Bible: Lam 4
The Prophet Speaks:
4:1 א (Alef)1
pure gold loses value. 4
Jewels 5 are scattered
on every street corner. 6
4:2 ב (Bet)
The precious sons of Zion
were worth their weight in gold –
Alas! – but now they are treated like 7 broken clay pots,
made by a potter. 8
4:3 ג (Gimel)
Even the jackals 9 nurse their young
at their breast, 10
but my people 11 are cruel,
like ostriches 12 in the desert.
4:4 ד (Dalet)
The infant’s tongue sticks
to the roof of its mouth due to thirst;
little children beg for bread, 13
but no one gives them even a morsel. 14
4:5 ה (He)
Those who once feasted on delicacies 15
are now starving to death 16 in the streets.
4:6 ו (Vav)
exceeded that of 23 of Sodom,
which was overthrown in a moment
with no one to help her. 24
4:7 ז (Zayin)
Her consecrated ones 25 were brighter than snow,
whiter than milk;
their bodies more ruddy than corals,
4:8 ח (Khet)
Now their appearance 28 is darker than soot;
they are not recognized in the streets.
Their skin has shriveled on their bones;
it is dried up, like tree bark.
4:9 ט (Tet)
Those who died by the sword 29 are better off
than those who die of hunger, 30
4:10 י (Yod)
The hands of tenderhearted women 36
cooked their own children,
who became their food, 37
4:11 כ (Kaf)
he poured out his fierce anger. 41
He started a fire in Zion;
it consumed her foundations. 42
4:12 ל (Lamed)
Neither the kings of the earth
that enemy or foe would enter
4:13 מ (Mem)
and the iniquities of her priests,
who poured out in her midst
the blood of the righteous.
4:14 נ (Nun)
defiled by the blood they shed, 51
while no one dares 52
to touch their garments.
4:15 ס (Samek)
People cry to them, “Turn away! You are unclean!
Turn away! Turn away! Don’t touch us!”
So they have fled and wander about;
but the nations say, 53 “They may not stay here any longer.”
4:16 פ (Pe)
he no longer watches over them.
They did not honor the priests; 55
they did not show favor to the elders. 56
The People of Jerusalem Lament:
4:17 ע (Ayin)
Our eyes continually failed us
as we looked in vain for help. 57
From our watchtowers we watched
for a nation that could not rescue us.
4:18 צ (Tsade)
so that we could not walk about in our streets.
Our end drew near, our days were numbered, 60
for our end had come!
4:19 ק (Qof)
Those who pursued us were swifter
They chased us over the mountains;
they ambushed us in the wilderness.
4:20 ר (Resh)
Our very life breath – the
was caught in their traps, 64
of whom we thought, 65
“Under his protection 66 we will survive among the nations.”
The Prophet Speaks:
4:21 ש (Sin/Shin)
who reside in the land of Uz.
you will get drunk and take off your clothes.
4:22 ת (Tav)
he will not prolong your exile. 74
and reveal 78 your offenses!