet embrace dunghills. For the punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater Than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, That was overthrown as in a moment, And no hands stayed on her. Her Nazarites were purer than snow, They were whiter than milk, They were more ruddy in body than rubies, Their polishing was of sapphire: Their visage is blacker than a coal; They are not known in the streets: Their skin cleaveth to their bones; It is withered, it is become like a stick. They that be slain with the sword Are better than they that be slain with hunger: For these pine away, stricken Through for want of the fruits of the field. The hands of the pitiful women Have sodden their own children: They were their meat In the destruction of the daughter of my people. The LORD hath accomplished his fury; He hath poured out his fierce anger, And hath kindled a fire in Zion, And it hath devoured the foundations thereof. The kings of the earth, And all the inhabitants of the world, would not have believed That the adversary and the enemy should have entered Into the gates of Jerusalem. For the sins of her prophets, And the iniquities of her priests, That have shed the blood Of the just in the midst of her, They have wandered as blind men in the streets, They have polluted themselves with blood, So that men could not touch Their garments. They cried unto them, Depart ye; it is unclean; Depart, depart, touch not: When they fled away and wandered, They said among the heathen, They shall no more sojourn there. The anger of the LORD hath divided them; He will no more regard them: They respected not the persons of the priests, They favoured not the elders. As for us, our eyes as yet failed For our vain help: In our watching we have watched For a nation that could not save us. They hunt our steps, That we cannot go in our streets: Our end is near, our days are fulfilled; For our end is come. Our persecutors are swifter Than the eagles of the heaven: They pursued us upon the mountains, They laid wait for us in the wilderness. The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the LORD, Was taken in their pits, Of whom we said, Under his shadow We shall live among the heathen. Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, That dwellest in the land of Uz; The cup also shall pass through unto thee: Thou shalt be drunken, and shalt make thyself naked. The punishment of thine iniquity is accomplished, O daughter of Zion; He will no more carry thee away into captivity: He will visit thine iniquity, O daughter of Edom; He will discover thy sins.

Lamentations 4:1-22 New Century Version (NCV)

See how the gold has lost its shine, how the pure gold has dulled! The stones of the Temple are scattered at every street corner. The precious people of Jerusalem were more valuable than gold, but now they are thought of as clay jars made by the hands of a potter. Even wild dogs give their milk to feed their young, but my people are cruel like ostriches in the desert. The babies are so thirsty their tongues stick to the roofs of their mouths. Children beg for bread, but no one gives them any. Those who once ate fine foods are now starving in the streets. People who grew up wearing nice clothes now pick through trash piles. My people have been punished more than Sodom was. Sodom was destroyed suddenly, and no hands reached out to help her. Our princes were purer than snow, and whiter than milk. Their bodies were redder than rubies; they looked like sapphires. But now they are blacker than coal, and no one recognizes them in the streets. Their skin hangs on their bones; it is as dry as wood. Those who were killed in the war were better off than those killed by hunger. They starve in pain and die, because there is no food from the field. With their own hands kind women cook their own children. They became food when my people were destroyed. The LORD turned loose all of his anger; he poured out his strong anger. He set fire to Jerusalem, burning it down to the foundations. Kings of the earth and people of the world could not believe that enemies and foes could enter the gates of Jerusalem. It happened because her prophets sinned and her priests did evil. They killed in the city those who did what was right. They wandered in the streets as if they were blind. They were dirty with blood, so no one would touch their clothes. “Go away! You are unclean,” people shouted at them. “Get away! Get away! Don’t touch us!” So they ran away and wandered. Even the other nations said, “Don’t stay here.” The LORD himself scattered them and did not look after them anymore. No one respects the priests or honors the elders. Also, our eyes grew tired, looking for help that never came. We kept watch from our towers for a nation to save us. Our enemies hunted us, so we could not even walk in the streets. Our end is near. Our time is up. Our end has come. Those who chased us were faster than eagles in the sky. They ran us into the mountains and ambushed us in the desert. The LORD’s appointed king, who was our very breath, was caught in their traps. We had said about him, “We will be protected by him among the nations.” Be happy and glad, people of Edom, you who live in the land of Uz. The cup of God’s anger will come to you; then you will get drunk and go naked. Your punishment is complete, Jerusalem. He will not send you into captivity again. But the LORD will punish the sins of Edom; he will uncover your evil.

