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Lamentations 4 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Degradation of Zion

How the gold has become dim!
How changed the fine gold!
The stones of the sanctuary are [a]scattered
At the head of every street.

The precious sons of Zion,
[b]Valuable as fine gold,
How they are [c]regarded as clay pots,
The work of the hands of the potter!

Even the jackals present their breasts
To nurse their young;
But the daughter of my people is cruel,
Like ostriches in the wilderness.

The tongue of the infant clings
To the roof of its mouth for thirst;
The young children ask for bread,
But no one breaks it for them.

Those who ate delicacies
Are desolate in the streets;
Those who were brought up in scarlet
Embrace ash heaps.

The punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people
Is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom,
Which was overthrown in a moment,
With no hand to help her!

Her [d]Nazirites were [e]brighter than snow
And whiter than milk;
They were more ruddy in body than rubies,
Like sapphire in their [f]appearance.

Now their appearance is blacker than soot;
They go unrecognized in the streets;
Their skin clings to their bones,
It has become as dry as wood.

Those slain by the sword are better off
Than those who die of hunger;
For these pine away,
Stricken for lack of the fruits of the field.

10 The hands of the compassionate women
Have [g]cooked their own children;
They became food for them
In the destruction of the daughter of my people.

11 The Lord has fulfilled His fury,
He has poured out His fierce anger.
He kindled a fire in Zion,
And it has devoured its foundations.

12 The kings of the earth,
And all inhabitants of the world,
Would not have believed
That the adversary and the enemy
Could enter the gates of Jerusalem—

13 Because of the sins of her prophets
And the iniquities of her priests,
Who shed in her midst
The blood of the just.

14 They wandered blind in the streets;
They have defiled themselves with blood,
So that no one would touch their garments.

15 They cried out to them,
“Go away, unclean!
Go away, go away,
Do not touch us!”
When they fled and wandered,
Those among the nations said,
“They shall no longer dwell here.

16 The [h]face of the Lord scattered them;
He no longer regards them.
The people do not respect the priests
Nor show favor to the elders.

17 Still our eyes failed us,
Watching vainly for our help;
In our watching we watched
For a nation that could not save us.

18 They [i]tracked our steps
So that we could not walk in our streets.
Our end was near;
Our days were over,
For our end had come.

19 Our pursuers were swifter
Than the eagles of the heavens.
They pursued us on the mountains
And lay in wait for us in the wilderness.

20 The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the Lord,
Was caught in their pits,
Of whom we said, “Under his shadow
We shall live among the nations.”

21 Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom,
You who dwell in the land of Uz!
The cup shall also pass over to you
And you shall become drunk and make yourself naked.

22 The punishment of your iniquity [j]is accomplished,
O daughter of Zion;
He will no longer send you into captivity.
He will punish your iniquity,
O daughter of Edom;
He will uncover your sins!

Footnotes:

  1. Lamentations 4:1 Lit. poured out
  2. Lamentations 4:2 Lit. Weighed against
  3. Lamentations 4:2 reckoned
  4. Lamentations 4:7 Or nobles
  5. Lamentations 4:7 Or purer
  6. Lamentations 4:7 Lit. polishing
  7. Lamentations 4:10 boiled
  8. Lamentations 4:16 Tg. anger
  9. Lamentations 4:18 Lit. hunted
  10. Lamentations 4:22 has been completed
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Lamentations 4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Distress of the Siege Described

