The Lord Destroyed Jerusalem
1Look how the Lord in his anger
has brought Jerusalem to shame.
He has thrown down the greatness of Israel
from the sky to the earth;
he did not remember the Temple, his footstool,
on the day of his anger.
2The Lord swallowed up without mercy
all the houses of the people of Jacob;
in his anger he pulled down
the strong places of Judah.
He threw her kingdom and its rulers
down to the ground in dishonor.
3In his anger he has removed
all the strength of Israel;
he took away his power from Israel
when the enemy came.
He burned against the people of Jacob like a flaming fire
that burns up everything around it.
4Like an enemy, he prepared to shoot his bow,
and his hand was against us.
Like an enemy, he killed
all the good-looking people;
he poured out his anger like fire
on the tents of Jerusalem.
5The Lord was like an enemy;
he swallowed up Israel.
He swallowed up all her palaces
and destroyed all her strongholds.
He has caused more moaning and groaning
6He cut down his Temple like a garden;
he destroyed the meeting place.
The Lord has made Jerusalem forget
the set feasts and Sabbath days.
He has rejected the king and the priest
in his great anger.
7The Lord has rejected his altar
and abandoned his Temple.
He has handed over to the enemy
the walls of Jerusalem’s palaces.
Their uproar in the Lord’s Temple
was like that of a feast day.
8The Lord planned to destroy
the wall around Jerusalem.
He measured the wall
and did not stop himself from destroying it.
He made the walls and defenses sad;
together they have fallen.
9Jerusalem’s gates have fallen to the ground;
he destroyed and smashed the bars of the gates.
Her king and her princes are among the nations.
The teaching of the Lord has stopped,
and the prophets do not have
visions from the Lord.
10The elders of Jerusalem
sit on the ground in silence.
They throw dust on their heads
and put on rough cloth to show their sadness.
The young women of Jerusalem
bow their heads to the ground in sorrow.
11My eyes have no more tears,
and I am sick to my stomach.
I feel empty inside,
because my people have been destroyed.
Children and babies are fainting
in the streets of the city.
12They ask their mothers,
“Where is the grain and wine?”
They faint like wounded soldiers
in the streets of the city
and die in their mothers’ arms.
13What can I say about you, Jerusalem?
What can I compare you to?
What can I say you are like?
How can I comfort you, Jerusalem?
Your ruin is as deep as the sea.
No one can heal you.
14Your prophets saw visions,
but they were false and worth nothing.
They did not point out your sins
to keep you from being captured.
They preached what was false
and led you wrongly.
15All who pass by on the road
clap their hands at you;
they make fun of Jerusalem
and shake their heads.
They ask, “Is this the city that people called
the most beautiful city,
the happiest place on earth?”
16All your enemies open their mouths
to speak against you.
They make fun and grind their teeth in anger.
They say, “We have swallowed you up.
This is the day we were waiting for!
We have finally seen it happen.”
17The Lord has done what he planned;
he has kept his word
that he commanded long ago.
He has destroyed without mercy,
and he has let your enemies laugh at you.
He has strengthened your enemies.
18The people cry out to the Lord.
Wall of Jerusalem,
let your tears flow
like a river day and night.
Do not stop
or let your eyes rest.
19Get up, cry out in the night,
even as the night begins.
Pour out your heart like water
in prayer to the Lord.
Lift up your hands in prayer to him
for the life of your children
who are fainting with hunger
on every street corner.
20Jerusalem says: “Look, Lord, and see
to whom you have done this.
Women eat their own babies,
the children they have cared for.
Priests and prophets are killed
in the Temple of the Lord.
21“People young and old
lie outside on the ground.
My young women and young men
have been killed by the sword.
You killed them on the day of your anger;
you killed them without mercy.
22“You invited terrors to come against me on every side,
as if you were inviting them to a feast.
No one escaped or remained alive
on the day of the Lord’s anger.
My enemy has killed
those I cared for and brought up.”