The Horrors of the Attack on Jerusalem
1 See how the gold has grown dark,
how the pure gold has changed.
There are jewels* jewels The meaning of the Hebrew word here is uncertain. scattered all around
at every street corner.
2 The precious people of Zion
were once worth more than gold.
But now they are treated like something worthless,
like the cheap clay jars a potter makes.
3 Even a wild dog feeds her babies.
Even the jackal lets her pups suck at her breast.
But the daughter of my people† daughter of my people Another name for Jerusalem. Also in verse 6. is cruel.
She is like the ostrich in the desert that forgets its eggs in the sand.
4 Babies are so thirsty
their tongues stick to the roof of their mouths.
Young children ask for bread,
but no one gives them any.
5 Those who ate rich food
are now dying in the streets.
Those who grew up wearing nice red clothes
now pick through garbage piles.
6 The sin of the daughter of my people was very great.
Their sin was greater than the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed suddenly.
No human hand caused their destruction.‡ No human hand … destruction The Hebrew text here is hard to understand.
7 Some of the men of Judah were dedicated to God in a special way.
They were very pure.
They were whiter than snow,
and whiter than milk.
Their bodies were red like coral
and their beards like sapphire stones.
8 But now their faces are blacker than soot.
No one even recognizes them in the streets.
Their skin is wrinkled over their bones.
Their skin is like wood.
9 It was better for those who were killed by the sword
than for those who died of hunger.
Those starving people were sad and hurt.
They died because they got no food from the field.
10 Then even nice women
cooked their own children.
The children were food for their mothers.
This happened when my people were destroyed.
11 The LORD used all of his anger.
He poured out all his anger.
He made a fire in Zion
that burned it down to the foundations.
12 The kings of the earth could not believe what had happened.
The people of the world could not believe what had happened.
They could not believe that enemies
would be able to come through the city gates of Jerusalem.
13 This happened because the prophets
of Jerusalem sinned.
This happened because the priests
of Jerusalem did evil things.
They were shedding the blood of good people
in the city of Jerusalem.
14 The prophets and priests walked around
like blind men in the streets.
They had become dirty with blood.
No one could even touch their clothes because they were dirty.
15 People shouted, “Go away!
Go away! Don’t touch us.”
They wandered around and had no home.
People in other nations said,
“We don’t want them to live with us.”
16 The LORD himself destroyed them.
He didn’t look after them anymore.
He didn’t respect the priests.
He was not friendly to the elders of Judah.
17 We have worn out our eyes looking for help,
but no help comes.
We kept on looking for a nation to save us.
We kept watch from our watchtower,
but no nation came to us.
18 Our enemies hunted us all the time.
We could not even go out into the streets.
Our end came near. Our time was up.
Our end came!
19 The men who chased us
were faster than eagles in the sky.
They chased us into the mountains.
They hid in the desert to catch us.
20 The king was very important to us.
He was like the breath we breathe,
but he was trapped by them.
The LORD himself chose the king,
and we said this about the king,
“We will live in his shadow.
He protects us from the nations.”
21 Be happy, people of Edom.
Be happy, you who live in the land of Uz.
But remember, the cup of the Lord’s anger will come around to you too.
When you drink from that cup,
you will get drunk and strip off all your clothes.
22 Your punishment is complete, Zion.
You will not go into captivity again.
But the Lord will punish your sins, people of Edom.
He will uncover your sins.
*4:1 jewels The meaning of the Hebrew word here is uncertain.
†4:3 daughter of my people Another name for Jerusalem. Also in verse 6.
‡4:6 No human hand … destruction The Hebrew text here is hard to understand.