The New King James Version
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The Degradation of Zion

4 How the gold has become dim!

How changed the fine gold!

The stones of the sanctuary are 1scattered

At the head of every street.

2 The precious sons of Zion,

2Valuable as fine gold,

How they are 3regarded aas clay pots,

The work of the hands of the potter!

3 Even the jackals present their breasts

To nurse their young;

But the daughter of my people is cruel,

bLike ostriches in the wilderness.

4 The tongue of the infant clings

To the roof of its mouth for thirst;

cThe young children ask for bread,

But no one breaks it for them.

5 Those who ate delicacies

Are desolate in the streets;

Those who were brought up in scarlet

dEmbrace ash heaps.

6 The punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people

Is greater than the punishment of the esin of Sodom,

Which was foverthrown in a moment,

With no hand to help her!

7 Her 4Nazirites were 5brighter than snow

And whiter than milk;

They were more ruddy in body than rubies,

Like sapphire in their 6appearance.

8 Now their appearance is blacker than soot;

They go unrecognized in the streets;

gTheir skin clings to their bones,

It has become as dry as wood.

9 Those slain by the sword are better off

Than those who die of hunger;

For these hpine away,

Stricken for lack of the fruits of the ifield.

10 The hands of the jcompassionate women

Have 7cooked their kown children;

They became lfood for them

In the destruction of the daughter of my people.

11 The Lord has fulfilled His fury,

mHe has poured out His fierce anger.

nHe kindled a fire in Zion,

And it has devoured its foundations.

12 The kings of the earth,

And all inhabitants of the world,

Would not have believed

That the adversary and the enemy

Could oenter the gates of Jerusalem—

13 pBecause of the sins of her prophets

And the iniquities of her priests,

qWho shed in her midst

The blood of the just.

14 They wandered blind in the streets;

rThey have defiled themselves with blood,

sSo that no one would touch their garments.

15 They cried out to them,

“Go away, tunclean!

Go away, go away,

Do not touch us!”

When they fled and wandered,

Those among the nations said,

“They shall no longer dwell here.”

16 The 8face of the Lord scattered them;

He no longer regards them.

uThe people do not respect the priests

Nor show favor to the elders.

17 Still vour eyes failed us,

Watching vainly for our help;

In our watching we watched

For a nation that could not save us.

18 wThey 9tracked our steps

So that we could not walk in our streets.

xOur end was near;

Our days were over,

For our end had come.

19 Our pursuers were yswifter

Than the eagles of the heavens.

They pursued us on the mountains

And lay in wait for us in the wilderness.

20 The zbreath of our nostrils, the anointed of the Lord,

aWas caught in their pits,

Of whom we said, “Under his shadow

We shall live among the nations.”

21 Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of bEdom,

You who dwell in the land of Uz!

cThe cup shall also pass over to you

And you shall become drunk and make yourself naked.

22 dThe punishment of your iniquity 1is accomplished,

O daughter of Zion;

He will no longer send you into captivity.

eHe will punish your iniquity,

O daughter of Edom;

He will uncover your sins!


About The New King James Version

The New King James Version is a total update of the 1611 King James Version, also known as the "Authorized Version." Every attempt has been made to maintain the beauty of the original version while updating the English grammar to contemporary style and usage. The result is much better "readability." It is noteworthy that the NKJV is one of the few modern translations still based on the "Western" or "Byzantine" manuscript tradition. This makes the New King James Version an invaluable aid to comparative English Bible study.


New King James Version
Copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

All Rights reserved

The text of the New King James Version (NKJV) may be quoted or reprinted without prior written permission with the following qualifications: (1) up to and including 1,000 verses may be quoted in printed form as long as the verses quoted amount to less than 50% of a complete book of the Bible and make up less than 50% of the total work in which they are quoted; (2) all NKJV quotations must conform accurately to the NKJV text.

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Scripture taken from the New King James Version.
Copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, inc.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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