Lamentations 4:1-22 American Standard Version (ASV)

How is the gold become dim! how is the most pure gold changed! The stones of the sanctuary are poured out at the head of every street. The precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold, How are they esteemed as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of the potter! Even the jackals draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones: The daughter of my people is become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness. The tongue of the sucking child cleaveth to the roof of his mouth for thirst: The young children ask bread, and no man breaketh it unto them. They that did feed delicately are desolate in the streets: They that were brought up in scarlet embrace dunghills. For the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the sin of Sodom, That was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands were laid upon her. Her nobles were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk; They were more ruddy in body than rubies, their polishing was as of sapphire. Their visage is blacker than a coal; they are not known in the streets: Their skin cleaveth to their bones; it is withered, it is become like a stick. They that are slain with the sword are better than they that are slain with hunger; For these pine away, stricken through, for want of the fruits of the field. The hands of the pitiful women have boiled their own children; They were their food in the destruction of the daughter of my people. Jehovah hath accomplished his wrath, he hath poured out his fierce anger; And he hath kindled a fire in Zion, which hath devoured the foundations thereof. The kings of the earth believed not, neither all the inhabitants of the world, That the adversary and the enemy would enter into the gates of Jerusalem. It is because of the sins of her prophets, and the iniquities of her priests, That have shed the blood of the just in the midst of her. They wander as blind men in the streets, they are polluted with blood, So that men cannot touch their garments. Depart ye, they cried unto them, Unclean! depart, depart, touch not! When they fled away and wandered, men said among the nations, They shall no more sojourn here. The anger of Jehovah hath scattered them; he will no more regard them: They respected not the persons of the priests, they favored not the elders. Our eyes do yet fail in looking for our vain help: In our watching we have watched for a nation that could not save. They hunt our steps, so that we cannot go in our streets: Our end is near, our days are fulfilled; for our end is come. Our pursuers were swifter than the eagles of the heavens: They chased us upon the mountains, they laid wait for us in the wilderness. The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of Jehovah, was taken in their pits; Of whom we said, Under his shadow we shall live among the nations. Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, that dwellest in the land of Uz: The cup shall pass through unto thee also; thou shalt be drunken, and shalt make thyself naked. The punishment of thine iniquity is accomplished, O daughter of Zion; he will no more carry thee away into captivity: He will visit thine iniquity, O daughter of Edom; he will uncover thy sins.

Lamentations 4:1-22 New International Version (NIV)

How the gold has lost its luster, the fine gold become dull! The sacred gems are scattered at every street corner. How the precious children of Zion, once worth their weight in gold, are now considered as pots of clay, the work of a potter’s hands! Even jackals offer their breasts to nurse their young, but my people have become heartless like ostriches in the desert. Because of thirst the infant’s tongue sticks to the roof of its mouth; the children beg for bread, but no one gives it to them. Those who once ate delicacies are destitute in the streets. Those brought up in royal purple now lie on ash heaps. The punishment of my people is greater than that of Sodom, which was overthrown in a moment without a hand turned to help her. Their princes were brighter than snow and whiter than milk, their bodies more ruddy than rubies, their appearance like lapis lazuli. But now they are blacker than soot; they are not recognized in the streets. Their skin has shriveled on their bones; it has become as dry as a stick. Those killed by the sword are better off than those who die of famine; racked with hunger, they waste away for lack of food from the field. With their own hands compassionate women have cooked their own children, who became their food when my people were destroyed. The LORD has given full vent to his wrath; he has poured out his fierce anger. He kindled a fire in Zion that consumed her foundations. The kings of the earth did not believe, nor did any of the peoples of the world, that enemies and foes could enter the gates of Jerusalem. But it happened because of the sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests, who shed within her the blood of the righteous. Now they grope through the streets as if they were blind. They are so defiled with blood that no one dares to touch their garments. “Go away! You are unclean!” people cry to them. “Away! Away! Don’t touch us!” When they flee and wander about, people among the nations say, “They can stay here no longer.” The LORD himself has scattered them; he no longer watches over them. The priests are shown no honor, the elders no favor. Moreover, our eyes failed, looking in vain for help; from our towers we watched for a nation that could not save us. People stalked us at every step, so we could not walk in our streets. Our end was near, our days were numbered, for our end had come. Our pursuers were swifter than eagles in the sky; they chased us over the mountains and lay in wait for us in the desert. The LORD’s anointed, our very life breath, was caught in their traps. We thought that under his shadow we would live among the nations. Rejoice and be glad, Daughter Edom, you who live in the land of Uz. But to you also the cup will be passed; you will be drunk and stripped naked. Your punishment will end, Daughter Zion; he will not prolong your exile. But he will punish your sin, Daughter Edom, and expose your wickedness.

