1. How tarnished the gold has become. The fine gold has lost its luster. Why, the sacred stones lie strewn at every street corner!
2. Oh, the precious sons of Zion, once worth their weight in gold - but now reckoned no more than earthen jars from a potter's mold!
3. Even jackals bare their breasts to suckle their young, but my people have become heartless, like ostriches in the desert land.
4. In thirst the infant's tongue cleaves to the roof of its mouth. Children are begging for alms, but there is no one to help them.
5. Those accustomed to fine food now lie dying in the streets. Those accustomed to wear purple now lie destitute upon the ash heaps.
6. The punishment of my people is greater than that of Sodom, which was overthrown in an instant, without a helping hand.
7. Brighter than snow were their rulers, even whiter than milk; their bodies rosier than coral, their beauty as radiant as sapphires.
8. Now they look blacker than soot, unrecognized in the streets. Their emaciated form shows lack of food, their skin shriveled and dry as wood.
9. Better to have died by the sword than to have perished in hunger. The famine-stricken people perish, and slowly, wretchedly, pass away.
10. Once loving mothers, our women have cooked their own children and made them their food: such has been the crash of my people!
11. Yahweh has given full vent to his wrath; pouring out his fierce anger. He has kindled a fire in Zion, which has consumed her foundation.
12. Never had kings believed nor the world thought possible that the enemy could break through the gates of Jerusalem.
13. But this happened because of the priests, who sinned, because of the prophets who transgressed, shedding in her midst the blood of the just.
14. They wandered like blind men, groping through the streets, so defiled with blood that none could touch their garments.
15. "Go away!" people cried at them. "Do not touch us! You are unclean!" They became fugitives wandering about, but even the nations would drive them out.
16. Yahweh himself has dispersed them; no longer does he watch over them. The priests are shown no honor; the elders are given no favor.
17. Our watchmen strained their eyes, looking for help in vain. We anxiously waited for an ally, who failed to save us.
18. Like dogs our enemies hounded us and kept us off the streets. As our end drew near, we knew our days were numbered.
19. Swifter were our pursuers, than the eagles in the sky. Over the hills they chased us, they waylaid us in the wilderness.
20. Our life's breath, Yahweh's anointed, was taken captive in their pit - he of whom we said, "In his protection we shall live among the nations."
21. Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, you who dwell in the land of Uz. But you shall be drunk and stripped bare, for to you also the cup will pass.
22. Your ordeal, daughter of Zion, will end; for your exile will not be prolonged. But Edom's daughter will be chastised, and her wickedness will be exposed.