The Attack on Jerusalem
1See how the gold has lost its shine,
how the pure gold has dulled!
The stones of the Temple are scattered
at every street corner.
2The 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.
3Even wild dogs give their milk
to feed their young,
but my people are cruel
like ostriches in the desert.
4The babies are so thirsty
their tongues stick to the roofs of their mouths.
Children beg for bread,
but no one gives them any.
5Those who once ate fine foods
are now starving in the streets.
People who grew up wearing nice clothes
now pick through trash piles.
6My people have been punished
more than Sodom was.
Sodom was destroyed suddenly,
and no hands reached out to help her.
7Our princes were purer than snow,
and whiter than milk.
Their bodies were redder than rubies;
they looked like sapphires.
8But 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.
9Those 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.
10With their own hands kind women
cook their own children.
They became food
when my people were destroyed.
11The Lord turned loose all of his anger;
he poured out his strong anger.
He set fire to Jerusalem,
burning it down to the foundations.
12Kings of the earth and people of the world
could not believe
that enemies and foes
could enter the gates of Jerusalem.
13It happened because her prophets sinned
and her priests did evil.
They killed in the city
those who did what was right.
14They wandered in the streets
as if they were blind.
They were dirty with blood,
so no one would touch their clothes.
15“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.”
16The Lord himself scattered them
and did not look after them anymore.
No one respects the priests
or honors the elders.
17Also, our eyes grew tired,
looking for help that never came.
We kept watch from our towers
for a nation to save us.
18Our enemies hunted us,
so we could not even walk in the streets.
Our end is near. Our time is up.
Our end has come.
19Those who chased us
were faster than eagles in the sky.
They ran us into the mountains
and ambushed us in the desert.
20The 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.”
21Be 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.
22Your 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.