Nothing ripens a people more for ruin,
nor fills the measure faster than the sins of the priests and prophets (v. 13),
by which they are led blindly away from God and into His judgments.
1 How is the gold become dim! how is the most fine gold changed! the stones of the sanctuary are poured out in the top of every street.
2 The precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold, how are they esteemed as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of the potter!
3 Even the sea monsters draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones: the daughter of my people is become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness.
4 The tongue of the sucking child cleaveth to the roof of his mouth for thirst: the young children ask bread, and no man breaketh it unto them.
5 They that did feed delicately are desolate in the streets: they that were brought up in scarlet embrace dunghills.
6 For the punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, that was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands stayed on her.
7 Her Nazarites were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk, they were more ruddy in body than rubies, their polishing was of sapphire:
8 Their visage is blacker than a coal; they are not known in the streets: their skin cleaveth to their bones; it is withered, it is become like a stick.
9 They that be slain with the sword are better than they that be slain with hunger: for these pine away, stricken through for want of the fruits of the field.
10 The hands of the pitiful women have sodden their own children: they were their meat in the destruction of the daughter of my people.
11 The LORD hath accomplished his fury; he hath poured out his fierce anger, and hath kindled a fire in Zion, and it hath devoured the foundations thereof.
12 The kings of the earth, and all the inhabitants of the world, would not have believed that the adversary and the enemy should have entered into the gates of Jerusalem.
13 ¶ For the sins of her prophets, and the iniquities of her priests, that have shed the blood of the just in the midst of her,
14 They have wandered as blind men in the streets, they have polluted themselves with blood, so that men could not touch their garments.
15 They cried unto them, Depart ye; it is unclean; depart, depart, touch not: when they fled away and wandered, they said among the heathen, They shall no more sojourn there.
16 The anger of the LORD hath divided them; he will no more regard them: they respected not the persons of the priests, they favoured not the elders.
17 As for us, our eyes as yet failed for our vain help: in our watching we have watched for a nation that could not save us.
18 They hunt our steps, that we cannot go in our streets: our end is near, our days are fulfilled; for our end is come.
19 Our persecutors are swifter than the eagles of the heaven: they pursued us upon the mountains, they laid wait for us in the wilderness.
20 The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the LORD, was taken in their pits, of whom we said, Under his shadow we shall live among the heathen.
21 ¶ Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, that dwellest in the land of Uz; the cup also shall pass through unto thee: thou shalt be drunken, and shalt make thyself naked.
22 ¶ The punishment of thine iniquity is accomplished, O daughter of Zion; he will no more carry thee away into captivity: he will visit thine iniquity, O daughter of Edom; he will discover thy sins.
Lamentations 4:1-3 – J. Vernon McGee
Lamentations 4:4-8 – J. Vernon McGee
Lamentations 4:9-22 – J. Vernon McGee
Find the missing words then click and drag the letters in the grid below. Click “Start“
5 They that did feed ____________________ are ________________ in the streets: they that were brought up in ______________ embrace __________________.
6 For the punishment of the ________________ of the ________________ of my people is greater than the punishment of the ______ of __________, that was ____________________ as in a moment, and no hands stayed on her.
8 Their ____________ is blacker than a coal; they are not known in the ______________: their ________ cleaveth to their bones; it is ________________, it is become like a __________.
Lamentations 4:20—Of whom we said, Under his shadow we shall live among the heathen.
The people tell the sad tale of the pursuit of their foes. Swifter than the eagles, they chased them on the mountains, and laid wait for them in the wilderness. Then they narrate how their king fell into the hands of them who sought his life. He was dear to them as the breath of their nostrils; his person was sacred as the anointed of the Lord; they had thought that even though they were carried into captivity they would find some alleviation to their hardships in dwelling under his protection; they said, “Under his shadow we shall live among the heathen.” But even he was taken in their pits.
What a likeness and a contrast to our blessed Lord? There is Likeness. He is as the breath of our life. As we inhale the air around us, so we expand our souls to drink in of his most blessed nature. We open our mouths, and inhale Him as our vital element; his Spirit for our spirit; his blood for our souls; his resurrection strength for our bodies. He is the Anointed of the Father, who anoints us. Because He is the Christ (Anointed), we are Christians (anointed ones). His shadow is a most grateful and wide-spreading one, beneath which we may dwell in safety.
But how great the Contrast! Though He was once taken in the pit of Satanic malice and the shadow of death, yet now He liveth to be the shield and protector of his people wherever they are scattered among the nations. He that sitteth on the throne shall spread his tabernacle over them. They shall hunger and thirst no more, neither shall the sun strike them. However far our bodies are from one another, we all dwell beneath the shadow of the Lord, which is as a great rock in a weary land. —Our Daily Homily