4 [a]How the gold has lost its luster, the fine gold become dull! The sacred gems are scattered at every street corner.
2 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!
3 Even jackals offer their breasts to nurse their young, but my people have become heartless like ostriches in the desert.
4 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.
5 Those who once ate delicacies are destitute in the streets. Those brought up in royal purple now lie on ash heaps.
6 The punishment of my people is greater than that of Sodom, which was overthrown in a moment without a hand turned to help her.
7 Their princes were brighter than snow and whiter than milk, their bodies more ruddy than rubies, their appearance like lapis lazuli.
8 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.
9 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.
5 Remember, Lord, what has happened to us; look, and see our disgrace. 2 Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers, our homes to foreigners. 3 We have become fatherless, our mothers are widows. 4 We must buy the water we drink; our wood can be had only at a price. 5 Those who pursue us are at our heels; we are weary and find no rest. 6 We submitted to Egypt and Assyria to get enough bread. 7 Our ancestors sinned and are no more, and we bear their punishment. 8 Slaves rule over us, and there is no one to free us from their hands. 9 We get our bread at the risk of our lives because of the sword in the desert. 10 Our skin is hot as an oven, feverish from hunger. 11 Women have been violated in Zion, and virgins in the towns of Judah. 12 Princes have been hung up by their hands; elders are shown no respect. 13 Young men toil at the millstones; boys stagger under loads of wood. 14 The elders are gone from the city gate; the young men have stopped their music. 15 Joy is gone from our hearts; our dancing has turned to mourning. 16 The crown has fallen from our head. Woe to us, for we have sinned! 17 Because of this our hearts are faint, because of these things our eyes grow dim 18 for Mount Zion, which lies desolate, with jackals prowling over it.
19 You, Lord, reign forever; your throne endures from generation to generation. 20 Why do you always forget us? Why do you forsake us so long? 21 Restore us to yourself, Lord, that we may return; renew our days as of old 22 unless you have utterly rejected us and are angry with us beyond measure.
Lamentations 4:1This chapter is an acrostic poem, the verses of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
2 We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.2 For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment,3 how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him.4 God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.
Jesus Made Fully Human
5 It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking.6 But there is a place where someone has testified:
“What is mankind that you are mindful of them, a son of man that you care for him? 7 You made them a little[a] lower than the angels; you crowned them with glory and honor 8 and put everything under their feet.”[b][c]
In putting everything under them,[d] God left nothing that is not subject to them.[e] Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them.[f]9 But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
10 In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered.11 Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.[g]12 He says,
“I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly I will sing your praises.”[h]
“Here am I, and the children God has given me.”[j]
14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants.17 For this reason he had to be made like them,[k] fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
1 Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. 2 Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— 3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, 5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel: 8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. 9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; 10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; 14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. 15 The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; 16 the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. 17 But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children— 18 with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.
19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word. 21 Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will. 22 Praise the Lord, all his works everywhere in his dominion.
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