How dark the gold has become,
How the pure gold has changed!
The sacred stones are spilled out
At the [a]corner of every street.
The precious sons of Zion,
Weighed against pure gold,
How they are regarded as earthenware jars,
The work of a potter’s hands!
Even jackals offer the breast,
They nurse their young;
But the daughter of my people has proved herself cruel,
Like ostriches in the wilderness.
The tongue of the infant clings
To the roof of its mouth because of thirst;
The children ask for bread,
But no one breaks it for them.
Those who used to eat delicacies
Are made to tremble in the streets;
Those who were raised in crimson clothing
Embrace garbage heaps.
For the [b]wrongdoing of the daughter of my people
Is greater than the [c]sin of Sodom,
Which was overthrown as in a moment,
[d]And no hands were turned toward her.
Her [e]consecrated ones were purer than snow,
They shined more than milk;
They were more ruddy in [f]body than pearls of coral,
Their form was like [g]lapis lazuli.
Their appearance is darker than soot,
They are not recognized in the streets;
Their skin is shriveled on their bones,
It is dry, it has become like wood.
Better off are those killed by the sword
Than those killed by hunger;
For they [h]waste away, [i]stricken
By the lack of the produce of the field.
10 The hands of compassionate women
Boiled their own children;
They became food for them
Due to the destruction of the daughter of my people.
11 The Lord has expended His wrath,
He has poured out His fierce anger;
And He has kindled a fire in Zion,
And it has consumed its foundations.
12 The kings of the earth did not believe,
Nor did any of the inhabitants of the world,
That the adversary and the enemy
Would enter the gates of Jerusalem.
13 Because of the sins of her prophets
And the wrongdoings of her priests,
Who have shed in her midst
The blood of the righteous,
14 They wandered, blind, in the streets;
They were defiled with blood,
Such that no one could touch their garments.
15 “Keep away! Unclean!” [j]they cried out of themselves.
“Keep away, keep away, do not touch!”
For they distanced themselves as well as wandered;
People among the nations said,
“They shall not continue to reside with us.”
16 The presence of the Lord has scattered them,
He will not continue to look at them;
They did not [k]honor the priests,
They did not favor the elders.
17 Yet our eyes failed,
Looking for [l]help was useless;
At our observation point we have watched
For a nation that could not save.
18 They hunted our steps
So that we could not walk in our streets;
Our end drew near,
Our days were [m]finished
For our end had come.
19 Our pursuers were swifter
Than the eagles of the sky;
They chased us on the mountains,
They waited in ambush for us in the wilderness.
20 The breath of our nostrils, the Lords anointed,
Was captured in their pits,
Of whom we had said, “[n]In his shadow
We shall live among the nations.”
21 Rejoice and be joyful, daughter of Edom,
Who lives in the land of Uz;
But the cup will pass to you as well,
You will become drunk and expose yourself.
22 The punishment of your wrongdoing has been completed, daughter of Zion;
He will no longer exile you.
But He will punish your wrongdoing, daughter of Edom;
He will expose your sins!

Footnotes:

  1. Lamentations 4:1 Lit head
  2. Lamentations 4:6 Or punishment for wrongdoing
  3. Lamentations 4:6 Or punishment for sin
  4. Lamentations 4:6 I.e., without human intervention
  5. Lamentations 4:7 Or Nazirites
  6. Lamentations 4:7 Lit bones
  7. Lamentations 4:7 Heb sappir
  8. Lamentations 4:9 Lit flow away
  9. Lamentations 4:9 Lit pierced through
  10. Lamentations 4:15 Or they (other people) cried to them
  11. Lamentations 4:16 Lit lift up the faces of
  12. Lamentations 4:17 Lit our help
  13. Lamentations 4:18 Lit full
  14. Lamentations 4:20 I.e., under his protection
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved.

Lamentations 4 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Distress of the Siege Described

How dark and dim the gold has become,
How the pure gold has changed!
The sacred stones [of the temple] are poured out and scattered
At the head of every street.

The [noble and] precious sons of Zion,
[Once] worth their weight in fine gold,
How they are regarded [merely] as earthen jars,
The work of a potter’s hands!

Even the jackals offer the breast,
They nurse their young;
But the daughter of my people has become cruel
Like ostriches in the wilderness [that desert their young].

The tongue of the infant clings
To the roof of its mouth because of thirst;
The little ones ask for food,
But no one gives it to them.

Those who feasted on delicacies
Are perishing in the streets;
Those reared in purple [as nobles]
Embrace ash heaps.