Lamentations 4:1-22 Amplified Bible (AMP)

How dark and dim the gold has become, How the pure gold has changed! The sacred stones [of the temple] are poured out and scattered At the head of every street. The [noble and] precious sons of Zion, [Once] worth their weight in fine gold, How they are regarded [merely] as earthen jars, The work of a potter’s hands! Even the jackals offer the breast, They nurse their young; But the daughter of my people has become cruel Like ostriches in the wilderness [that desert their young]. The tongue of the infant clings To the roof of its mouth because of thirst; The little ones ask for food, But no one gives it to them. Those who feasted on delicacies Are perishing in the streets; Those reared in purple [as nobles] Embrace ash heaps. For the [punishment of the] wickedness of the daughter of my people [Jerusalem] Is greater than the [punishment for the] sin of Sodom, Which was overthrown in a moment, And no hands were turned toward her [to offer help]. Her princes were purer than snow, They were whiter than milk [in appearance]; They were more ruddy in body than rubies, Their polishing was like lapis lazuli (sapphire). Their appearance is [now] blacker than soot [because of the prolonged famine]; They are not recognized in the streets; Their skin clings to their bones; It is withered, and it has become [dry] like wood. Those killed with the sword Are more fortunate than those killed with hunger; For the hungry pine and ebb away, For the lack of the fruits of the field. The hands of compassionate women Boiled their own children; They became food for them Because of the destruction of the daughter of my people [Judah]. The LORD has fulfilled His wrath; He has poured out His fierce anger And has kindled a fire in Zion That has consumed her foundations. The kings of the earth did not believe, Nor did any of the inhabitants of the earth, That the adversary (oppressor) and enemy Could enter the gates of Jerusalem. Because of the sins of her [counterfeit] prophets And the wickedness of her [unfaithful] priests, Who have shed in her midst The blood of the just and righteous; They wandered, blind, in the streets; They were defiled with blood So that no one could touch their garments. People cried to them, “Go away! Unclean! Depart! Depart! Do not touch!” So they fled, then they wandered [as fugitives]; People among the nations said, “They shall not stay here any longer with us.” The presence of the LORD scattered them [among the nations]; He will not continue to look after them. They did not honor the priests; They did not favor the elders. [And as for us,] yet our eyes failed, Looking in vain for help. Watching [from the towers] we watched For a nation that could not save. The enemy 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. Our pursuers were swifter Than the eagles of the sky; They pursued us on the mountains, They waited in ambush for us in the wilderness. The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the LORD [our king], Was captured in their snares, He of whom we had said, “Under his shadow We shall live among the nations.” Rejoice and be glad, O Daughter of Edom, Who lives in the land of Uz. But the cup [of the wine of God’s wrath] will pass to you as well; You will become drunk and make yourself naked. The punishment of your sin has been completed, O Daughter of Zion; The LORD will no longer send you into exile. But He will punish your sin, O Daughter of Edom; He will expose your sins.

Lamentations 4:1-22 English Standard Version 2016 (ESV)

How the gold has grown dim, how the pure gold is changed! The holy stones lie scattered at the head of every street. The precious sons of Zion, worth their weight in fine gold, how they are regarded as earthen pots, the work of a potter’s hands! Even jackals offer the breast; they nurse their young; but the daughter of my people has become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness. The tongue of the nursing infant sticks to the roof of its mouth for thirst; the children beg for food, but no one gives to them. Those who once feasted on delicacies perish in the streets; those who were brought up in purple embrace ash heaps. For the chastisement of the daughter of my people has been greater than the punishment of Sodom, which was overthrown in a moment, and no hands were wrung for her. Her princes were purer than snow, whiter than milk; their bodies were more ruddy than coral, the beauty of their form was like sapphire. Now their face is blacker than soot; they are not recognized in the streets; their skin has shriveled on their bones; it has become as dry as wood. Happier were the victims of the sword than the victims of hunger, who wasted away, pierced by lack of the fruits of the field. The hands of compassionate women have boiled their own children; they became their food during the destruction of the daughter of my people. The LORD gave full vent to his wrath; he poured out his hot anger, and he kindled a fire in Zion that consumed its foundations. The kings of the earth did not believe, nor any of the inhabitants of the world, that foe or enemy could enter the gates of Jerusalem. This was for the sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests, who shed in the midst of her the blood of the righteous. They wandered, blind, through the streets; they were so defiled with blood that no one was able to touch their garments. “Away! Unclean!” people cried at them. “Away! Away! Do not touch!” So they became fugitives and wanderers; people said among the nations, “They shall stay with us no longer.” The LORD himself has scattered them; he will regard them no more; no honor was shown to the priests, no favor to the elders. Our eyes failed, ever watching vainly for help; in our watching we watched for a nation which could not save. They dogged our steps so that we could not walk in our streets; our end drew near; our days were numbered, for our end had come. Our pursuers were swifter than the eagles in the heavens; they chased us on the mountains; they lay in wait for us in the wilderness. The breath of our nostrils, the LORD’s anointed, was captured in their pits, of whom we said, “Under his shadow we shall live among the nations.” Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, you who dwell in the land of Uz; but to you also the cup shall pass; you shall become drunk and strip yourself bare. The punishment of your iniquity, O daughter of Zion, is accomplished; he will keep you in exile no longer; but your iniquity, O daughter of Edom, he will punish; he will uncover your sins.