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Lamentations 4

Lam 4, La 4

Lamentations 4

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.

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Summary and the Meaning of Lamentations Chapter 4: A Tale of Destruction and Despair

The fourth chapter of Lamentations in the King James Version (KJV) of the Holy Bible presents a powerful narrative of the downfall of Jerusalem, the pain of God's chosen people, and the hope for divine intervention. It is a poignant and evocative account of the city's transformation from a symbol of grandeur and holiness into a landscape of desolation and despair. The overarching themes of this chapter are the devastating consequences of sin, the incomprehensible suffering of God's people, and the profound yearning for divine redemption.

The Desolation of Jerusalem

The chapter opens with a vivid description of Jerusalem's destruction. The narrator laments the fate of the city, comparing its noble inhabitants to pure gold that has lost its shine and its precious stones that have been discarded. The holy city, once bustling with life, has been reduced to a ghost town. The author uses this metaphor to depict the depth of the city's fall and the extent of its desolation. This is a powerful reminder of the consequences of disobedience and deviation from God's path.

The Suffering of God's People

The second theme of Lamentations Chapter 4 is the unimaginable suffering endured by God's people. The author paints a chilling picture of the horrors experienced by the inhabitants of Jerusalem. The wealthy are brought low, forced to scrounge for food in the streets, while children, once pampered and protected, are left to starve. Mothers, in their desperation, are driven to unthinkable acts. The author uses these harrowing images to underscore the severity of their punishment and to evoke a sense of profound sympathy in the reader.

The Yearning for Divine Redemption

Despite the bleakness of the situation, the author retains a glimmer of hope for divine intervention. The chapter concludes with a plea for God's mercy, acknowledging His wrath but expressing a fervent wish for His compassion. The author asserts that despite the severity of their punishment, God's chosen people will not be abandoned forever. This yearning for divine redemption is a testament to the enduring faith of the people and their belief in God's mercy and love.

Interpreting the Meaning of Lamentations Chapter 4

The fourth chapter of Lamentations is a poignant testament to the profound impact of sin and disobedience. It serves as a stark reminder of the devastating consequences of straying from God's path. The suffering endured by God's people is a reflection of their deviation from His teachings. However, this chapter is not just a tale of destruction and despair. It is also a story of hope and redemption. Despite their suffering, the people of Jerusalem do not lose their faith. They yearn for God's mercy and believe in His promise of redemption. This enduring faith in the face of adversity is a poignant testament to the strength and resilience of God's people.


In conclusion, Lamentations Chapter 4 is a powerful narrative of destruction, suffering, and hope. It serves as a stark reminder of the devastating consequences of sin and disobedience. However, it also carries a message of hope and redemption. Despite the severity of their suffering, the people of Jerusalem do not lose their faith. They yearn for God's mercy and believe in His promise of redemption. This enduring faith in the face of adversity is a poignant testament to the strength and resilience of God's people.

This article is informed by the King James Version of the Holy Bible, the authors' personal knowledge, considerations and experience, and additional materials and resources available in internet.

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