Monday, April 18, 2011

Thrown down, poured out


How the Lord in his anger
   has humiliated daughter Zion!
He has thrown down from heaven to earth
   the splendour of Israel;
he has not remembered his footstool
   on the day of his anger.

The Lord has destroyed without mercy
   all the dwellings of Jacob;
in his wrath he has broken down
   the strongholds of daughter Judah;
he has brought down to the ground in dishonour
   the kingdom and its rulers.

He has cut down in fierce anger
   all the might of Israel;
he has withdrawn his right hand from them
   in the face of the enemy;
he has burned like a flaming fire in Jacob,
   consuming all around.

He has bent his bow like an enemy,
   with his right hand set like a foe;
he has killed all in whom we took pride
   in the tent of daughter Zion;
he has poured out his fury like fire.

The Lord has become like an enemy;
   he has destroyed Israel.
He has destroyed all its palaces,
   laid in ruins its strongholds,
and multiplied in daughter Judah
   mourning and lamentation.

He has broken down his booth like a garden,
   he has destroyed his tabernacle;
the LORD has abolished in Zion
   festival and sabbath,
and in his fierce indignation has spurned
   king and priest.

The Lord has scorned his altar,
   disowned his sanctuary;
he has delivered into the hand of the enemy
   the walls of her palaces;
a clamour was raised in the house of the LORD
   as on a day of festival.

The LORD determined to lay in ruins
   the wall of daughter Zion;
he stretched the line;
   he did not withhold his hand from destroying;
he caused rampart and wall to lament;
   they languish together.

Her gates have sunk into the ground;
   he has ruined and broken her bars;
her king and princes are among the nations;
   guidance is no more,
and her prophets obtain
   no vision from the LORD.

The elders of daughter Zion
   sit on the ground in silence;
they have thrown dust on their heads
   and put on sackcloth;
the young girls of Jerusalem
   have bowed their heads to the ground.

My eyes are spent with weeping;
   my stomach churns;
my bile is poured out on the ground
   because of the destruction of my people,
because infants and babes faint
   in the streets of the city.

They cry to their mothers,
   ‘Where is bread and wine?’
as they faint like the wounded
   in the streets of the city,
as their life is poured out
   on their mothers’ bosom.

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