How the gold has become tarnished, the fine gold become dull! The stones of the temple lie scattered at the corner of every street.
Zion's precious people-- [once] worth their weight in pure gold-- how they are regarded as clay jars, the work of a potter's hands!
Even jackals offer [their] breasts to nurse their young, but my dear people have become cruel like ostriches in the wilderness.
The nursing infant's tongue clings to the roof of his mouth from thirst. Little children beg for bread, but no one gives them [any].
Those who used to eat delicacies are destitute in the streets; those who were reared in purple [garments] huddle in garbage heaps.
The punishment of my dear people is greater than that of Sodom, which was overthrown in an instant without a hand laid on it.
Her dignitaries were brighter than snow, whiter than milk; [their] bodies were more ruddy than coral, their appearance [like] sapphire.
[Now] they appear darker than soot; they are not recognized in the streets. Their skin has shriveled on their bones; it has become dry like wood.
Those slain by the sword are better off than those slain by hunger, who waste away, pierced [with pain] because the fields lack produce.
The hands of compassionate women have cooked their own children; they became their food during the destruction of my dear people.
The LORD has exhausted His wrath, poured out His burning anger; He has ignited a fire in Zion, and it has consumed her foundations.
The kings of the earth and all the world's inhabitants did not believe that an enemy or adversary could enter Jerusalem's gates.
[Yet it happened] because of the sins of her prophets and the guilt of her priests, who shed the blood of the righteous within her.
Blind, they stumbled in the streets, defiled by this blood, so that no one dared to touch their garments.
"Stay away! Unclean!" people shouted at them. "Away, away! Don't touch [us]!" So they wandered aimlessly. It was said among the nations, "They can stay here no longer."
The LORD Himself has scattered them; He regards them no more. The priests are not respected; the elders find no favor.
All the while our eyes were failing [as we looked] in vain for assistance; we watched from our towers for a nation that refused to help.
Our steps were closely followed, so that we could not walk in our streets. Our end drew near; our time ran out. Our end had come!
Those who chased us were swifter than eagles in the sky; they relentlessly pursued us over the mountains and ambushed us in the wilderness.
The LORD's anointed, the breath of our life, was captured in their traps; we had said about him: We will live under his protection among the nations.
So rejoice and be glad, Daughter Edom, you resident of the land of Uz! Yet the cup will pass to you as well; you will get drunk and expose yourself.
Daughter Zion, your punishment is complete; He will not lengthen your exile. But He will punish your iniquity, Daughter Edom, and will expose your sins.
Yahweh, remember what has happened to us. Look, and see our disgrace!
Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers, our houses to foreigners.
We have become orphans, fatherless; our mothers are widows.
We must pay for the water we drink; our wood comes at a price.
We are closely pursued; we are tired, and no one offers us rest.
We made a treaty with Egypt and with Assyria, to get enough food.
Our fathers sinned; they no longer exist, but we bear their punishment.
Slaves rule over us; no one rescues [us] from their hands.
We secure our food at the risk of our lives because of the sword in the wilderness.
Our skin is as hot as an oven from the ravages of hunger.
Women are raped in Zion, virgins in the cities of Judah.
Princes are hung up by their hands; elders are shown no respect.
Young men labor at millstones; boys stumble under [loads of] wood.
The elders have left the city gate, the young men, their music.
Joy has left our hearts; our dancing has turned to mourning.
The crown has fallen from our head. Woe to us, for we have sinned.
Because of this, our heart is sick; because of these, our eyes grow dim:
because of Mount Zion, which lies desolate [and has] jackals prowling in it.
You, LORD, are enthroned forever; Your throne endures from generation to generation.
Why have You forgotten us forever, abandoned us for [our] entire lives?
LORD, restore us to Yourself, so we may return; renew our days as in former times,
unless You have completely rejected us and are intensely angry with us.