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Lamentations 2

The Lord Has Destroyed Without Pity

1How the Lord in his anger

has set the daughter of Zion under a cloud!

He has cast down from heaven to earth

the splendor of Israel;

he has not remembered his footstool

in the day of his anger.

2The Lord has swallowed up without mercy

all the habitations of Jacob;

in his wrath he has broken down

the strongholds of the daughter of Judah;

he has brought down to the ground in dishonor

the kingdom and its rulers.

3He has cut down in fierce anger

all the might of Israel;

he has withdrawn from them his right hand

in the face of the enemy;

he has burned like a flaming fire in Jacob,

consuming all around.

4He has bent his bow like an enemy,

with his right hand set like a foe;

and he has killed all who were delightful in our eyes

in the tent of the daughter of Zion;

he has poured out his fury like fire.

5The Lord has become like an enemy;

he has swallowed up Israel;

he has swallowed up all its palaces;

he has laid in ruins its strongholds,

and he has multiplied in the daughter of Judah

mourning and lamentation.

6He has laid waste his booth like a garden,

laid in ruins his meeting place;

the Lord has made Zion forget

festival and Sabbath,

and in his fierce indignation has spurned king and priest.

7The Lord has scorned his altar,

disowned his sanctuary;

he has delivered into the hand of the enemy

the walls of her palaces;

they raised a clamor in the house of the Lord

as on the day of festival.

8The Lord determined to lay in ruins

the wall of the daughter of Zion;

he stretched out the measuring line;

he did not restrain his hand from destroying;

he caused rampart and wall to lament;

they languished together.

9Her gates have sunk into the ground;

he has ruined and broken her bars;

her king and princes are among the nations;

the law is no more,

and her prophets find

no vision from the Lord.

10The elders of the daughter of Zion

sit on the ground in silence;

they have thrown dust on their heads

and put on sackcloth;

the young women of Jerusalem

have bowed their heads to the ground.

11My eyes are spent with weeping;

my stomach churns;

my bile is poured out to the ground

because of the destruction of the daughter of my people,

because infants and babies faint

in the streets of the city.

12They cry to their mothers,

“Where is bread and wine?”

as they faint like a wounded man

in the streets of the city,

as their life is poured out

on their mothers' bosom.

13What can I say for you, to what compare you,

O daughter of Jerusalem?

What can I liken to you, that I may comfort you,

O virgin daughter of Zion?

For your ruin is vast as the sea;

who can heal you?

14Your prophets have seen for you

false and deceptive visions;

they have not exposed your iniquity

to restore your fortunes,

but have seen for you oracles

that are false and misleading.

15All who pass along the way

clap their hands at you;

they hiss and wag their heads

at the daughter of Jerusalem:

“Is this the city that was called

the perfection of beauty,

the joy of all the earth?”

16All your enemies

rail against you;

they hiss, they gnash their teeth,

they cry: “We have swallowed her!

Ah, this is the day we longed for;

now we have it; we see it!”

17The Lord has done what he purposed;

he has carried out his word,

which he commanded long ago;

he has thrown down without pity;

he has made the enemy rejoice over you

and exalted the might of your foes.

18Their heart cried to the Lord.

O wall of the daughter of Zion,

let tears stream down like a torrent

day and night!

Give yourself no rest,

your eyes no respite!

19“Arise, cry out in the night,

at the beginning of the night watches!

Pour out your heart like water

before the presence of the Lord!

Lift your hands to him

for the lives of your children,

who faint for hunger

at the head of every street.”

20Look, O Lord, and see!

With whom have you dealt thus?

Should women eat the fruit of their womb,

the children of their tender care?

Should priest and prophet be killed

in the sanctuary of the Lord?

21In the dust of the streets

lie the young and the old;

my young women and my young men

have fallen by the sword;

you have killed them in the day of your anger,

slaughtering without pity.

22You summoned as if to a festival day

my terrors on every side,

and on the day of the anger of the Lord

no one escaped or survived;

those whom I held and raised

my enemy destroyed.