For the [punishment of the] wickedness of the daughter of my people [Jerusalem]
Is greater than the [punishment for the] sin of Sodom,
Which was overthrown in a moment,
And no hands were turned toward her [to offer help].

Her princes were purer than snow,
They were whiter than milk [in appearance];
They were more ruddy in body than rubies,
Their polishing was like lapis lazuli (sapphire).

Their appearance is [now] blacker than soot [because of the prolonged famine];
They are not recognized in the streets;
Their skin clings to their bones;
It is withered, and it has become [dry] like wood.

Those killed with the sword
Are more fortunate than those killed with hunger;
For the hungry pine and ebb away,
For the lack of the fruits of the field.
10 
The hands of compassionate women
Boiled their own children;
They became food for them
Because of the destruction of the daughter of my people [Judah].
11 
The Lord has fulfilled His wrath;
He has poured out His fierce anger
And has kindled a fire in Zion
That has consumed her foundations.
12 
The kings of the earth did not believe,
Nor did any of the inhabitants of the earth,
That the adversary (oppressor) and enemy
Could enter the gates of Jerusalem.
13 
Because of the sins of her [counterfeit] prophets
And the wickedness of her [unfaithful] priests,
Who have shed in her midst
The blood of the just and righteous;
14 
They wandered, blind, in the streets;
They were defiled with blood
So that no one could touch their garments.
15 
People cried to them, “Go away! Unclean!
Depart! Depart! Do not touch!”
So they fled, then they wandered [as fugitives];
People among the nations said,
“They shall not stay here any longer with us.”
16 
The presence of the Lord scattered them [among the nations];
He will not continue to look after them.
They did not honor the priests;
They did not favor the elders.
17 
[And as for us,] yet our eyes failed,
Looking in vain for help.
Watching [from the towers] we watched
For a nation that could not save.
18 
The enemy hunted our steps,
So that we could not walk in our streets;
Our end drew near,
Our days were finished
For our end had come.
19 
Our pursuers were swifter
Than the eagles of the sky;
They pursued us on the mountains,
They waited in ambush for us in the wilderness.
20 
The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the Lord [our king],
Was captured in their snares,
He of whom we had said, “Under his shadow
We shall live among the nations.”
21 
Rejoice and be glad, O Daughter of Edom,
Who lives in the land of Uz.
But the cup [of the wine of God’s wrath] will pass to you as well;
You will become drunk and make yourself naked.
22 
The punishment of your sin has been completed, O Daughter of Zion;
The Lord will no longer send you into exile.
But He will punish your sin, O Daughter of Edom;
He will expose your sins.

Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Lamentations 4 New International Version (NIV)

[a]How the gold has lost its luster,
    the fine gold become dull!
The sacred gems are scattered
    at every street corner.

How the precious children of Zion,
    once worth their weight in gold,
are now considered as pots of clay,
    the work of a potter’s hands!

Even jackals offer their breasts
    to nurse their young,
but my people have become heartless
    like ostriches in the desert.

Because of thirst the infant’s tongue
    sticks to the roof of its mouth;
the children beg for bread,
    but no one gives it to them.

Those who once ate delicacies
    are destitute in the streets.
Those brought up in royal purple
    now lie on ash heaps.

The punishment of my people
    is greater than that of Sodom,
which was overthrown in a moment
    without a hand turned to help her.

Their princes were brighter than snow
    and whiter than milk,
their bodies more ruddy than rubies,
    their appearance like lapis lazuli.

But now they are blacker than soot;
    they are not recognized in the streets.
Their skin has shriveled on their bones;
    it has become as dry as a stick.

Those killed by the sword are better off
    than those who die of famine;
racked with hunger, they waste away
    for lack of food from the field.

10 With their own hands compassionate women
    have cooked their own children,
who became their food
    when my people were destroyed.

11 The Lord has given full vent to his wrath;
    he has poured out his fierce anger.
He kindled a fire in Zion
    that consumed her foundations.

