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Lamentations 4:1 - 4:16

Yahweh’s Wrath Spent

א  Aleph

How dark the gold has become,
How the pure gold has changed!
The sacred stones are poured out
At the head of every street.

ב  Beth

The precious sons of Zion,
Weighed against fine gold,
How they are regarded as earthen jars,
The work of a potter’s hands!

ג  Gimel

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

ד  Daleth

The tongue of the nursing baby cleaves
To the roof of its mouth because of thirst;
The infants ask for bread,
But no one breaks it for them.

ה  He

Those who ate delicacies
Are desolate in the streets;
Those reared in crimson
Embrace ash pits.

ו  Vav

So the iniquity of the daughter of my people
Is greater than the sin of Sodom,
Which was overthrown as in a moment,
And no hands whirled toward her.

ז  Zayin

Her Nazirites were purer than snow;
They were whiter than milk;
They were more ruddy in body than corals,
Their polishing was like lapis lazuli.

ח  Heth

Their form is blacker than soot;
They are not recognized in the streets;
Their skin is shriveled on their bones;
It is withered, it has become like wood.

ט  Teth

Better are those pierced through with the sword
Than those pierced through with hunger;
For their life flows away, being stricken
For lack of the produce of the field.

י  Yodh

The hands of compassionate women
Boiled their own children;
They became food for them
Because of the destruction of the daughter of my people.

כ  Kaph

Yahweh has spent His wrath;
He has poured out His burning anger;
And He has kindled a fire in Zion
Which has devoured its foundations.

ל  Lamedh

The kings of the earth did not believe,
Nor did any of the inhabitants of the world,
That the adversary and the enemy
Could enter the gates of Jerusalem.

מ  Mem

Because of the sins of her prophets
And the iniquities of her priests,
Who have shed in her midst
The blood of the righteous;

נ  Nun

They wandered, blind, in the streets;
They were defiled with blood
So that no one could touch their garments.

ס  Samekh

“Depart! Unclean!” they cried of themselves.
“Depart, depart, do not touch!”
So they fled and wandered;
Men among the nations said,
“They shall not continue to sojourn with us.”

פ  Pe

The presence of Yahweh has eradicated them;
He will not continue to look at them;
They did not honor the priests;
They did not favor the elders.