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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he has withdrawn his right hand from them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.


Here, also, the Prophet introduces enemies as insolently exulting over the miseries of the people. He first says, that they had opened the mouth, even that they might loudly upbraid them; for he is not said to open the mouth who only speaks, but who insolently and freely utters his calumnies. God is, indeed, sometimes said emphatically to open his mouth, when he announces something that deserves special notice; and so Matthew says, that Christ opened his mouth when he spoke of true happiness. (Matthew 5:2.) But in this place and in others the enemy is said to open his mouth, who, with a full mouth, so to speak, taunts him whom he sees worn out with evils. Hence, he refers to petulance or insolence, when he says, that enemies had opened their mouth

He then adds, that they had hissed. By hissing he no doubt means scoffing or taunting; for it immediately follows, that they had gnashed with their teeth, as though he had said, that enemies not only blamed and condemned them, but had also given tokens of extreme hatred; for he who gnashes with his teeth thus shews the bitterness of his mind, and even fury; for to gnash the teeth is what belongs to a wild beast. The Prophet then says, that enemies had not only harassed the people with taunts and scoffs, but had also cruelly and even furiously treated them. Now we know that to men of ingenuous minds, such a treatment is harder than death itself: for it is deemed by many a hard thing to fall in battle — and we see how men of war expose themselves to the greatest danger; but a disgraceful death is far more bitter. The Prophet, then, no doubt, amplifies the miseries of the people by this circumstance, that they had been harassed on every side by taunts. And he mentions this on purpose, because reproofs by the prophets had not been received by them; for we know how perversely the Jews had rebelled against the prophets, when they reproved them in God’s name. As, then, they would not have borne the paternal reproofs of God, they were thus constrained to bear the reproaches of enemies, and to receive the just reward of their pride and presumption. Nor is there a doubt, as I have said, but that the Prophet related reproaches of this kind, and the scoffs of enemies, that the people might at length know that they had been exposed to such evils, because they had proudly rejected the reproofs given them by the prophets.

He says, that enemies spoke thus, We have devoured; surely this is the day which we have expected; as though they triumphed when they saw that they got the victory, and that they could do with the people as they pleased. And as I have said, this in itself was a very bitter thing to the people; but. when the Prophet related, as in the person of the enemies, what was already sufficiently known to them, the people ought to have called to mind the reason why they had been so severely afflicted; and this is what the Prophet clearly sets forth in the next verse; for he, adds, —

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