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God’s Warnings Fulfilled


How the Lord in his anger

has humiliated daughter Zion!

He has thrown down from heaven to earth

the splendor of Israel;

he has not remembered his footstool

in 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 dishonor

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he has withdrawn his right hand from them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 L ord 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 clamor was raised in the house of the L ord

as on a day of festival.



The L ord 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 L ord.



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.



What can I say for you, to what compare you,

O daughter Jerusalem?

To what can I liken you, that I may comfort you,

O virgin daughter Zion?

For vast as the sea is your ruin;

who can heal you?



Your prophets have seen for you

false and deceptive visions;

they have not exposed your iniquity

to restore your fortunes,

but have seen oracles for you

that are false and misleading.



All who pass along the way

clap their hands at you;

they hiss and wag their heads

at daughter Jerusalem;

“Is this the city that was called

the perfection of beauty,

the joy of all the earth?”



All your enemies

open their mouths against you;

they hiss, they gnash their teeth,

they cry: “We have devoured her!

Ah, this is the day we longed for;

at last we have seen it!”



The L ord has done what he purposed,

he has carried out his threat;

as he ordained long ago,

he has demolished without pity;

he has made the enemy rejoice over you,

and exalted the might of your foes.



Cry aloud to the Lord!

O wall of daughter Zion!

Let tears stream down like a torrent

day and night!

Give yourself no rest,

your eyes no respite!



Arise, cry out in the night,

at the beginning of the watches!

Pour out your heart like water

before the presence of the Lord!

Lift your hands to him

for the lives of your children,

who faint for hunger

at the head of every street.



Look, O L ord, and consider!

To whom have you done this?

Should women eat their offspring,

the children they have borne?

Should priest and prophet be killed

in the sanctuary of the Lord?



The young and the old are lying

on the ground in the streets;

my young women and my young men

have fallen by the sword;

in the day of your anger you have killed them,

slaughtering without mercy.



You invited my enemies from all around

as if for a day of festival;

and on the day of the anger of the L ord

no one escaped or survived;

those whom I bore and reared

my enemy has destroyed.


There is either a personification in the words of the Prophet, or he speaks now of another party, for he cannot refer now to children sucking their mothers’ breasts, for they could not have expressly said, Where is corn and wine? and the use of wine is not allowed to infants. Then the words of the Prophets extend further, for not infants, but children somewhat grown up, could have thus spoken. And in this view there is nothing unreasonable or forced, for he spoke of little children, and to little children he joined infants. 159159     That young children and infants are spoken of, is evident from the end of the verse; the one died in the streets, and the other in the mother’s bosom. The question, “Where is corn,” &c., is to be understood of the children, young boys and girls. — Ed. And now he refers only to one party, even that children, who could now speak, complained to their mothers that there was no bread nor wine, that is, no means of support, no food.

If, however, any one prefers a personification, I do not object; and this view would not be unsuitable, that even infants by their silence cried for food; for the tears of children speak more efficaciously than when one gives utterance to words.

However this may be, the Prophet intimates that such was the scarcity, that children died in the bosom of their mothers, and in vain sought food and cried that they were without support. He then says that they said to their mothers; 160160     To correspond with the former verse, the versions render this, “They said to their mothers.” The verb is, indeed, in the future tense, and it might be rendered, “To their mothers would they say;” for the Hebrew future may be thus rendered, —

   12. To their mothers would they say,” Where is corn and wine?”
When they fainted as one wounded in the streets of the city,
When they poured out their life into the bosom of their mothers.

    — Ed
by which expression he means that their complaints were the more pitiable, because their mothers could afford them no help. And we know how tender and affectionate are the feelings of mothers, for a mother would willingly nourish her own child, not only with her own milk, but even, if possible, with her life. When, therefore, the Prophet says that children cried to their mothers, he means to represent a sad spectacle, and which ought justly to produce horror in the minds of all. Where is bread and wine? he says, even when they vanished away (some say “fainted,” but I prefer, as I have said, this rendering) as a dead man in the streets; and further, when they poured out, a sadder thing still, — when they poured out their souls into the bosom of their mothers. It now follows, —

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