12 The kings of the earth did not believe,
    nor did any of the peoples of the world,
that enemies and foes could enter
    the gates of Jerusalem.

13 But it happened because of the sins of her prophets
    and the iniquities of her priests,
who shed within her
    the blood of the righteous.

14 Now they grope through the streets
    as if they were blind.
They are so defiled with blood
    that no one dares to touch their garments.

15 “Go away! You are unclean!” people cry to them.
    “Away! Away! Don’t touch us!”
When they flee and wander about,
    people among the nations say,
    “They can stay here no longer.”

16 The Lord himself has scattered them;
    he no longer watches over them.
The priests are shown no honor,
    the elders no favor.

17 Moreover, our eyes failed,
    looking in vain for help;
from our towers we watched
    for a nation that could not save us.

18 People stalked us at every step,
    so we could not walk in our streets.
Our end was near, our days were numbered,
    for our end had come.

19 Our pursuers were swifter
    than eagles in the sky;
they chased us over the mountains
    and lay in wait for us in the desert.

20 The Lord’s anointed, our very life breath,
    was caught in their traps.
We thought that under his shadow
    we would live among the nations.

21 Rejoice and be glad, Daughter Edom,
    you who live in the land of Uz.
But to you also the cup will be passed;
    you will be drunk and stripped naked.

22 Your punishment will end, Daughter Zion;
    he will not prolong your exile.
But he will punish your sin, Daughter Edom,
    and expose your wickedness.

Footnotes:

  1. Lamentations 4:1 This chapter is an acrostic poem, the verses of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Lamentations 4 King James Version (KJV)

How is the gold become dim! how is the most fine gold changed! the stones of the sanctuary are poured out in the top of every street.

The precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold, how are they esteemed as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of the potter!

Even the sea monsters draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones: the daughter of my people is become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness.

The tongue of the sucking child cleaveth to the roof of his mouth for thirst: the young children ask bread, and no man breaketh it unto them.

They that did feed delicately are desolate in the streets: they that were brought up in scarlet embrace dunghills.

For the punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, that was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands stayed on her.

Her Nazarites were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk, they were more ruddy in body than rubies, their polishing was of sapphire:

Their visage is blacker than a coal; they are not known in the streets: their skin cleaveth to their bones; it is withered, it is become like a stick.

They that be slain with the sword are better than they that be slain with hunger: for these pine away, stricken through for want of the fruits of the field.

10 The hands of the pitiful women have sodden their own children: they were their meat in the destruction of the daughter of my people.

11 The Lord hath accomplished his fury; he hath poured out his fierce anger, and hath kindled a fire in Zion, and it hath devoured the foundations thereof.

12 The kings of the earth, and all the inhabitants of the world, would not have believed that the adversary and the enemy should have entered into the gates of Jerusalem.

13 For the sins of her prophets, and the iniquities of her priests, that have shed the blood of the just in the midst of her,

14 They have wandered as blind men in the streets, they have polluted themselves with blood, so that men could not touch their garments.

15 They cried unto them, Depart ye; it is unclean; depart, depart, touch not: when they fled away and wandered, they said among the heathen, They shall no more sojourn there.

16 The anger of the Lord hath divided them; he will no more regard them: they respected not the persons of the priests, they favoured not the elders.

17 As for us, our eyes as yet failed for our vain help: in our watching we have watched for a nation that could not save us.

18 They hunt our steps, that we cannot go in our streets: our end is near, our days are fulfilled; for our end is come.

19 Our persecutors are swifter than the eagles of the heaven: they pursued us upon the mountains, they laid wait for us in the wilderness.

20 The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the Lord, was taken in their pits, of whom we said, Under his shadow we shall live among the heathen.

21 Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, that dwellest in the land of Uz; the cup also shall pass through unto thee: thou shalt be drunken, and shalt make thyself naked.

22 The punishment of thine iniquity is accomplished, O daughter of Zion; he will no more carry thee away into captivity: he will visit thine iniquity, O daughter of Edom; he will discover thy sins.

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