1 (א) 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 (ב) The precious sons of Zion, comparable to pure gold, how are they esteemed as earthen pitchers (the comparison is both in the material and in the workmanship. Cp. Jer. 18:1-6; 19:1-10), the work of the hands of the potter!
3 (ג) 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. (Cp. Job 39:13-17)
4 (ד) The tongue of the sucking child cleaves to the roof of his mouth for thirst: the young children ask bread, and no man breaks it to them.
5 (ה) They that did feed delicately are desolate in the streets: they that were brought up in scarlet embrace dunghills. (Cp. Job 24:8.)
6 (ו) 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 (see Gen. 19:25), and no hands travailed on her. (I.e. brought it about; for the overthrow was direct from God.)
7 (ז) 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 (ח) Their visage is blacker than a coal; they are not recognized in the streets: their skin cleave to their bones; it is withered, it is become like a stick.
9 (ט) They that be slain with the sword have proved better than they that be slain with hunger: for these pine away, stricken through for want of the fruits of the field.
10 (י) The hands of the tender-hearted women have sodden their own babes (cp. Deut. 28:56,57. 2 Kings 6:29): they were their meat in the destruction of the daughter of my People.
11 (כ) The LORD has accomplished His fury; He has poured out His fierce anger, and has kindled a fire in Zion (cp. Deut. 32:22), and it has devoured the foundations thereof.
12 (ל) 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 (מ) For the sins of her prophets, and the iniquities of her priests, that have shed the blood of the righteous ones in the midst of her, (Cp. Matt. 23:31,37)
14 (נ) They have wandered as blind men in the streets, they have polluted themselves with blood (cp. Num. 19:11,16), so that men could not touch their garments.
15 (נ) They cried to them, "Depart you; it is unclean; depart, depart, touch not:" (Cp. Lev. 13:45) when they fled away and wandered, they said among the nations, "They shall no more sojourn there."
16 (פ) The face (put for the manifesting anger felt) of the LORD has divided them; He will no more regard them: they respected not the face (put for the whole person) of the priests, they favored not the elders.
17 (ע) 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 (צ) 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 (ק) Our pursuers are swifter than the eagles of the heaven (cp. Deut. 28:49): they pursued us upon the mountains, they laid wait for us in the wilderness.
20 (ר) The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the LORD (i.e. Zedekiah was still Yehovah's "anointed", even as Saul was [1 Sam. 26:9, 11,16,23. 2 Sam. 1:14,16), was taken in their toils (cp. Jer. 2:6; 18:20,22), of whom we said, "Under his shadow we shall live among the heathen."
21 (ש) Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, that dwells in the land of Uz; the cup also shall pass through to you: you shall be drunken, and shall make yourself naked. (Between vv.21 and 22 lies the whole of this present dispensation.)
22 (ת) The punishment of your iniquity is completed, O daughter of Zion; he will no more carry thee away into captivity: He will punish your iniquity (see v.6), O daughter of Edom; he will discover thy sins.