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The Jewish Study Bible Contextualizes the Hebrew Bible with accompanying scholarly text on Jewish traditions and history.

Chapter 4

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1 א Alas! The gold is dulled, a Meaning of Heb. uncertain. Debased the finest gold! The sacred b‐ Emendation yields “precious.” gems are spilled At every street corner. 2 ב The precious children of Zion; Once valued as gold— Alas, they are accounted as earthen pots, Work of a potter’s hands! 3 ג Even jackals offer the breast And suckle their young; But my poor people has turned cruel, Like ostriches of the desert. 4 ד The tongue of the suckling cleaves To its palate for thirst. Little children beg for bread; None gives them a morsel. 5 ה Those who feasted on dainties Lie famished in the streets; Those who were reared in purple Have embraced refuse heaps. 6 ו The guilt c I.e., punishment. of my poor d See note at 3.48 . people Exceeded the iniquity e Meaning of Heb. uncertain. of Sodom, Which was overthrown in a moment, Without a hand striking it. 7 ז Her elect were purer than snow, Whiter than milk; Their limbs were ruddier than coral, Their bodies a See note at 3.48 . were like sapphire. 8 ח Now their faces are blacker than soot, They are not recognized in the streets; Their skin has shriveled on their bones, It has become dry as wood. 9 ט Better off were the slain of the sword Than those slain by famine, e‐ Meaning of Heb. uncertain. Who pined away, [as though] wounded, For lack of ‐e Meaning of Heb. uncertain. the fruits of the field. 10 י With their own hands, tenderhearted women Have cooked their children; Such became their fare, In the disaster of my poor a See note at 3.48 . people. 11 כ The LORD vented all His fury, Poured out His blazing wrath; He kindled a fire in Zion Which consumed its foundations. 12 ל The kings of the earth did not believe, Nor any of the inhabitants of the world, That foe or adversary could enter The gates of Jerusalem. 13 מ It was for the sins of her prophets, The iniquities of her priests, Who had shed in her midst The blood of the just. 14 נ They wandered blindly through the streets, Defiled with blood, So that no one was able To touch their garments. 15 ס “Away! Unclean!” people shouted at them, “Away! Away! Touch not!” So they wandered and wandered again; for the nations had resolved: “They shall stay here no longer.” 16 פ b Meaning of line uncertain. The LORD’s countenance has turned away from them, He will look on them no more. They showed no regard for priests, No favor to elders. 17 ע Even now our eyes pine away In vain for deliverance. As we waited, still we wait For a nation that cannot help. 18 צ Our steps were checked, We could not walk c‐ Or “With long strides.” in our squares. ‐c Or “With long strides.” Our doom is near, our days are done— Alas, our doom has come! 19 ק Our pursuers were swifter Than the eagles in the sky; They chased us in the mountains, Lay in wait for us in the wilderness. 20 ד The breath of our life, the LORD’s anointed, Was captured in their traps— He in whose shade we had thought To live among the nations. 21 ש Rejoice and exult, Fair Edom, Who dwell in the land of Uz! To you, too, the cup shall pass, You shall get drunk and expose your nakedness. 22 ח Your iniquity, Fair Zion, is expiated; He will exile you no longer. Your iniquity, Fair Edom, He will note; He will uncover your sins.

Notes:

a Meaning of Heb. uncertain.

b Emendation yields “precious.”

c I.e., punishment.

d See note at 3.48 .

e‐e Meaning of Heb. uncertain.

a See note at 3.48 .

b Meaning of line uncertain.

c‐c Or “With long strides.”

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